This delicious raw courgette ribbon salad is fresh with the taste of lemon and herbs. It's a very easy, healthy courgette recipe, ideal for whether you are buying courgettes from the shop or have a glut in the garden.
Courgettes are a type of summer squash, technically a fruit rather than a vegetable as they contain seeds. In the UK they are in plentiful supply between June and September. Most gardeners will know that there can be just a few days growth between courgettes and marrows! This recipe does need courgettes as they have a firmer texture, so if yours are bigger than about 25cm, save them for courgette soup or this lovely courgette and tomato dish. Or if they've turned into marrows, there's also the option of marrow soup or this tasty marrow curry.
If you've got yellow courgettes (or zucchini) those will be great in this salad too.
Raw courgette salad
There's no need to cook the courgettes for this simple 10 minute salad recipe. Courgettes are perfectly healthy when they are raw, and you can eat the peel too. They are a great source of folic acid, and this is much better preserved in raw foods. Raw courgettes can taste a little bland, but that's why we're going to zhuzh them up with lemon and herbs.
Courgettes or zucchini as they are also called. It's best to use small to medium sized courgettes in this salad recipe as they'll be firmer and have thinner skins.
Lemon. You'll need a fresh lemon for this recipe. The dressing contains lemon zest as well as juice - the zest adds a lovely light lemony flavour, and the juice adds acidity.
Olive oil. I prefer to use extra virgin olive oil as it has more nutrients and flavour when used unheated. You could also use another healthy oil if you prefer.
Herbs. Fresh herbs add a lovely flavour to this salad, and there are several options. Mint goes really well with courgette, as does basil. I also really love courgette salad with thyme, but make sure you just have soft thyme leaves from the tips rather than any woody stem. Parsley leaves would be another good option.
Seasoning - to taste
How to make courgette ribbons
There's no spiralizer needed for this recipe. You can use a vegetable peeler to make courgette ribbons, any standard peeler will work. Trim the ends, then just peel the whole length of the courgette into long thin strips. If the courgette is quite long, you might find it easier to cut in in half first. Then just keep peeling... Work your way around the courgette so that you peel it right to the centre. You can include the skin in your courgette ribbon salad (it adds extra colour and nutrients) but discard the very centre of the courgette which is soft and seedy. The courgette ribbons should be about 1mm thick, but it's really not crucial, and if some of them break partway down, your salad will still taste every bit as delicious. (This youtube link has an upbeat video of making courgette ribbons if you want to see it in action)
Lemon dressing for courgette ribbon salad
Courgette ribbon salad has a really simple fresh tasting dressing that takes only a minute to prepare. Pop the lemon zest, juice and olive oil in a jar with a lid, along with some seasoning, and give it a good shake to mix.
Assembling the salad
Place the ribbons of courgette in a serving bowl, and gently mix in the chopped herbs. Add the dressing and toss it through until the courgettes are evenly coated. I find it easiest to use my hands, but you could use spoons or salad servers if you prefer.
You can use a flavoured oil to make this courgette ribbon salad if you prefer. Oil flavoured with garlic, herbs or even chilli will all work well.
Storage and serving
Raw courgette ribbon salad is nicest eaten straight away as the courgettes will be crunchier. If you do want to prep ahead, make your courgette ribbons and store them in the fridge in an airtight container with a paper towel in the bottom. Mix the dressing ingredients in a jar and store in the fridge, and then mix everything together at the last minute.
This lemony courgette ribbon salad is a healthy side dish to so many summer meals. How about serving it at a BBQ alongside some burgers (these lentil burgers or turkey burgers would both fit the bill). It also goes really nicely with this homemade healthy spinach quiche, or simple spatchcock chicken recipe. And lemon with fish is a great combination - oven baked salmon or pan fried white fish would be delicious.
If you want to make courgette ribbon salad a bit more substantial, then some grated parmesan, toasted almonds or pine nuts all go really well.
Frequently asked questions
It's easy to make courgette strips or ribbons with just a standard vegetable peeler. Just trim the ends off the courgette, and keep peeling. If you prefer, you could also use a mandoline or a spiralizer.
Zucchini or courgette makes a lovely salad. It can be eaten as a fresh, raw salad with a light dressing. You can also use cooked zucchini in a salad if you prefer. They can be griddled or grilled before tossing in a dressing.
There's no need to peel zucchini. Leaving the skin on retains more of the fibre and nutrition. However, if the zucchini are huge and overgrown, the skin may be rather tough and should be removed.
Other courgette recipes you might enjoy
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a rating and/or comment at the bottom of the page. Your feedback and questions are much appreciated.
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Courgette Ribbon Salad
- 400 g courgettes Washed and ends trimmed
- Few leaves mint, basil or thyme Removed from stem and torn into small pieces
- 3 tablespoon olive oil Extra virgin
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest Finely grated
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel the courgette lengthwise into ribbons. Work around the courgette until you are left with the small seedy centre which you should discard. Include the peel in the salad.
- Add the dressing ingredients to a lidded jar, and shake well to mix.
- Arrange the courgette ribbons in a serving bowl, and gently mix in the torn herbs. Pour over the dressing, and toss gently until thoroughly mixed.
- Try to use fresh herbs, lemon juice and zest, as they are key to the flavour of the salad.
- It's best to tear rather than chop soft herbs such as mint and basil as they bruise easily and will discolour.
- Serve the salad immediately. If you want to prep ahead, make the courgette ribbons and store in the fridge in a sealed container lined with a paper towel. Store the dressing in the fridge and mix into the courgettes at the last minute.
Please note nutritional information is per serving and is provided for guidance only.