Despite the chilly Hamburg weather, I am embracing summer… fully. And it starts this summer zucchini noodle salad. Seriously, we left 38°C in France, only to come back to 14°C in Germany. We are talking a major difference here — in the height of summer! So yeah, I am trying to channel some warm vibes to the rest of you by sharing this super delicious, simple to make zucchini noodle salad with sweet summer tomatoes, garden fresh basil and my favorite seed on earth — flavor packed pine nuts. Shaved parmesan gives this salad a little umami kick and lemon more bursts of sunshine.
For anyone who is wondering on what to do with all the zucchini in the garden, or what to do with zucchini to make it taste great — because it CAN taste great! — this is the salad for you. I choose to use zucchini and summer squash (to me, it’s just yellow zucchini!) to create this tasty “zoodle” salad.
Spiralizing Transforms Ordinary to Extraordinary
I’m pretty sure “spiralizing” was the culinary trend of 2014; a trend that’s still going strong way into 2016. With good reason — it’s the ultimate low-carb, gluten-free, grain-free way to increase your vegetable intake while enjoying something that sort of resembles comfort food p-a-s-t-a. I said sort of. In this case, spiralizing zucchini dresses up what could be a so-la-la looking dish into a flamboyant, all raw salad, that’s exploding with flavor!
Spiralizing Options (Spiralizer, Julienne Peeler or Mandoline)
So, I did embrace this trend a couple of years ago and invested in this “pencil sharpener” version of a spiralizer. But this is the spiralizer that I would use if I actually had more room in my kitchen. This is the kind that you can spiralize sweet potatoes, candy cane beets, and all those other vegetables that don’t fit into a pencil sharpener. But, since our kitchen is super small, I still resort to using the one I have and a new gadget, my julienne peeler (okay, admittedly my mandoline can also do this, but that thing scares me, those blades are razor sharp!). It works like a charm. Maybe you don’t get those pretty, twirly, extra-long noodles, but it’s quick and easy – and takes up no space at all in my little urbanite kitchen.
Summer Zucchini Noodle Salad with Tomato, Basil and Pine Nuts
- 2 zucchini, spiralized or sliced into thin ribbons
- 250 g mini Roma tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 generous handful fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (25 g)
- shaved parmesan, to taste
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Use a julienne peeler or spiralizer to turn zucchini into thin noodle-like strips.
Transfer the zucchini to a sieve placed above a bowl and sprinkle with a little sea salt (up to ½ a teaspoon). Use your hands to combine; mixing the salt evenly. Set aside, allowing the zucchini noodles to sit for about 30 minutes to drain excess water.
NOTE: The above step is optional. The fresher the zucchini the more moisture it holds. When making a zucchini ribbon salad, I usually skip this step.
In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients.
Shake out the excess liquid from the zucchini and transfer to serving bowl. Add the tomatoes, basil, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese. Drizzle with the dressing and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
I suggest assembling the salad at the very last minute to avoid it becoming soggy.
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