Zucchini Basil Salad with Pine Nuts and Pecorino – Ready in 5

Tummy is grumbling. I can feel my hanger (angry because I’m hungry) coming on. The world is a fog. Everyone is annoying and I need to get some food in my belly before the acid in my stomach starts eating through my spinal cord (not literally, but that’s what it feels like).

I run into the house, fling off my coat onto the couch, throw the grocery bags on the counter and start making my lunch.

From grocery bag to table in 5 minutes. Here goes.

I pull out the mandoline, wash my zucchini and basil, and I quickly slice the zucchini by setting my mandoline to 1/16″ thick. I place the pile of zucchini in a bowl, toss with olive oil, the juice of a meyer lemon, plenty of fresh pink Himalayan sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, and I add in some basil leaves and garnish with toasted pine nuts and shaved pecorino cheese. Done.

Funny thing is, I didn’t even have to eat it to feel better. Just the brightness of spring green colors and the freshness of the lemon juice made me smile.

It was light, satiating (olive oil lends to this feeling) and a wonderful snack/side dish/lunch.

When hunger pangs hit you, even though you want the drive thru, or that donut, or whatever you might be craving, first get something light and refreshing with plenty of nutrients in your body. Tell yourself that if you still feel like the junk afterwards, you’ll let yourself have it, but only after you eat something healthy. Chances are you won’t really be craving that junk food anymore and your body and mind will thank you for it!

I can’t say I manage this every time. But I’m getting better at it and 95% of the time I do. Much better than my 40% average 3 years ago.  Little bits by little bits.

Zucchini Basil Salad with Pine Nuts and Pecorino Cheese (optional for vegans)

  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
  • olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (I used meyer)
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • Pecorino or Parmesan cheese to garnish

Thinly slice the zucchini into 1/16″ slices. This is super fast if you have a mandoline. Alternately try using a carrot peeler. Put the zucchini slices and basil in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and the juice of half a lemon and toss to coat. Season well with salt and pepper. Garnish with pine nuts and a few slices of shaved Pecorino cheese. Best served immediately so the basil stays bright green. Serves 2.

I’m sharing this with Real Food 101, Mangia Monday, Monday ManiaMeatless MondaysFat TuesdaySlightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Tasty TuesdaysA Little Birdie Told Me, Cast Party Wednesday, Pennywise Platter ThursdaySimple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Food Friday, Friday Food Flicks, Freaky Friday, Fight Back Friday, and Foodie Friday.

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12 Responses to Zucchini Basil Salad with Pine Nuts and Pecorino – Ready in 5

  1. The Café Sucré Farine March 25, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    Frances, I lost a piece to my mandolin but this settles it – I’m getting a new one asap! This salad looks amazing, simple and so………… delicious! Love every part of it!

    • France Morissette March 25, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

      Cafe Sucre Farine, thanks so much! You definitely need to get a new mandoline. It’s mandatory in our house :)

  2. Carol Ann March 25, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    This looks great! Will have to get a mandolin soon.

    • France Morissette March 25, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

      Carol Ann, definitely get one. I recommend the ones from Oxo. They make a great product.

  3. Nancy@http://glutenfreetravels.blogspot.com March 25, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    Sounds delightful. A perfect Spring item for us in Florida. Guess it helps you feel like Spring up your way— though I’m sure it still feels much more like Winter. Such a light and lovely dish. Thanks.

    • France Morissette March 26, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

      Nancy, we’ve had a couple of spring like days here recently which probably contributed to the inspiration behind that salad :) Enjoy the sunny Florida weather!

  4. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles March 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    What a fresh and beautiful looking salad France. Spring must send out zucchini ribbon signals across Canada because I was working on a very similar salad myself ;-). Love the pine nuts in your version and the parmesan is a delicious idea. Pretty photo!

    • France Morissette March 26, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

      Hi Kelly, I look forward to your creation. You have a way of making natural ingredients healthy and delicious.

  5. Sonia Barton March 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    Wonderful – found you from the Rook no. 17 linky. and I’m glad I did.

    • France Morissette March 27, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

      Hi Sonia, Thank you for stopping by. Isn’t Jenn at Rook no. 17 fab!

  6. Miz Helen March 30, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

    This is a lovely presentation for your awesome salad. Hope you have a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen


  1. 10 Five Minute Whole Food Lunches You Need To Make | beyondthepeel.net - August 19, 2012

    […] Zucchini Basil Salad with Pine Nuts and Pecorino is a great salad that can be made the night before, dressing and all. In fact the zucchini is better once the dressing has been on it for awhile. Keep your basil bright, your Pecorino (or Parmesan) dry and you nuts crispy by packing them in a separate container until ready to serve. […]

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