Summer Squash Salad

SaladLow CarbSummer SquashZucchini

Summer Squash Salad (or Zucchini Carpaccio)—Thinly sliced summer squash served with olive oil, lemon juice, mint, Parmesan cheese, and toasted pine nuts.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

My friend Evie suspected that when I tried her summer squash salad recipe that I would have to eat my words (no pun intended) regarding my mom being the only one who could prepare squash well.

Well, I have eaten my words, and this fabulous salad as well!

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This is a lovely way to prepare summer squash or zucchini—thinly sliced, marinated briefly with mint in olive oil and lemon juice, tossed with toasted pine nuts, and served with shaved Parmesan. A veritable zucchini carpaccio.

Summer Squash Salad

I have made one small adjustment to my friend’s original recipe—increasing the amount of olive oil and lemon juice recommended. I found I needed more to adequately coat all of the squash.

Summer Squash Salad Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 4 small zucchini or mixed yellow and green summer squash (1 pound total)
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed mint leaves
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (1 ounce)
  • Grana Padano, Parmesan or Asagio cheese for shavings
  • Fresh mint sprigs for garnish


1 Toast the pine nuts: Heat a small skillet on medium high heat. Add the pine nuts. Stir gently as the pine nuts start to brown. When slightly browned, remove from heat and let cool.

2 Slice the squash into paper-thin slices using a mandoline or other slicer. Set aside in a bowl.

3 Chiffonade the mint: Stack the mint leaves, roll them together lengthwise and slice crosswise to make very thin slivers. Add to squash in bowl.

4 Dress the salad: Combine the oil and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk together. Whisk in the salt and pepper and pour the dressing over the contents of the bowl.

Add the pine nuts and toss all together, gently, but thoroughly. Let mixture stand for at least 10 minutes to soften the squash and develop the flavors.

5 Serve: Transfer salad to serving dish or to four individual salad plates. Garnish with shavings of cheese made with a vegetable peeler and a few sprigs of fresh mint.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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8 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Cynthia

    This looks like a great way to use a prolific vegetable such as summer squash. Would it hold for a day if I make it in advance?

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Leisureguy

    I made and enjoyed this with a few changes. Rather than slice the zucchini and squash thinly, I used the small julienne option on my Swissmar Borner V-Slicer. The julienned pieces tossed easier. And once I had julienned the squash and zucchini, I tossed that with a big pinch of salt and let it sit in a sieve over a bowl for an hour, which got a lot of the water out of it. Otherwise, I followed the recipe. Very tasty.

  3. Michelle

    Thanks! I ended up making it twice. The first time I made it according to recipe, multiplying by four. I ended up with half of the dressing left over because I didn’t use all the squash, so I put the remaining mint in the dressing and stuck it in the fridge. The second time I made it, I salted the squash to draw out excess water and added a pressed clove of garlic to the dressing. After tossing, I added fresh mint. Everyone liked it better the second time. Excellent recipe!!

  4. Allison

    How many hours ahead of time do you think I can make it? Do you think I can make it the night before?

    Note from Elise: If I needed to make this the night before I would slice the zucchini, chop the mint, grate the cheese, and toast the pine nuts, but keep all of the ingredients separate, in tightly packed (no air) plastic bags. Then right before serving I would combine.

  5. Elise Bauer

    Hi Michele, this is probably too late, but for future reference, I would make it ahead of time except for adding the pine nuts and cheese. Add those right before serving.

    Hi Kalyn, ribbons are certainly a pretty way of doing this salad.

    Hi Teri, you can check out the mushroom soup recipe, or just look up dried mushrooms in the search bar to see what you find.

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