Zucchini and Summer Squash Carpaccio Salad With Almond Ricotta
Picture this: it’s dinner time, the sun is shining, and you’re outside by the pool or on the back porch with this beautiful salad in front of you. Nothing says summer more than this fresh, quick, and delicious zucchini and summer squash carpaccio salad with tangy almond ricotta. This dish can be used in so many ways—on its own or as a starter salad at any occasion from a casual summer BBQ to a fancy dinner party.
The layers of flavors and textures in this dish complement each other and create an exquisite and luscious restaurant-grade dish with minimal effort. Imagine a crunchy lemony bite of fresh zucchini combined with tangy tomato “salsa.” Then, there’s the cheesy “ricotta” cloud that melts in your mouth, with a little bit of spice from the hot pepper, a little bit of sweet from the sun-dried tomatoes, and a salty bite from the olives. Perfection!
This no-cook recipe takes just 30 minutes of prep time to create. For the best flavor, summer is the perfect time to make this salad as peak season for zucchini, squash, and tomatoes is in July, August, and September.
Zucchini and summer squash are non-starchy vegetables, both low carb and low calorie, and have a minimal impact to your blood sugar. They contain valuable minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron, and more and are high in vitamin C, which supports the immune system. They also provide important B-6, or folate, which is critical to the formation of new cells in the body, as well as potassium, which is vital for proper nerve and muscle function. Yellow summer squash contains carotenoids which are great for the skin. Enjoy these foods, raw or cooked, in unlimited quantities! When buying these veggies, always choose small over large, for best flavor.
For squash carpaccio: To make zucchini and summer squash ribbons, finely shave with either a vegetable peeler or a mandoline (set the mandoline to 1/8th inch). Set aside in a large bowl.
For the marinade, add ¼ cup lemon juice and ¼ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt.
Lightly toss, using your hands, and set aside for 10 minutes.
Grate the tomato on the largest holes of a box grater into a medium mixing bowl. Keep grating until all that's left is a thin flattened piece around the stem. Add the minced garlic, along with two tablespoons of olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper to the bowl. Mix well and set aside.
For the ricotta: Add all the ingredients (except water) into a food processor. Turn on and slowly drizzle in the water (beginning with ⅓ cup) to achieve a well-pureed mixture. Add a bit more water if the mixture is not blending, and blend until smooth. Scrape sides, taste, and adjust flavors as needed.
Transfer ribbons to a colander in a sink, sprinkle with remaining black pepper, toss, and let the liquids strain.
Begin to assemble the carpaccio salad
Assemble the carpaccio salad on a flat plate and twist the ribbons to create circular shapes.
Add grated tomato
And ricotta cheese
Then sprinkle the olives, and sundried tomatoes (if using)
Top with sliced hot chili pepper (if using), almonds, basil, and mint. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and serve.
Best when fresh. Any leftovers will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 days. Ricotta could be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Nutritional Analysis Per Serving: Calories: 257, Fat: 20.8 g, Saturated Fat: 2.3 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Fiber: 5.4 g, Protein: 8.6 g, Carbohydrates: 13.2 g, Sodium: 294.4 mg, Sugars: 5.8 g