A Simple Salad Two Ways

If there ever was a reason to grow a little patch of lemon thyme, this salad is it. The flavour of the lemon thyme really stands out — in fact I’d call it the star of the show.

This salad comes together really quickly–it just takes a couple of minutes to cut the niblets from the cob and make your zucchini ribbons. The combination of flavours is really fresh and flavourful. But I discovered that if you don’t have all the ingredients on hand, it is also good with a few minor adjustments. (Don’t you hate it when you discover that you missed an ingredient on your shopping list?) I swapped out the corn for some sliced grape tomatoes, edamame and voila, another tasty salad.

Okay, so I also forgot the yellow zucchini. But you get the idea, sometimes you have to go with what you have. It’s all part of what makes cooking so fun. Sometimes you land on a real winner when you make a substitution out of necessity.

Now, even though I’ve described the lemon thyme as the star of the show, this salad would still be good with regular thyme. 

Have you discovered any winning combinations out of necessity recently?

Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Adapted from Style at Home Magazine, August 2011

  • 2 green zucchini
  • 1 yellow zucchini
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cob corn
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, preferably toasted
  • 1 tbsp lemon thyme

Using a vegetable peeler, shave long ribbons from your zucchinis–but discard the centre core of each. Lay the strips on a large serving plate. Holding the corn cob upright, slice along the cob with a sharp knife to remove the niblets a few rows at a time. Sprinkle the fresh niblets over the zucchini ribbons. Spinkle the salad with the lemon zest and juice, red pepper flakes, olive oil, sea salt, feta, pine nuts and lemon thyme. Serve immediately.


  • I highly recommend these swiss peelers for making the zucchini ribbons and for peeling potatoes or veggies.

36 Comments on “A Simple Salad Two Ways”

  1. although 4am here and in between sleep, this recipe looks yummy enough for me to bookmark and even feel hungry! thx for the great recipe

    • Oh my goodness, you’re reading my post at 4 am? I do hope you get some rest! Thanks for the positive feedback on the recipe. It’s a really nice, fresh salad for summer, but best enjoyed during daylight hours!!! Have a good one!

  2. Simple but lovely my friend, this salad looks wonderful 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  3. Tandy says:

    I learnt a new word “niblets”. A friend gave me some lemon thyme and I love it – I have an abundance in my garden which is a pleasure 🙂

  4. Sissi says:

    Barb, I was hesitating today and have almost posted a recipe including zucchini too! It’s now in full season, so I suppose we all go crazy for it. Your both salad versions look fabulous, so light and sunny and as for the second one, I know very well from my own experience that courgette and edamame are very good friends!
    I discover all the time that incredibly good things are created out of necessity. Sometimes I think I’m better with “what I find in my kitchen” dishes rather than the ones that require sticking to the recipe…
    I must plant lemon thyme next year on my balcony. I also love it!

  5. Bookmarking for a later date as I am always looking for light and simple salads to share over the hot summers

  6. This looks like another delicious and simple salad to try, Barb! I love that it uses summer squash. Seems like I’m always looking for new ways to use squashes! 🙂

  7. Norma Chang says:

    Your salad is just what’s needed for a hot and humid day like today and the next 2 days.
    I often wonder why in the world I make a shopping list. Get to the store and realize I left the list on the kitchen counter, or have the list but arrive home to discover not everything on the list is in the bag I brought home.

  8. Beth says:

    Your salad looks great, especially the version with corn. What a great way to enjoy zucchini!

  9. I love the colours Barb, a really lovely salad. I love the addition of the lemon thyme, I have a sorry plant (sorry because the heat has decimated it) on my back deck. I have a mandolin with a very thin setting, do you think they would work with that too; I could never get the hang of using that style of peeler.

  10. Kristy says:

    I love the ribbons! I’ve always wanted to try that with zucchinis. I don’t know why I haven’t. (I probably just forget…) I do have the right tools. Okay…you’ve inspired me. I’m doing it! 🙂 And this salad sounds perfect for Mike and I. I don’t know if I could get the kids to go for it, but it’s always worth a shot!

  11. Charles says:

    Hi Barb – thank you for giving me another reason to love the blogosphere in summer times – It’s so lovely to see so many different kind of salads – such a wonderful way of getting inspiration. Ths (these, even) look fantastic – so quick and fresh and I love raw courgette (zucchini, sorry!)

  12. Just love the look of the veggie ribbons.

  13. What a gorgeous and healthy salad! I love it!

  14. Wow, to be honest, I’ve never had zucchini raw, but I’ve never really enjoyed it cooked, so I think I should try it some time soon and see what it tastes like, I wonder if it’d change my mind about it 🙂

    Sorry for this, but what do you mean by discarding the centre core of each?

    • It is worth a try Fati! To be honest, I don’t care for zucchini raw as much when it is sliced — but there’s something about the ribbons that I like.

      When you use the peeler to slice the zucchini, you keep going until you hit the course centre and your peeler will stop going through it. That’s when you flip it over and slice the other side. You’ll end up with the core at the end, which is the part that you can’t slice. I hope that answers your question.

      • Ah yes okay, that does make sense now. I was just thinking of using the mandoline to cut slice it into ribbons so I didn’t think that’d happen 🙂
        Well okay, you’ve encouraged me enough to try it… next time I get my hands on some 🙂 Thank you Barb! 😀

  15. I love both recipes Barb!
    and love the fact that they are versatile and accept modification

  16. oh my gosh what a gorgeous salad! yum!!

  17. Maureen says:

    These salads are gorgeous! I want one (or both) for lunch right now. 🙂

  18. Karista says:

    Love this salad! I have loads of zucchini and always looking for new ways to use it. Yum!

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