Mediterranean Salad with Zucchini Ribbons is a celebration of summer flavors! Five simple ingredients and a delicious sun-dried tomato balsamic vinaigrette. You’ll want it every day!
Updated June 5, 2018
Of the many things I love about summer, the wide variety of fresh vegetables and fruits are high on the list. A fresh vine-ripened tomato warmed by the summer sun could not taste more different than those found in the off season, am I right?
I celebrate summer with easy salad recipes. The Farmer’s Market produce offers endless possibilities to keep salads interesting (a peril of salad in my opinion; ‘salad boredom’).
One of my favorites is Mediterranean Salad with Zucchini Ribbons. Tossed in a homemade Sun-Dried Tomato Balsamic Vinaigrette, you’ll feel like you are on vacation in the Mediterranean without leaving your kitchen table!
Mediterranean Salad: A Simple Salad Recipe
When great ingredients are available, recipes can be made simply and pack a punch. No one wants to spend hours in the kitchen during the summer so finding a combination of flavors that celebrate the season is the key to kitchen success.
In the warmer months the tendency is to serve salad cold. Most ingredients have more flavor at room temperature, did you know that? Mediterranean Salad is no different. To enjoy the full impact of these great salad ingredients, let them come to room temperature before serving.
Salad Ingredients: Only 5 in this Mouthwatering Easy Salad
This beautiful salad uses some of my favorite things of the summer season:
- Sweet, crunchy yellow Bell Peppers
- Tiny, sweet Grape Tomatoes
- Torn fresh Basil leaves
- Abundant ribbons of fresh Zucchini (which take mere seconds to create)
- A sprinkling of salty Feta Cheese crumbles
A drizzle of homemade Sun-Dried Tomato Balsamic Vinaigrette rounds out the salad with color, texture and most importantly fresh summer flavors.
One eats with their eyes first, and everything about this salad is an irresistible temptation!
How to Make Zucchini Ribbons
It’s a great option for those watching carbs, gluten-free eaters or just wanting a more nutritious option; plus, it’s really fun and easy to use (affordable too). For kicks I made a Cucumber Melon Spa Salad and was hooked.
What Is a Spiralizer?
For those unfamiliar, a Spiralizer turns firm fruits and vegetables into thin or fat ‘noodles’ or lovely ribbons providing an alternative ‘pasta’.
The noodles can be baked or lightly steamed. Spiralizing can create a fun fruit or vegetable base to layer other raw produce too for a salad.
I personally have never loved cooked zucchini, I blame it on growing up in a time when sliced zucchini was placed in a boiling pot of water on the stove well before meat was put on the grill.
The slimy, see-through end result was one that caused my brother and I to pretend they were monocles which did not get us into the good graces of our Mom.
I do love raw zucchini! After discovering they could quickly be turned into zucchini ribbons I was hooked.
My Preferred Method to Make Zucchini Ribbons:
With my Spiralizer using the Straight or Ribbon plate which allows turning a whole zucchini into flowing ribbons in minutes. It’s effortless.
- Insert the straight ribbon plate into the Spiralizer
- Cut off one end of a medium-large zucchini (small zucchinis don’t create wider ribbons well) and fit flat to the front of the Sprializer (mine uses a round metal piece to slide into the item being sprialized)
- Crank the opposite end of the Spiralizer onto the other, rounded end of the zucchini so it’s stable
- Turn the crank, which will turn the zucchini against the blade to create ribbons!
- NOTE: sometimes I find I need to start turning the zucchini with my hand to get it going or to stablize it as it begins to turn.
Which Spiralizer Do I Use?
I have a Paderno 3-blade Spiralizer. I have found it does everything I need it to do making small and larger thickness noodles and ribbons.
There are many brands and styles of Spiralizers. I even noticed the Paderno makes one with six blades now that makes all sorts of cool shapes!
How to Make Zucchini Ribbons without a Spiralizer
Making Zucchini Ribbons Using a Vegetable Peeler:
Run the peeler the length of the zucchini (discarding the first ribbon that is only peel) to create thin ribbons.
Making Zucchini Ribbons Using a Mandoline Slicer:
Set the mandoline thickness to a thin setting. Place the zucchini on the mandoline lengthwise and employ the guard. Slice to create ribbons.
These two methods will create more thin layers of zucchini rather than the ruffled ribbons of the Spiralizer (compare in the photos above). No matter how you make them, the zuchhini ribbons will be delicious!
If you’ve tried this Mediterranean Salad recipe or any other recipe on BoulderLocavore.com please don’t forget to RATE THE RECIPE and let me know where you found it in the comments below, I love hearing from you!
How to make Mediterranean Salad – Step by Step:
Mediterranean Salad with Sun Dried Balsamic Vinaigrette
Ingredients for the Sun Dried Balsamic Vinaigrette:
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon aged Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chopped Sun-Dried Tomato
- Pinch of Kosher Salt
Ingredients for the Mediterranean Salad:
- 1 medium Zucchini , cut into ribbons (preferably with a Spiralizer)
- 1/2 Yellow or Orange Sweet Bell Pepper , seeded and cut into thin strips lengthwise
- 3/4 cup Grape Tomatoes , cut in half lengthwise
- 8 large Fresh Basil leaves , torn into pieces
- 2 ounces Feta Cheese crumbles
Instructions for making Sun Dried Tomato Balsamic Vinaigrette:
- Combine all ingredients into a small jar, seal and shake vigorously to combine. Adjust flavors by adding more vinegar or olive oil if desired. NOTE: may be made ahead for longer infusing time.
Instructions for making the salad:
- On two side serving plates, layer the zucchini ribbons (divided evenly between the two plates) to form a bed for the other ingredients.
- Evenly layer the sweet pepper slices, grape tomatoes, basil leaves and feta cheese on the zucchini ribbons.
- Drizzle desired amount of vinaigrette and add a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Serve!