Zucchini Salad with Feta, Mint and a Parsley Vinaigrette

There are a few select things that make a recipe a winner in my books. I’m most excited about a recipe when the flavors are spot on, when its easy to put together and when the ingredients are easy to get or are flexible enough for substitutions.

Now, it doesn’t mean that every recipe found on this blog has all of these traits or falls neatly into each of these categories. Some things just take longer than others, that’s just a given. It also doesn’t mean those things aren’t worth making because they take longer either.

That notion would be absurd. Everyone knows that certain things cooked over a long period of time can sometimes bring the flavors to new heights. But quick, easy recipes are essential for most of us leading busier lives than we wish to be living.

Back pocket recipe

This recipe is one for the back pocket, one to whip together on a moments notice and can either pair beautifully with grilled meat or play the leading role. The addition of chickpeas,white beans and/or walnuts can make this filling enough for a vegetarian or even a vegan if the cheese is left out. Feel free to play around with this as much as you like, the base is truly flexible and delightful, even to those that aren’t particularly fond of raw zucchini (that’s me).

Even though I’m not particularly fond of raw zucchini, I’m pretty excited about this salad. I had it for snack today (just to try it out, you know how that is), then we had it for dinner tonight, with the addition of some corn, and I can tell you honestly, I’m looking forward to making a fresh batch and having it for lunch tomorrow! When the entire recipe takes 5 minutes to make, making a fresh batch is not that intimidating.

I’m also excited about using the left over dressing this week to pair with roasted bone marrow on crusty sourdough bread, then using it as a spread for my pea and avocado crostini recipe that I’m trying out tomorrow, and possibly using it to marinate some chicken. This dressing, of course, would be delightful on a regular salad as well. Now that’s flexibility!

Here are some possible changes and possible substitutions:

  • -Sub in blue cheese, gorgonzola, goat cheese, pecorino or parmesan for feta
  • -Add in cooked corn (did this one tonight and it was DELISH), peas, white beans, chickpeas or nuts
  • -Add a variety of herbs such as chopped cilantro, parsley, basil or dill
  • -Omit the pea shoots and radishes

Zucchini, Feta and Mint Salad

recipe for 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main (add a bean, nut or meat)

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 4 radishes (optional)
  • a quarter lemon, preserved
  • 1 cup pea shoots (optional)
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup feta, crumbled

Wash and slice the zucchini any way you like. Thin delicate slices will work best. I chose to use my mandoline and used the julienne setting. To julienne by hand, see this helpful video. Thinly slice the radishes. Remove the pulp and pith of the lemon and thinly slice into strips. Add the zucchini, radishes, lemon, pea shoots and mint leaves to a large bowl. Toss the ingredients with 2 Tbsp of Parsley Vinaigrette (or as much or as little as you like) and season with plenty of fresh cracked pepper and a pinch of salt.

1 cup of chickpeas or 1/2 cup toasted walnuts are a nice addition if you plan to eat this as a vegetarian main course.

Parsley Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Add all the ingredients into a blender, food processor or use an emulsion blender to make a smooth, thick and creamy dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week.


I’m sharing this with Real Food 101, Mangia Monday, Monday Mania, My Meatless MondaysFat Tuesday, A Little Birdie Told Me, Tasty Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Friday Food Flicks, Freaky Friday, Fight Back Friday, and Foodie Friday.

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21 Responses to Zucchini Salad with Feta, Mint and a Parsley Vinaigrette

  1. Shawneehoover June 1, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

    This looks great but I have no idea what it means to remove the pulp and pith of the lemon. What’s left? What are you trying to put in the salad if not juice?

    • beyondthepeel June 1, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

      Hi Shawnee,
      Preserved lemons are essentially lemons in salt. The liquid that is in the jar, is the juice of the lemon plus a bunch of salt. The pulp would bring a lot of salt to this dish that I do not need, hence the reason we remove it. I put my pulp back in the jar to use for something later. The pitch is the white part that sits between the pulp and the skin. This can bring a bitter taste so I choose to remove it as well. What remains is the bright yellow skin (or otherwise known as rind). The skin does not absorb as much of the salt and the process of preserving it intensifies the lemon flavor in a pleasant way. I hope that helps.

  2. Thehealthyapple June 1, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    I love zucchini; it’s my favorite veggie! Have a fabulous weekend and thanks for this great recipe!

  3. Jeanette Chen June 1, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    What a pretty salad and the parsley vinaigrette sounds so nice and bright!

  4. Happy Hodgepodge Home June 1, 2012 at 11:46 pm #

    Looks and sounds delicious! I love that the versatility of the recipe! I think it would be especially good with some grilled meat as you suggested! :)

  5. Koko June 2, 2012 at 3:41 am #

    Gorgeous, France! Oooh it looks so good. I love pea shoots!

    • beyondthepeel June 2, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

      Pea shoots are one of my most extravagant purchases when we shop, but I do really love them.

  6. Jenn Erickson June 2, 2012 at 3:58 am #

    Looks so light and lovely!  

  7. Linnae Dufresne June 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    I can’t wait to try this!!! Sounds soooo good! I really need to get a mandolin, I just love zuchini noodles. Plus, this year (fingers crossed) I will have a TON of zuchini in the garden and if all goes as planned with all the zuchini I get I will be having salads like this on a daily basis! Yippie!
    Thanks for psoting this recipe!!!

    • beyondthepeel June 2, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

      By the look of it, your garden will bring you bountiful zucchini Linnae! And I do love my mandolin…

  8. The Café Sucré Farine June 2, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    Yummy sounding, beautiful salad France! Love that it’s so versatile!

  9. Allisamazing June 3, 2012 at 3:35 am #

    This sounds good!

  10. Joanne June 3, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    Simple yet utterly delicious recipes like this are just perfect for summer!

    • beyondthepeel June 4, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

      Thanks Joanne, I look forward to taking it to a bbq or picnic this summer.

  11. OnePerfectBite June 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    What a gorgeous salad. This is irresistible. I have to give it a try. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings…Mary

  12. Amber H June 3, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    Yum and yum!  Love this!!! :-) 


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