If you grow like we do, you’ll soon be in the summer zucchini conundrum, desperate for a variety of ways to serve these crazy courgettes. If you are growing your own (or even when purchasing at Farmer’s Markets) zucchini is at their best when harvested early. The skin should be tender, color a darker green and length 7 to 9 inches. Of course, zucchini can be eaten when more mature, but for this salad, you really want the younger squash. We love this salad with grilled chicken or beef and particularly love it as an appetizer served on toasted artisan bread with an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.  It’s really pretty, textural and remarkably flavorful with just a few simple ingredients. Hope you add this to your zucchini arsenal.

Makes approximately 6 servings


  • 4 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, sliced thin
  • 3-4 T capers
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 T caper brine
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 3-4 young zucchini, approximately 7-9 inches
  • 1 organic red bell pepper
  • 1 medium sweet onion, sliced thin (we used a Walla Walla)
  • 1 C fresh organic basil leaves, torn
  • 1/2 C fresh organic Italian parsley, rough chopped
  • 1/2 C pecorino, shaved (or parmesan)
  • 1/2 C toasted slivered almonds (or pine nuts)
In a medium size mixing bowl, add olive oil, shallot, capers, lemon juice and zest, minced garlic, caper brine, salt and pepper. Whisk together and set aside until ready to dress salad. Slice zucchini in thick match-stick lengths, about an inch long and a 1/4 inch thick. Core pepper and slice in similar lengths and widths as zucchini.  Add sliced zucchini, bell pepper and onion to a large bowl. Add in basil and parsley. Put in fridge until ready to serve. 30 minutes before serving, dress zucchini-bell pepper mixture with lemon caper dressing. Add pecorino and toasted almonds. Toss well and serve. Season with more salt & pepper, if necessary.