I have a love-hate relationship with summer. I actually prefer the fashion of fall and winter: the scarves, the high boots, the knit hats. I love the smell of smoke from a chimney on a rainy day, the smoke seeming to hang in the chilly, humid air. Oh, and hot chocolate. I’m not a fan of the shorts and skimpy tops that the sweltering dry summer heat of the San Fernando Valley requires. I’m pretty sure I was a nun or Amish in a past life.
But here’s what I do love about summer: the seasonal fruits and veggies. And the things we eat in the summertime in general. Ice cream, iced tea, iced coffee. Pretty much anything that involves ice. Oh, and salads. Particularly salads that have shaved zucchini.
I got the idea for a shaved zucchini salad from a recipe on the blog Local Milk. Beth Kirby, the fabulously stylish and talented writer and creator of Local Milk, created a summer squash salad with mint, feta, and black truffle salt. I knew I just had to try this recipe. It looked simple and refreshing.
Unfortunately, when I went to the store, they were all out of summer squash (sigh). I’ve learned in life that we have to work with what we’ve got. Zucchini it was!
I was a little freaked out to eat raw zucchini. I’d only ever eaten the stuff cooked. Would it even taste good? The short answer: YES. The long answer: shaved raw zucchini has a mild floral quality and a light crunch that is enhanced with mint, feta, and black truffle salt. It is SO good. Whenever I make this salad, I never have left overs. It’s that good.
Shaved Zucchini Salad
Serves 4 – Adapted from Local Milk
- 4 raw zucchini, washed and the tops cut off, and shaved using a peeler lengthwise
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 ounces of feta cheese, use more or less to taste
- 1 bunch of mint leaves, cut into ribbons
- a few glugs of extra virgin olive oil
- a few glugs of white wine vinegar
- some cracked black pepper
- black truffle salt to taste (or a smoked salt)
The beauty of this recipe is that, as far as the dressing goes, it’s really up to your taste. Use as much or as little olive oil, vinegar, salt, or pepper as you like. But be sure you use truffle salt or a smoked salt. The earthiness of the salt complements the mild floral flavor of the shaved zucchini perfectly.
In a shallow serving dish, place your shaved zucchini ribbons and mint and shallots. Pour the olive oil, vinegar and salt & pepper on top. Carefully toss the zucchini ribbons, mint, and shallots in the dressing until it all looks coated. Top the dressed salad with feta cheese. Serve immediately as a side dish or by itself as a meal. This recipe is enough for 4 as a side salad, or 2 as a meal.