Grilled Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Walnuts & Pecorino tossed in a Zippy Lemon Vinaigrette

A simple and elegant salad that tosses lightly grilled zucchini ribbons with toasted walnuts, Pecorino cheese in a lemony vinaigrette.

Is everyone drowning in zucchinis yet?

I wish I were one of you.  I have a lot of zucchini plants and they are only just starting to produce zucchinis….smallish and totally wonky looking zucchinis, but they taste amazing.  That’s what counts, right?

In preparation for zucchini-palooza, which will be happening in a few short weeks, {I hope!}, I have been thinking up ways to use zucchini.  Like in a burger.  Last summer I put them in cheddar & cornmeal waffles and triple chocolate donuts.  Nom nom nom.

A lot of zucchini recipes {like the ones I just listed} try to ‘hide’ the zucchini.  Sneak-it-in-so-your-kids-don’t-realize-they-are-eating-veggies kind of recipes.

Well today I have a recipe that actually features the zucchini.

Grilled Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Walnuts & Pecorino tossed in a Zippy Lemon Vinaigrette

Grilled Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Walnuts & Pecorino tossed in a Zippy Lemon Vinaigrette

I am not allowed to use the oven right now, official orders from Ben.  It is HOT, as in 33°C out…{that’s 91 in ‘American’ 😛 }, and we have no air conditioning, so no oven it is.

Basically every meal so far this week has been raw or grilled, and this salad fits the bill perfectly.

Grilled Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Walnuts & Pecorino tossed in a Zippy Lemon Vinaigrette

Grilled Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Walnuts & Pecorino tossed in a Zippy Lemon Vinaigrette

This salad is such a breeze to prep…as salads should be!

Fresh zucchini ribbons are grilled for a minute or so, to the point of being a tad softer, but not limp.  I liked the lightly crunchy texture that they had, and I don’t think anyone likes mushy, limp zucchini.

Next toasted walnuts are added; you can either bake them in the oven or heat them in a pan until lightly browned.  The walnuts bring the crunch factor to the salad; I can’t seem to make a salad without nuts in them…just love that nutty flavor and crunch!

I added shaved Pecorino Romano, you can use Parmesan if you wish.  The cheese brings some salt to the mix, and…well…it’s cheese.  Any excuse for cheese on/in/over my vegetables!

Grilled Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Walnuts & Pecorino tossed in a Zippy Lemon Vinaigrette

I whipped up a super simple lemony vinaigrette that went oh-so-perfectly with all of the zucchini-walnutty-cheesey awesomeness that was already happening in my bowl.  Using lemon zest brings an ultra-lemony flavor to the dressing without bringing that sourness that lemon juice can bring.  White wine vinegar brings the zing, maple syrup brings a touch of sweetness {feel free to sub in honey, I had run out}, and voila!

Enjoy!

Grilled Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Walnuts and Pecorino
 
Prep time
Cook time
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A simple and elegant salad that tosses lightly grilled zucchini ribbons with toasted walnuts, Pecorino cheese in a lemony vinaigrette.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Salad
  • 3-4 medium zucchinis
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ground pepper
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup shaved Pecorino Romano or Parmesan {roughly; add to taste}
Lemony Vinaigrette
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp maple syrup {or honey}
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
Instructions
Salad
  1. Pre-heat barbecue over medium-high heat.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zucchini into 'ribbons', discarding the seedy center.
  3. Toss ribbons in olive oil to coat, then season with ground pepper.
  4. Working in multiple batches of 8 or so ribbons at a time, arrange on the grill. Grill for a minute or so {depending on the temperature of your BBQ} until zucchinis are lightly marked. They should be slightly softer but not limp. Continue until all zucchini ribbons have been grilled.
  5. Toss ribbons in vinaigrette and top with walnuts and Pecorino
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