We have a marinated zucchini recipe in the blog archives that’s a favorite to which we keep coming back to every year, and this white bean salad definitely has its roots there. Zucchini can be surprisingly delicious raw, especially when you show it a little love like we do here – salting it to rid it of excess liquid, so that it can fully take on the flavors of the marinade. The texture of raw marinated zucchini is also great – snappy but soft at the same time.
In this salad, we combine the raw zucchini with white beans, tomato, and herbs, drenching everything in a very simple marinade. The result is so refreshing and delicious in its simplicity. I’ve been making some variation of it pretty much every week this summer. You can very easily customize this recipe to your needs: use other beans or lentils, add any number of fresh summer vegetables, swap out the basil for another herb, add spices to the marinade, etc. Hope you’ll give it a try!
- 2 medium zucchini (about 12 oz total) - mandolined or thinly sliced
- sea salt
- 1 small shallot - minced
- zest and juice from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- pinch red pepper flakes
- freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2½ cups cooked white beans (about 2 15 oz cans)
- 1 large or 2 medium tomatoes - cut into chunks or cubed
- a few handfuls of basil or other fresh herbs of choice - sliced or chopped
- Put the zucchini in a colander, sprinkle generously with salt, and mix well to coat. Place the colander over a bowl to catch the water released by the zucchini and set aside to drain for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in the bottom of the bowl in which you'll be mixing the salad, combine the shallot, lemon zest and juice, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper to taste, whisk to combine. Stream in the olive oil while whisking, until emulsified. Taste for salt and adjust if needed.
- Gently squeeze the zucchini by pressing on it in the colander, to wring out any remaining water. Rinse it well to wash off the salt. Put the zucchini on a clean kitchen towel and pat dry. Add the zucchini to the bowl with the dressing, along with the beans, tomato, herbs, and another pinch of salt, mix well. Taste for seasonings once again and adjust if needed. Place the salad in the refrigerator to marinate for a few hours or overnight before serving. Enjoy cold.