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

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


5.0 from 3 reviews
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.
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4
  • 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
  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

{ 22 comments… add one }

  • Kathy @ Olives & Garlic July 31, 2014, 1:44 am

    Denise, this is gorgeous. I am all about zucchini-palooza. :) Reminds me of Mitch-a-palooza from Old School. :)
    Kathy @ Olives & Garlic recently posted…“Everything” Smoked Salmon YogurtMy Profile

    • Denise July 31, 2014, 4:43 am

      Thanks, Kathy! Yay for zucchini-palooza!

  • Sarah @ Running On Brie July 31, 2014, 4:20 am

    I’m loving the look of this salad, Denise! I, unlike many people in the world, totally dig zucchini- and this looks like a great way to showcase it. Good luck with zucchini-palooza!
    Sarah @ Running On Brie recently posted…Lemon Bars with Shortbread CrustMy Profile

  • Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen July 31, 2014, 5:02 am

    It’s amazing how fast zucchini grows – one minute it’s a tiny, baby zucchini and then overnight – poof – a great big zucchini – and if one is hiding then it’s gigantic in no time at all! Love this salad – especially love the addition of walnuts. Great pictures!
    Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen recently posted…Tomato, cucumber, avocado saladMy Profile

  • Mary Frances July 31, 2014, 1:34 pm

    I’m actually somewhat grateful our zucchini plant didn’t go crazy this year like it did last year! We were drowning in zucchini – it went in everything. I was disappointed I never tried the zucchini noodles though! This salad looks amazing, putting this on my to try list!

    • Denise August 1, 2014, 3:22 am

      Yeah, I’m excited about zucchini, because it’s the start of our season…give me a few weeks and I’ll be so sick of it! I haven’t tried the zucchini noodles either, these ribbons still have a bit of crunch and aren’t too pasta-like. But those noodley ones look pretty interesting!

  • Allison July 31, 2014, 5:53 pm

    What a beautiful summer dish! I can’t get enough of zucchini right now -so fresh! Pairing it with the lemon would be delectable :)

  • Arpita@ TheGastronomicBong July 31, 2014, 6:59 pm

    Hahahaha… Yes!! Zucchinis everywhere… And I am loving it… the salad looks delicious.. love the lemony vinaigrette.. 😀
    Arpita@ TheGastronomicBong recently posted…Prawns and Asparagus in Creamy Coconut CurryMy Profile

    • Denise August 1, 2014, 3:27 am

      Zucchini-palooza…it’s a real thing :) Thanks, Arpita!

  • Annie @Maebells July 31, 2014, 9:31 pm

    I really love that you grilled the zucchini a tad! I tried a zucchini ribbon salad earlier in the summer but it wasn’t quite right. I bet grilling it would do the trick! I love how pretty these salads are too!
    Annie @Maebells recently posted…Sweet Corn Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and LimeMy Profile

    • Denise August 1, 2014, 3:29 am

      Thanks, Annie :) Grilling the zucchini softens it a tad. But I liked mine a teeny bit crunchy still.

  • Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice August 1, 2014, 1:05 am

    What a beautiful salad, Denise! Definitely great to beat the summer heat. I’ve never made zucchini ribbons before, but it’s always been on my list to try. I love the lemon vinaigrette too, sounds like it goes perfectly with this salad! Pinning this one!
    Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Restaurant Style SalsaMy Profile

    • Denise August 1, 2014, 3:30 am

      Hey Gayle! You should try the zucchini ribbons…it is so easy, and a great way to use up zucchinis. Thanks :)

  • Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner August 1, 2014, 2:00 pm

    Love zucchinis! This salad looks so simple and delicious and I love it! :)
    Tina @ Tina’s Chic Corner recently posted…Mediterranean Carrot SaladMy Profile

  • Leah | So, How's It Taste? August 1, 2014, 2:19 pm

    Ooo, I get so excited over new zucchini recipes! I’m in love with them. This one sounds like something I would really enjoy and bonus no oven! I really like simple recipes like this one.
    Leah | So, How’s It Taste? recently posted…Ginger JulepMy Profile

  • Natalie @ Tastes Lovely August 1, 2014, 4:28 pm

    All the zucchinis I grow come out looking wonky too! They’re all short and stumpy, or super crook ended. I don’t know how they have them so perfect looking at the grocery store. They must grow them in a tube. All that matters is that they’re good, right!?

    And thank you for a “no oven” recipe! We don’t have AC either, and it has been almost 100 degrees all week. I’ve been melting!

    Love this salad!
    Natalie @ Tastes Lovely recently posted…Five Things for FridayMy Profile

  • Emma August 3, 2014, 12:33 pm

    I’m drowning in them, yes! I will have to try this- I have been unsure about eating them raw, but, the walnuts and pecorino sound have persuaded me!

    • Denise August 3, 2014, 3:08 pm

      Hey Emma! They’re not completely raw, the BBQ softens them a touch, but you definitely still want them a bit crunchy {we had them a bit soggy the other night, still tasty but not the same}

  • Lilli @ Sugar and Cinnamon August 10, 2014, 10:39 am

    This looks delicious!
    Lilli @ Sugar and Cinnamon recently posted…Dumpling Month Part 4 – Pumpkin and Beetroot DumplingsMy Profile

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