Ribbons of Zucchini

In the hot, sweaty summers of NYC (if you’re unlucky enough to be around), the best thing to eat is salad. It’s cold, which is the main requirement of a summer meal.

But salad can get a little repetitive, no matter how much you differ your dressings and toppings. Plus, lots of chopping.

This recipe is an alternative to salad – a little heartier, but still meets the cold criterion. C and I first made it in the summer to go with ceviche, but it worked equally well this (early) spring as a side to a hunk of meat. About a million variations of this can be found, and you can ribbon almost any vegetable imaginable, as long as it is somewhat firm and can be cut into skinny pieces. I like this one because it is simple but very flavorful. Be careful though, we had a run in with the habanero… C can handle and enjoys a fairly obscene amount of heat in his food, so I don’t hesitate to go overboard with the kick. Often he even gets a little side dish of peppers to add to his food because I am a (relative) weakling. Naturally, I piled the habaneros into this salad, both to satisfy his desire for spice and because they were so beautifully colored…


Our own personal Icarus moment. Literally. Anyhow, we deeply regretted that decision and took many habaneros out of the salad after tasting it, but it was still quite good.

Zucchini Ribbon Salad

  • 2-3 zucchinis, ribboned (see below)
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 5-6 sprigs mint, leaves only, chopped
  • Habaneros to taste, diced or thinly sliced
  • Salt & pepper
  • Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • Olive oil

Using a mandoline or vegetable peeler, cut the zucchinis into ribbons. If using a vegetable peeler, you can cut the zucchinis in half to make them fit.


Mix zucchini ribbons with red onion, mint, and habaneros. Season with salt and pepper. The zucchinis will create their own juice, particularly after you salt them, so add as much olive oil and lemon juice as you think you need.

This recipe is great for modifying, so get creative: inspiration here, here, and here.