Shaved Zucchini Salad With Parmesan and Toasted Pine Nuts

Shaved Zucchini Salad With Parmesan and Toasted Pine Nuts

I never appreciated raw zucchini until I tried this salad. It was 2008 in Italy at the Terra Madre conference where I was fortunate enough to attend as a delegate. Before that fortuitous encounter, I believe undercooked zucchini to be a missed opportunity relegated to steam tables at low-budget buffets alongside poorly done chicken parmesan. However, slicing zucchini squash into delicate slivers, tossing with a fresh lemon-olive oil dressing, and pairing with toasted pine nuts and parmesan (as is done in this salad) totally transforms the texture and flavor to be something purely delightful. The other great thing about this salad? It's incredibly quick to make, requires ingredients you are likely to already have around, and is the perfect addition to a summer dinner washed down with rose. Below recipe serves 4, but can easily be adapted to more or less people. 

  • 2 large zucchini (or summer squash)
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 ounce pine nuts
  • 1 ounce parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  1. Using a mandolin, shave zucchini into thin rounds or thing long slices*.
  2. Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Toss zucchini in dressing and add more salt/pepper to taste.
  3. Toast pine nuts in a cast iron pan on medium high for about 2 minutes, tossing frequently, until golden brown.
  4. Top zucchini with pine nuts, grated parmesan, and parsley.
  5. Serve at room temperature.
Delicate rings of raw zucchini to eat by the forkful. 

Delicate rings of raw zucchini to eat by the forkful.