We don’t need an official holiday to celebrate fresh summer zucchini, but since today is National Zucchini Day, we’ll take it! Culinary gardeners know this is one very prolific vegetable, begging to be harvested and enjoyed this time of year. Luckily, the best feature of this mild but delicious squash is its versatility: it’s just as much at home cooked tenderly in a soup as it is grated or shaved raw into a salad, such as the one below.
Shaved Zucchini Salad with Pecorino & Almonds
1/2 cup raw almonds
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 small zucchini and/or summer squash, about 4 inches long and 1 inch in diameter, trimmed
Pecorino cheese for shaving
In a dry fry pan, toast the almonds over medium-low heat, stirring, until fragrant and lightly golden, 5 minutes. Pour onto a plate to cool, coarsely chop and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegars and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly until the vinaigrette is smooth. Set aside.
Using a mandoline or very sharp chef’s knife, slice the zucchini lengthwise into thin ribbons. Pat the zucchini dry on paper towels.
Add the zucchini to the bowl with the vinaigrette and toss to coat well. Divide the salad among individual plates. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the cheese over the salads in thin curls. Scatter the toasted almonds over the top and serve. Serves 4 to 6.
Find more of our favorite recipes using zucchini below, and see our tips for selecting, storing and preparing them.
|Zucchini Fritters with Herbed Yogurt
A classic spice in Middle Eastern and North African cooking, sumac lends a bright, fruity flavor to these zucchini fritters and the accompanying yogurt dipping sauce.
|Summer Squash Sauté with Basil & Tomatoes
This colorful medley of yellow squash, zucchini, tomatoes and watercress makes a beautiful addition to a market-inspired summer feast.
|Focaccia Pizza with Zucchini, Tomatoes and Arugula
Use a mandoline to thinly slice the zucchini in this recipe, creating an elegant presentation when arranged on top of the pizza dough.
|Summer Vegetable Frittata
Perfect for brunch or a simple supper, this summery frittata features not only zucchini but eggplant, bell peppers and tomatoes.
|Marinated Summer Vegetables Grilled on Rosemary Skewers
Garden-fresh summer vegetables need little to adorn them. Here, they’re marinated in a simple vinaigrette, threaded onto sturdy rosemary stems and grilled over a hot fire, infusing the vegetables with a smoky, woodsy flavor.
Click to see all of our zucchini recipes, and tell us in the comments: what is your favorite way to eat this summer staple?