Memorial Day is right around the corner, which we all know means summertime is about to kick off! Although living in Florida, we have about a week of springtime and pretty much jump straight to summer temps, so basically it's just more of the same in my neighborhood. 😉
With the onset of warm temps it's safe to say many people begin to crave lighter, cooler foods. This recipe is perfect! It uses some beautiful spring/ summer produce from your gardens, like zucchini, ruby red tomatoes, and fresh basil. Zucchini is spiralized to create long, beautiful ribbons of zucchini "noodles" that are gently sautéed for a couple minutes to soften slightly. Once cool, they're tossed with the classic staples of a caprese salad (tomato, basil, and fresh mozzarella) and a homemade balsamic vinaigrette that is so delicious you'll be stunned at how simple it is to make!
We originally made this one night as a quick side salad to pair with some soup and gluten free biscuits. As soon as we sampled this, though, we scrapped everything else and just enjoyed heaping plates of this salad for dinner! My husband couldn't stop remarking about how good it was for how easy it was to make. This would make a perfect summertime dish to bring to potlucks or family barbecues. It tastes so similar to a pasta salad, but is just lighter and of course packed with a veggie punch kids and adults alike can benefit from! I know I'm already looking forward to making this over and over this summer!
One last note - this is the spiralizer that I use, and it seemed to work well for it's inaugural use! You can always find a more cost-effective handheld spiralizer (the one I have linked to here I haven't used, but it seems to have good reviews), or go a little bigger with the Inspiralizer (which I have to say looks awesome and sturdy - my one complaint with my Brieftons Tri Blade Spiralizer is that the suction to stick to counters didn't suction...at all).
Zucchini Noodle Caprese Salad
- 1 large zucchini
- 1 medium/ large tomato seeded and chopped
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
- 4 oz fresh mozzarella chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
- pinch of salt
- pinch of black pepper
- Using a spiralizer, make noodles/ strands of the zucchini (follow directions for your specific spiralizer). I used the smallest setting, but you can make your noodles as small or large as you want.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, gentle toss the zucchini for a few minutes, until slightly softened.
- Cool zucchini in the refrigerator.
- Remove the seeds from your tomato. Chop your tomato, mozzarella, and finely chop the fresh basil.
- Toss cooled zucchini with the tomato, mozzarella and basil.
- Mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper until the ingredients are all incorporated.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the zucchini noodle salad and toss to combine.