I can't believe we are already half-way through the summer season!
Zucchini is in season, and I don't know about you gardeners out there, but you are always trying to give some away because you have so much of it! And you receivers out there are like....other than zucchini bread and I am not sure what to do with this. But you don't want to make Grandma Ethel upset that you didn't take her garden bounty, so you take it anyway! (Or am I alone in this?)
With me celebrating Fourth of July and just getting back from a week long camping trip I can safely say I have not been eating a lot of salads.....you know the ones that aren't covered in mayonnaise dressing of course.
But summer is an amazing time to make beautiful bountiful salads because everything is in season right now! This is a great time to get in all these beautiful nutritious fruits and vegetables that we find all throughout the stores and farmers markets.
With this salad I kind of went crazy at the farmers markets and just bought everything that was in season. Salads are so versatile that you can throw anything in. The way I came up with this recipe was I had gotten a load of zucchini from a "garden giver" like most of us do.
But here is the thing.....I don't really like the taste of zucchini in raw form. I had previously discovered with cucumbers that I liked them a lot better when they had been marinated in a dressing. I whipped up a refreshing salad dressing with lemon and herbs and cut the zucchini into thin ribbons, put them in the dressing and just let vegetables marinate in the fridge for awhile.
Results? Amazing of course!
So for this salad I actually bought some asparagus too and threw that into the marinade as well just because asparagus can also be a little unappealing to eat raw, but you can throw in anything that you feel would highly pleasant to the palate.
I found some beautiful colorful radishes and sweet peas that I thought would add a refreshing crisp flavor to the salad because the asparagus and zucchini will soften significantly from the dressing.
You want all those great textures!
The dressing is super simple to create and packs a delightful lemony punch!
I combined together some fresh squeezed lemon juice, honey, mustard and some herbal essential oils. I used basil, oregano and thyme. The great thing about using the essential oils is they mix well in to the dressing, its easy and the flavor is amazingly present so your really getting that herb flavor in the salad.
If you don't have these essential oils? Totally fine! Chop up some of your favorite herbs and throw them in! This salad is delicious either way.
Here you go! A healthy and great addition to your summer season. Don't miss out on all the bounty that summer has to offer!
MARINATED ZUCCHINI SUMMER SALAD
Makes 4-6 servings
2 medium zucchini, cut into thin ribbons
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into ribbons
1 cup fresh sugar snap peas**
5 or 6 radishes, thinly sliced
Spring salad mix, about 4 to 5 good handfuls
1/2 cup mint, packed
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
4 oz. goat cheese
Edible flowers, optional
Lemon Herb Vinaigrette
2 lemons, juiced or about 6 tablespoons of juice
1/2 cup olive oil
4 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 drop of DoTERRA basil essential oil*
1 drop of DoTERRA oregano essential oil*
1 drop of DoTERRA thyme essential oil*
Salt and pepper to taste
First you need to make the dressing. Combine all the ingredients into a jar and shake well and until it is all mixed. Pour the dressing into a container with the cut zucchini and asparagus. Make sure all the dressing is combined well with the vegetables for proper marinating. Let sit 1-2 hours.Throughout the process maybe give the vegetables an extra toss or shake to make sure they are marinating evenly.
In a serving bowl assemble the greens, peas, radishes, mint and edible flowers together. Then mix in the marinated vegetables with some of the remaining vinaigrette. (Depends on how much dressing you like.) Sprinkle on the toasted pine nuts and the goat cheese. Voila!
*You are not required to use DoTERRA essential oils, if you use essential oils though make sure they are food grade and safe for internal consumption. If you do not want to use the essential oils then chop up a few of your favorite herbs instead and add it to the vinaigrette.
**You can shell the peas or leave them whole. I believe they are delicious either way!
If this salad is just for you then save the rest of the marinated vegetables in the fridge for future salads, or just eat them by themselves later! Yum!