If you are looking for a wow factor salad for the summer that uses up the zucchini from your garden or the farmer’s market, you simply must try Deb Perelman’s Zucchini Ribbons with Almond Pesto.
For starters, the toasted almond pesto is the nectar of the gods.  And I personally think that you don’t need the whole amount for this recipe. I used a little more than half and then tossed the leftovers into an arugula salad with goat cheese the next night.
Second, this salad will make you eat zucchini raw, something I did for the first time ever last weekend.  Or rather, I should say that I ate raw zucchini for the first time ever INTENTIONALLY  last weekend (I am not counting those times where I’ve undercooked zucchini.).  I don’t know why I haven’t gone the raw route before.
Third, I will also confess that prior to last weekend, I had never made zucchini ribbons.  Probably because it looked like a lot of effort.  And I am not the most adept with kitchen knives and tools.  In fact, I am generally challenged in this arena.  But I bit the bullet!  I chopped off the stem and the butt of each zucchini first and then using a good old fashioned vegetable peeler (I didn’t have the fancier variety), I peeled from top to bottom.  And turns out it wasn’t as hard as I thought!  I did end up discarding the center of the zucchini where all of the seeds are because it looked like a pretty icky thing to eat raw.  I recommend that you take this advice and buy an extra zucchini or two to make up for it.
Zucchini Ribbons with Almond Pesto
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • ½ cup almonds, toasted and cooled
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes.
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp table salt
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 pounds medium zucchini, trimmed.
  1. Grind the almonds, Parmesan, garlic and red pepper flakes in a food processor until they are finely chopped.
  2. Add the lemon juice, salt, and olive oil and pulse the machine a few times, until combined. Pour the dressing in the bottom of a large salad bowl, and let it roll up and around the sides.
  3. Using a vegetable peeler (a Y-peeler or mandoline if you have it) and working from the top to bottom of each zucchini, slice the zucchini into ribbons (About 1/16 inch thick). Place the ribbons in dressing coated bowl.
  4. Toss the ribbons gently - frankly, your hands are best for this as they won't break up the ribbons wile tossing them - attempting to coat the zucchini as evenly as possible with the dressing.
  5. Serve at room temperature.
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