2000s Recipes + Menus

Zucchini Three Ways Salad

Serves4 (first course or light lunch)
  • Active time:45 min
  • Start to finish:45 min
July 2009
Zucchini is like a sponge—it can absorb practically any flavor—and food editor Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez combines three of her favorite ways to eat it here. First, she starts with a garden-style carpaccio, full of bright basil and shavings of nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano and drizzled with a tangy lemon dressing. This salad gets topped with wonderfully crisp zucchini shoestring fries, a touch of salt, and finally, a delicate batter-fried zucchini flower. (Editors’ note: This recipe is solely the creation of Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez and has not been formally tested by the test kitchen.)

Watch the Test Kitchen Challenge video that features this recipe.

For zucchini salad

  • 2 medium zucchini (about 3/4 lb total)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves

For zucchini blossoms

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup club soda or seltzer
  • About 4 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 zucchini blossoms

For shoestring zucchini

  • 2 medium zucchini (about 3/4 lb total)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • Equipment:

    an adjustable-blade slicer; a deep-fat thermometer

Make zucchini salad:

  • Cut zucchini diagonally into paper-thin slices with slicer. Arrange slices, overlapping slightly, in 1 layer on 4 plates.
  • Whisk together oil and lemon juice in a small bowl, then drizzle over zucchini. Season with 1/2 tsp salt and let stand while frying blossoms and shoestring zucchini.

Fry zucchini blossoms:

  • Whisk together flour, club soda, and 1/8 tsp salt in a bowl until smooth.
  • Heat 1 inch oil to 375°F in a 3-qt wide heavy saucepan over medium heat. Dip blossoms in batter to coat, brushing them against side of bowl to remove excess, then fry, turning occasionally with a slotted spoon, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain, reserving oil in pan, and season lightly with salt.

Make shoestring zucchini:

  • Halve zucchini crosswise, then cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch-wide slices. Cut slices lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick strips. Toss with 11/2 tsp salt in a large medium-mesh sieve set over a bowl, then drain 10 minutes. Squeeze handfuls of zucchini wrapped in a kitchen towel to remove moisture.
  • Return oil to 375°F. Toss shoestring zucchini with flour, then fry in 4 batches, turning occasionally with a slotted spoon, until golden, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Return oil to 375°F between batches.

Assemble salad:

  • Serve zucchini salad topped with shaved cheese. Make stacks of basil leaves and cut crosswise into very thin slivers, then sprinkle over salad. Top with shoestring zucchini and fried zucchini blossoms.
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