This zucchini salad is a jumble of raw shaved summer vegetables including zucchini, summer squash, fennel, and cucumber along with herbs, lemon, and olive oil that comes together easily and doesn’t even require you to turn on the stove. Sounds like summer to us.
This zucchini salad just sorta tastes like summer goodness in that exquisitely natural yet delicious way that irresistibly I-can’t-stop-eating-this-because-it-tastes-sooooo-good-yet-it’s-also-healthy-for-me sorta way. It’s a pleasing jumble of sweet zucchini and bracing fennel and bitter parsley and tart citrus. And best yet, the only effort involved in this raw shaved salad is a little vegetable peeler action. No need to even turn on the stove. Simple summer supper, anyone?–Renee Schettler Rossi
Shaved Zucchini Salad
- 2 medium (about 11 1/2 oz) zucchini
- 1 (7-ounce) fennel bulb trimmed, washed and halved
- 1/2 English cucumber washed, lightly peeled if the skin is tough
- A small bunch dill (or substitute fennel leaves) fronds torn
- A small bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves picked and torn or finely chopped
- Extra-virgin olive oil (about 2 tablespoons)
- Juice of 1 lemon or yuzu (about 3 tablespoons)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Using a vegetable peeler, a handheld shaver, or a mandoline, shave the zucchini lengthways into thin ribbons. Repeat with the fennel and cucumber.
- Place the shaved vegetables in a large serving bowl and sprinkle with the dill and parsley. Dribble with some really lovely extra-virgin olive oil and then squeeze with the lemon or yuzu juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. That's it. You're done.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This zucchini salad recipe makes a perfect summer salad. It’s light and refreshing and can be made with fresh vegetables from your home garden or farmers market.
The prep time takes about 30 minutes, but once everything is chopped and sliced, the rest of the preparation only takes about 5 minutes.
Super simple and easy, this zucchini salad makes a great main dish meal for 2 and even got a thumbs up from a dill-avoiding spouse. Extra points for being vegan. I used mostly lemon (as fresh yuzu was not easily available) but to have a bit of that perfumed tartness I added some bottled yuzu that I keep on hand.
Slicing zucchini and cucumbers is easy and safely done with a good veggie peeler. The fennel is a bit firm, so I carefully shaved it on a small mandoline, paying good attention (you might like to leave the bulb whole and not trim the stems much so you can use them as a safe handle if using this method or a sharp Microplane-type box grater with a thin slicing slot).
I chose a nicely flavored EVOO. Because dill isn’t universally popular in our kitchen, I used just the feathery fronds from the fennel in place of the dill since normally dill isn’t popular in our household. Verdict is it was good but the dill provided more flavor. I think this is a flexible recipe and you could use other vegetables and green herbs of choice. I liked the more forward flavor of the yuzu, which I used in equal amounts in my second version and I didn’t add additional salt since the bottled yuzu was salted. Fresh yuzu is lovely.
I found this to be a simple salad that’s perfect for a hot summer night. It was easy to make even in a beach house kitchen with limited utensils. We served the zucchini salad alongside crab cakes—a perfect summer meal! I used lemon and would add even more juice to the recipe as it needed more acid.
Bright and fresh, this zucchini salad was eye-pleasing and a breeze to put together. It’s definitely a summer salad you want to make when zucchini and cucumbers are abundant and you can pluck them right out of the garden, but this could easily brighten meals during other seasons with its fresh flavors and acidity.
I thought before making it that the proportion of zucchini to cucumber to fennel might be off but the balance turned out to be just right. I wasn’t as sure about the dill and parsley, since it wasn’t clear exactly how much was too much or too little. The amounts I used were fine for my palate, but my taster thought there was too much dill compared with the other ingredients.
As much as I’d like to be able to have shaved each vegetable down to nothing, it wasn’t possible before they started to fall apart or slip out of my fingers, and the fennel did not want to cooperate at all, which made me resort to a sharp knife and thin slices. In the end, though, we just wanted to keep eating this salad.
You can get your health back in a bowl with this salad that’s light and refreshing and a different combination of ingredients. When slicing the ingredients, I first used a sharp vegetable peeler, which was a slow process, which was speeded up when I tried it with a food processor and a 1-mm blade.
This simple zucchini salad of shaved vegetables is more than the sum of its parts. I thought the seasoning would be too subtle for my taste, but the herbs and the fennel came through and made this a nice, light, but flavorful side.
For me this would be something to serve as one component of a medley of vegetable dishes to accompany grilled anything. The suggested number of servings seems to imply you’ll make a meal of it, so if you use it as one of several sides, you’ll get at least double the number of servings.
This zucchini salad is very light and quite refreshing and takes just a few minutes to prepare.
I used a mandoline to slice the cucumbers, zucchini, and fennel as thinly as possible. Since this salad is so simple, it’s worth a trip to the farmers market to get the freshest possible ingredients. We served this with grilled chicken breasts and got 4 servings. I think as a main this salad would do 2 people nicely.
Next time I prepare this salad, and there will be a next time, I might slice the cucumber and zucchini in very thin discs about the same size as the fennel slices. A couple of my tasters said the long strips of vegetables were a little awkward to eat. Also I’d add some spring onions to the salad as I missed onions in my salad and I think the delicate nature of them would complement the salad.
Originally published August 25, 2018