It’s that time of the year when I have more zucchini then I know what to do with. I have two large zucchini plants in my garden and it seems like I have a a few new zucchinis every few days. Zucchini is one of the most versatile vegetables out there. You can use it in anything from desserts, in pancakes, as a pasta substitute or in this case in a fresh summer salad. I love having an abundance of zucchini because there’s never a shortage of ideas on what to do with it!
I came up with the idea for this salad because I was wanting to do something light and healthy outside of the normal high calorie (but delicious) recipes I have been posting. It was time for a lighter fresh recipe on the blog! I knew I wanted to leave the zucchini in its raw natural form to really accentuate the flavor and to have a crisp texture to the salad rather than cooking it and having it be soggy. Next, I knew I wanted there to be some sort of sweet element so I opted for dried cranberries. I used the 50% less sugar cranberries to save on some calories but you can use full sugar cranberries if you’d like. Next I added pine nuts, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella to bring everything together. And for the dressing I created a bright lemon and garlic infused concoction with a dash of honey. It’s the perfect healthy summertime side dish!
Tips & Tricks:
- You want your zucchini sliced really thin. The easiest way to do this is with a mandolin but if you do not have one, you can use a vegetable peeler and peel one strip of zucchini at a time.
- I used 50% less sugar cranberries but you can use full sugar cranberries if you prefer.
- The pine nuts can easily be switched out for finely chopped walnuts or pecans if pine nuts aren’t your thing.
- I like the mild flavor of the mozzarella in this salad but I also think it would be amazing with feta instead!