Fresh From Nancy's Garden

A Fun Place For Gardening Tips and Great Recipes

Fresh Summer Salad With "Spiral" Zucchini Noodles, Vine-Ripened Tomatoes, Radishes and Feta Cheese

I know I say this often but this salad REALLY is my new favorite. It’s super easy to make, looks delicious and tastes even better than it looks. It’s great to bring to a pot luck because your friends will think they’re eating a “spaghetti pasta” salad. Somehow the spiral cut zucchini and yellow squash have the same taste and texture as spaghetti. 

One of my friends even said it was a brilliant way to get her kids to eat their vegetables. Just toss it with marinara and they’ll never know!

I first saw a photo of this salad on page 43 in my Williams-Sonoma catalog and made it that evening. I’ve continued to improvise and now I add avocado. One night I topped it with grilled shrimp and it was a complete meal. 

INGREDIENTS FOR “SPIRAL” ZUCCHINI NOODLE SALAD
  • 1-2 plum (or other juicy) tomatoes, peeled, cored and seeded
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 TBS champagne vinegar (important to use champagne)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 TBS chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 small zucchini
  • 2 small summer squash
  • 4-5 radishes, sliced very thinly
  • 1 large shallot, sliced very thinly
  • 1 cup fresh, juicy, chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 avocado, diced

Here’s what makes it all happen–the Paderno Spiralizer. I bought mine on Amazon for about $35 but Williams-Sonoma sells them, too. 

It’s the best kitchen gadget. You can spiral cut cucumbers like they do at Bear Flag Fish Co, make curly fries and so much more!

Here’s a trick to make peeling the tomatoes a snap. Cut an X into the top of the tomato.

Put in boiling water for about 1-2 minutes–until the skin starts to separate.

Douse quickly in cold water. As you can see, they practically peel themselves. 

Remove the skin and seeds and pulse in a small food processor. Add the basil and garlic and blend until smooth.

Mix in the champagne vinegar.

Add the olive oil while the blade is spinning to emulsify. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can make the dressing up to 2 hours ahead and leave on the counter.

Next–the spiralizer! Cut off both ends of the zucchini and load into the gadget.

Crank the handle and “extrude” zucchini spaghetti. Cut every 4-5 turns to keep a shorter length.

Pile onto a platter. 

Continue with the yellow squash.

Pile on the platter.

Arrange the radishes like a river across the platter.

Scatter the tomatoes and shallots.

Sprinkle with the crumbled feta.

Top with the avocado and season with salt and pepper. Dress the salad right before serving and toss. I forgot to get that photo because I was too anxious to try it–and boy was it good!

In case you’re looking for a fun summer cocktail, try this. Muddle a couple fresh basil leaves with fresh lemon juice. Add gin, tonic, ice and garnish with fresh basil. You’ll think you’re in Positano!

Buon Appetito!

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