Summer Salads #3 — Tomato, Basil, and Zucchini

When Ambar brought home a Zucchini plant from the nursery (“we’re only planting one this year”), it turned out to be three plants all intertwined. So, we’re getting about a zucchini a day. I’ve been sautéing it, adding it to frittata, and baking it but it’s still the green Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

Then I ran across this lovely post from Michael Ruhlman:

I like zucchini.  Julienned and sauteed in butter it’s a simple summer side dish.  Add some nuts, herbs and a vinaigrette to zucchini you’ve salted for ten minutes and it’s a revelation (raw zucchini salad). 

That inspired me to try grating and salting zucchini for a salad and wow — it’s wonderful.


This is essentially a bread salad without the bread. The zucchini picks up all of the flavors and brings them together harmoniously.


  • 1 pound zucchini
  • 1/2-3/4 pounds tomato, cut up
  • 1 small red onion, finely minced
  • 1 small bunch of basil, washed and leaves minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Juice of 1 small lime (optional)


If the zucchini is fresh from your yard or the farmer’s market, soak for about 10 minutes in a bowl of water to remove the dirt from the skin. Grate using the large holes on a box grater, toss with some salt, and let rest about 10 minutes. Pour into a colander and squeeze out the excess liquid (zucchini should be relatively dry.)

Return the zucchini to a bowl, add tomatoes, basil, onion, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, dress with oil and vinegar (and lime juice, if you have it.) Let sit for about an hour to give the flavors a chance to blend.

This salad would be wonderful with some fresh mozzarella or ricotta salata.

5 thoughts on “Summer Salads #3 — Tomato, Basil, and Zucchini

  1. I wanna try this recipe, too, partly as a challenge to eat more green veggies (zucchini is not a natural favorite but I’d like to find more ways to enjoy it) and partly as a way to do bread salad without the bread (which I can’t/shouldn’t eat).

  2. elfin, I finally made this zucchini salad today and it was delicious! I also made the onion roast that you linked to in your Meat CSA post. They both turned out great but the onion roast took a lot longer to cook than originally anticipated. I think it was in the oven at least an hour longer than the recipe called for, but that is what it took to get fork-tender. My kids inhaled the roast, even the onions, and even ate a little bit of the zucchini salad, too (a big success)!

  3. I will have to remember this. We got a lot of zucchini in our CSA last summer. One of the recipies included has become a family and friend favorite. They are called Zucchini Bites. It is a mixture of egg, zucchini, bacon (I used turkey), and cheese and a touch of flour. They are like a dry fritta. And so delish. I will post the recpie when I get home tonight.

    BTW just found the link to this blog, will be adding it to my blog favorites.

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