This Shaved Zucchini Salad is an easy yet elegant side dish that is a perfect addition to any meal. Raw zucchini ribbons are gently marinated then garnished with toasted walnuts, feta cheese, and fresh herbs. It's perfect for summer, and will surely impress any guest or make a weeknight meal feel extra special without the effort.
This side dish can be made any time of year but it particularly shines when zucchini is in season. You could even make it with spiralized zucchini if you prefer that texture.
Even if you don't like zucchini I encourage you to give this recipe a try. If you have never tried marinated raw zucchini before you might be surprised!
Here's what you will need to make this recipe. As you can see, it doesn't take much to throw together an elegant side dish. For quantities see the recipe card below.
- extra virgin olive oil
- white wine vinegar
- lemon juice
- Dijon mustard
- feta cheese
- toasted walnuts
- parsley, chives, and dill
How to Make Zucchini Salad
Step 1 - Using a vegetable peeler or mandoline slicer, slice the zucchini into thin ribbons and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle zucchini ribbons with ½ teaspoon of salt and toss to coat. let sit for 15 minutes to release some of the liquid. Drain.
Step 2 - Meanwhile in a medium bowl, whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients until combined then pour over drained zucchini ribbons.
Step 3 - Mix together gently until all the zucchini is coated with the vinaigrette. Set aside for a minimum of 15 more minutes and up to overnight to marinate.
Step 4 - This salad is best served cold or at room temperature. Garnish with fresh herbs, chopped, toasted walnuts, and crumbled feta cheese.
- Green zucchini - yellow zucchini has a slightly different texture and flavour but works equally well for this recipe.
- Walnuts - any nuts can be used in place of walnuts. My top picks are slivered almonds and pistachios but you can also use pecans, hazelnuts, or pine nuts. If you are allergic to nuts, toasted pumpkin seeds would be delicious!
- Feta cheese - I recommend crumbled goat's cheese as a substitution.
- Parsley, dill, chives - use any combination, only one, or substitute with other fine herbs like cilantro, tarragon, basil, and mint.
White wine vinegar - apple cider, champagne, rice, or regular white vinegar work as great substitutes.
- Grilled - If you prefer your zucchini cooked slice zucchini into thicker slices and grill for 1-2 minutes per side. Proceed with the recipe as written.
- With more vegetables - You can add extra vegetables to this salad such as cherry or grape tomatoes, corn, lightly cooked or shaved, raw asparagus. Arugula would also be a great addition.
- Add more protein - Serve this salad on a bed of cooked lentils for a light vegetarian meal. Drizzle extra dressing over the lentils.
This salad will keep in an air tight container in the refrigerator for 5 days. If being stored with the garnishes, the nuts will soften as it sits.
- To toast nuts: preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Spread nuts evenly on a tray and bake for 6-10 minutes or until you can start to smell them. Times will vary depending on the type and size of the nuts.
- Adding the toasted nuts right before serving ensures they retain their crunch.
Frequently Asked Questions
Along with being rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants raw zucchini is also great for digestive health. It contains both soluble and insoluble fiber which can help with constipation and aid in feeding healthy gut bacteria.
It's not necessary to peel zucchini. In fact most of the nutrients is found in the dark green skin. Be sure to wash your zucchini thoroughly before consuming.
Raw zucchini doesn't respond well to freezing. It will become wet and soggy once thawed. However, after cooking, or when included in a soup or casserole, zucchini can be frozen and thawed successfully.
What to Serve With This Zucchini Salad
Shaved Zucchini Salad
- 4 small zucchini (1.5 lbs/600g)
- ½ teaspoon salt to sprinkle zucchini
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black Pepper
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- ¼ cup Feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 teaspoon each finely chopped parsley, dill, and chives
- Trim ends from zucchini. Shave the zucchini with a vegetable peeler or mandoline into long, thin ribbons. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and toss to coat. Let sit for 15 minutes. Drain off excess water.
- Meanwhile, Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, honey, salt and pepper. Drizzle over zucchini and toss gently until the zucchini ribbons are coated in the vinaigrette.
- Let sit for 10 minutes and up to one day. Before serving arrange on a serving platter. Top with chopped fresh herbs, toasted walnuts, and feta cheese.