It’s that time of year around here – time for everyone to unload their massive bounty of zucchini and summer squash upon their friends, family, and neighbors! Everyone except me, that is.
You see, as soon as I plant any squash plant, every squash bug within a 10-mile radius comes to visit. It’s insanity. I’ve tried every organic deterrent that’s been suggested to me, from squishing them on the plant, cayenne pepper, soap and vinegar, diatomaceous earth, sticky traps. They’ve all failed. I even spent last summer with a shop-vac, vacuuming up squash bugs. There were just SO. MANY. BUGS. attacking one plant, and I was afraid if I pulled the plant, they’d go on to attack my melons and cucumbers. So while I’m not proud of being the girl that sucks up bugs in a vacuum, I’m just being honest – I feel like I’ve tried everything. I can’t win the war against squash bugs.
So until I come up with a solution that works, I’ll allow others to grow zucchini and squash, and I’ll gladly take donations. One friend donated a sizeable amount of zucchini and peppers the other day, so I’ve been coming up with ways to consume it all (and not resort to just making zucchini bread, as much as I love it). One night, as I was preparing tacos for dinner, I opted to use some of the same flavors and make a little zucchini salad to go along with them.
The beauty in this salad is that it’s simple and takes just a few minutes to throw together. It’s fresh, and the zucchini ribbons are tender and tasty, especially as they start to absorb the citrusy notes from the lime and the touch of heat from the Serrano chile. It’s easy to eat the entire salad by yourself. (Not that I would know or anything…*cough cough*)
If you have an abundance of zucchini in your garden, or if you were one of the fortunate recipients of zucchini (or even if you avoided all of this insanity and purchased some!), this salad is a great way to use it up and please your palate.
Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Serrano-Lime Dressing (gluten-free, vegan)
1 large zucchini or several small zucchini
8-10 small cherry tomatoes, halved
Small handful of pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
2 T lime juice (from 1 large lime)
1/2 t lime zest
1 t minced fresh Serrano chile, seeds removed (can substitute jalapeno)
2 T olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Using a vegetable peeler, peel long “ribbons” from the zucchini, lengthwise, until you hit the seeds. Rotate the zucchini and do this all the way around. Place ribbons in a medium bowl along with the tomatoes, pepitas and cilantro.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, zest, Serrano, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss the salad in the dressing and serve.
Serves 2 (or one hungry person).