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Raw zucchini salad with radishes

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Easy and quick

Raw zucchini salad

I have long been a fan of raw zucchini salad. This Italian dish typically consists of finely shaved young zucchini, some olive oil and lemon juice and a sprinkling of shaved parmesan cheese. It is a light, but surprisingly filling salad that is perfect for summer's crop of zucchini and yellow squash.

Seamus Mullen's recipe

I found this gorgeous variation of raw zucchini salad in The New Greenmarket Cookbook. This recipe was contributed by Chef Seamus Mullen, of Tertulia in NYC, a Spanish-style restaurant inspired by the siderias in Northern Spain. Seamus Mullen's cookbook Hero Food: How Cooking With Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better is a tribute to Spanish cuisine and Seamus Mullen's devotion to whole foods to improve his quality of life after he was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

Back to the zucchini salad

Seamus Mullen's recipe adds radishes for color and crunch, uses both zucchini and yellow squash for more color, is lush with basil and mint and finishes with shredded manchego instead of the traditional parmigiano reggiano. I personally prefer the bolder parmigiano reggiano for the salty umami it adds, but either cheese is good. I also like to add a handful of pinenuts.

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The best way to cut the vegetables for this salad is to use a mandoline, but you can also slice them in a food processor using the thinnest slicing blade, or by hand, with a vegetable peeler. I have an Oxo mandoline slicer that I love, but there is a newer, less expensive model that has received great reviews. Benriner also makes inexpensive mandolines.


A word of warning when using a mandoline, be extremely careful. It is very easy to take a slice out of your finger, particularly when you get to the end of the vegetable you are slicing. Use the food holders that come with the machines or consider a cut-resistant glove. 

The herbs

The herbs really make this salad so use them generously. I like to chiffonade the basil and tear the mint.

Gluten free

This salad is gluten free. 


From The New Greenmarket Cookbook by Gabrielle Langholtz and GrowNYC. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, (c) 2014


Raw zucchini salad with radishes

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Raw zucchini salad is a classical summer dish. This slight variation on Seamus Mullen’s recipe is bright with color, crunchy and delicious.


  • 2 1/2 pounds assorted zucchini and yellow squash
  • 1 shallot, peeled
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 T honey
  • Zest of 1 lemon and 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 T champagne vinegar
  • 1 1/2 t kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • 5 T olive oil
  • 1 T grated fresh horseradish
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil chiffonade
  • 1/2 c fresh mint torn into pieces
  • 2 ounces freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
  • 1 handful of toasted pine nuts


  1. Using the thinnest mandoline setting (1/8″ or less) slice the zucchini, squash, radishes and shallot into coins. Collect into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Make the dressing by whisking together the garlic, lemon juice and vinegar. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to form an emulsion. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Toss the vegetable coins with the dressing and spread out over a serving platter or wide shallow bowl. Sprinkle lemon zest, grated horseradish, basil, mint and parmigiano reggiano cheese over the top of the salad.





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