This week I’ve been sharing recipes from a recent Birthday Dinner Party I hosted for my friend Cindy. So far I’ve shared my recipe for Lima Bean Dip with Garlic & Feta Cheese and my recipe for Creamy Asparagus Soup.
Today I’m posting a recipe for the Ribbon Salad I served that night. It’s made with thinly sliced ribbons of carrots, zucchini and parmesan cheese, dressed in a lemon and olive oil vinaigrette.
This salad is very easy to prepare, providing you have the right tool. What you need is a wide-mouth peeler/slicer like the one you see here. Mine is made by a company called Titan and I purchased it at Bed Bath & Beyond. I liked it so much that I bought another one for my son, Nathan, who is an excellent chef. Peel the carrots, then, using the slicer and starting at the top of the carrots, slice all the way down from top to bottom and voila, you have a lovely, long, thin strip of carrot.
Bed Bath & Beyond sells this peeler in a two-pack with another very handy device, a julienne tool. I did not julienne carrots for this particular recipe, but I thought I’d go ahead and share this with you as well. I have learned that having the right tools of the trade applies to cooking every bit as much as it does to anything else. Sharp knives, great pots and pans and hard working tools like these handy devices makes cooking so much more efficient.
So, getting back to the Ribbon Salad, this wide-mouthed peeler allows you to slice very thin and wide slices of carrots, cucumber or zucchini, etc. The wider the vegetable, the wider the slice. I like wide slices for this salad and suggest you use fat vegetables if possible. In my case, I was trying to use items I received in my CSA Farm Basket, and while my organic carrots were crisp, fresh and tasty, they were not terribly wide. If you are selecting your carrots at the grocery store, buy fat ones.
This is a good recipe to keep in mind if you grow zucchini in your vegetable garden. I often find myself looking for ways to use all the zucchini I grow. And talk about fat vegetables! It is easy to let zucchini growth get away from you, as they grow very quickly, often to a very large size.
You can use either zucchini or cucumber for this salad. If using cucumber, buy the English Cucumber, as they have fewer and smaller seeds; therefore, they produce better ribbons. You will want to slice about one cup of vegetables for each person you are serving.
For the zucchini or cucumber, slice off and discard about half of the skin. I like a little skin left on for color but, in my opinion, too much skin is unpleasant in both taste and texture.
Place shaved veggies in a salad bowl and put it in the refrigerator to chill while you make the vinaigrette.
I like to dress this salad in an emulsification of good quality extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper. Simple but delicious! To make a vinaigrette, the rule of thumb is 3 parts oil to one part acid (vinegar or lemon juice). For my dressing, I used 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil and 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice. I sprinkled in a little salt and pepper to taste and placed it all in a mason jar. Seal the jar and give it a real good shaking. Just before serving, pour the desired amount of dressing over the ribbon salad and toss. Then serve the salad onto individual salad plates.
The final addition is some thin shavings of Parmesan Cheese. I buy large bricks of delicious Parmigiano Reggiano at Costco and always have it on hand.
Slice some ribbons of parmigiano and place a few on top of each individual serving of Ribbon Salad.
PS- The folks at Titan Kitchen Tools, Bed Bath & Beyond and Costco don’t know me. I just like sharing.
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