Summer Vegetable Ribbon Salad Recipe

Summer calls for fresh, vibrant dishes that require minimal cooking. This summer vegetable ribbon salad is the perfect example, showcasing the best in-season produce like zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus, and carrots, all dressed up with a simple lemon and olive oil dressing. The dish is then topped with pecorino romano for that extra touch of indulgence.

Summer Vegetable Ribbon Salad Recipe
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Photos of Summer Vegetable Ribbon Salad Recipe

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The ingredients for this recipe are pretty straightforward. The only ingredient that might not be in your regular pantry is pecorino romano, which is a type of Italian cheese. It is fairly common in gourmet and larger supermarkets. If you can't find pecorino romano, you can substitute with parmesan.

Ingredients for Summer Vegetable Ribbon Salad

Zucchini: Adds a soft texture and mild flavor, a standard summer vegetable.

Yellow squash: Similar to zucchini but with a slightly sweeter taste.

Asparagus: Provides a nice crunch and fresh, slightly bitter flavor to balance out the sweet squash.

Carrots: Gives the salad a pop of color and earthy sweetness.

Extra-virgin olive oil: Used for the dressing, it lends a rich and fruity flavor.

Lemon juice: Adds freshness and acidity, balancing the oil in the dressing.

Salt: Enhances all the other flavors.

Black pepper: Gives a slight heat and pungency.

Pecorino romano: Adds a salty, nutty flavor. Can be substituted with parmesan.

One reader, Jacquelynn Ashby says:

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This summer vegetable ribbon salad recipe is a game-changer! The combination of fresh zucchini, squash, asparagus, and carrots with a zesty olive oil and lemon dressing is simply delightful. It's a light and refreshing dish that's perfect for warm weather. I highly recommend trying it out!

Jacquelynn Ashby

Mastering the Techniques for Summer Vegetable Ribbon Salad

How to shave vegetables into ribbons: Use a vegetable peeler or mandoline to shave the zucchini, squash, and carrots into long, thin strips.

How to blanch asparagus: Fill a small saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Carefully add the sliced asparagus and boil for 1 to 2 minutes until it turns bright green. Remove the asparagus and immediately place it in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the water after a minute.

How to make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and drizzle over the vegetables. Toss to coat.

How to garnish with pecorino romano: Shave the pecorino romano or parmesan and sprinkle it over the salad before serving.

How To Make Summer Vegetable Ribbon Salad

Made with thinly sliced vegetables, tossed in olive oil and lemon juice, the secret to this gorgeous ribbon salad recipe is right at your fingertips!

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 5 minutes
Total: 15 minutes



  • 1zucchini,ends cut off
  • 1yellow squash,ends cut off
  • 1bunchasparagus,tough ends removed
  • 2large carrots,peeled and ends cut off
  • ¼cupextra-virgin olive oil
  • 2tbsplemon juice
  • ½tspsalt
  • ¼tspfreshly ground black pepper
  • 2ozPecorino Romano,or Parmesan, for garnish


  1. Using a vegetable peeler or mandoline, shave the zucchini, squash, and carrots into long thin strips (“ribbons”). Thinly slice the asparagus on a diagonal.

  2. Fill a small saucepan with water, and bring a boil over high heat. Carefully add in the sliced asparagus, and boil for about 1 to 2 minutes, until the asparagus turns bright green.

  3. Using a slotted spoon, remove the asparagus and immediately place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Let sit for a minute, then drain the water. Toss the asparagus with the zucchini, squash, and carrots in a large bowl.

  4. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and drizzle over the vegetables. Toss to coat.

  5. Garnish with the pecorino or parmesan shavings. Serve.

Recipe Notes

Make sure that the vegetables are nice and dry before trying to shave them.


  • Calories: 338.33kcal
  • Fat: 23.68g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.86g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 14.64g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.22g
  • Carbohydrates: 26.04g
  • Fiber: 5.82g
  • Sugar: 5.72g
  • Protein: 10.11g
  • Cholesterol: 19.66mg
  • Sodium: 703.08mg
  • Calcium: 294.80mg
  • Potassium: 1004.69mg
  • Iron: 3.28mg
  • Vitamin A: 480.08µg
  • Vitamin C: 38.49mg

Pro Tip: Elevate Your Summer Vegetable Ribbon Salad

When using a vegetable peeler or mandoline to create ribbons from your zucchini, yellow squash, and carrots, ensure you hold the vegetable firmly and apply consistent pressure. This will help you achieve uniform, thin strips. For the asparagus, use a sharp knife and cut on a diagonal to create thin slices. This not only makes the asparagus easier to eat in the salad, but also enhances the visual appeal of the dish. Remember, in cooking, presentation is just as important as taste.

Time-Saving Tricks for Preparing Summer Vegetable Ribbon Salad

Prep ahead: Wash and cut the vegetables in advance to save time on the day of preparation.

Use a mandoline: A mandoline can help you quickly and uniformly slice the vegetables into thin ribbons.

Multi-task: While the asparagus is boiling, you can start preparing the dressing to save time.

Invest in a good peeler: A high-quality vegetable peeler can make the process of creating ribbons much faster and easier.

Organize your workspace: Having all your ingredients and tools ready and organized can help streamline the cooking process.

Substitute Ingredients For Summer Vegetable Ribbon Salad Recipe

  • zucchini - Substitute with yellow squash: Yellow squash has a similar texture and mild flavor to zucchini, making it a suitable substitute in this recipe.

  • yellow squash - Substitute with zucchini: Zucchini can be used as a substitute for yellow squash, providing a similar texture and flavor profile.

  • asparagus - Substitute with green beans: Green beans can be used as a substitute for asparagus, offering a similar crisp texture and fresh flavor.

  • carrots - Substitute with radishes: Radishes can be used as a substitute for carrots, adding a peppery crunch to the salad.

  • pecorino romano - Substitute with parmesan: Parmesan cheese can be used as a substitute for pecorino romano, providing a similar salty and nutty flavor to the salad.

Presentation Tips for a Stunning Summer Vegetable Ribbon Salad

  1. Elevate the vegetable ribbons: Carefully arrange the vegetable ribbons on the plate in an artful and visually appealing manner, creating height and dimension.

  2. Incorporate vibrant colors: Introduce a variety of colorful edible flowers and microgreens to add a pop of color and freshness to the dish, enhancing its visual appeal.

  3. Create a harmonious composition: Arrange the vegetable ribbons and garnishes in a balanced and aesthetically pleasing composition, ensuring that each element complements the others.

  4. Utilize elegant plating techniques: Employ precise and delicate plating techniques, such as quenelles and precise drizzling, to showcase the dish's sophistication and attention to detail.

  5. Highlight the freshness of the ingredients: Emphasize the freshness of the vegetables by showcasing their natural beauty and vibrant colors, allowing the quality of the produce to shine through.

  6. Incorporate texture: Introduce elements of texture by adding crispy, crunchy components such as toasted nuts or seeds to provide contrast and depth to the dish.

  7. Emphasize the visual appeal of the pecorino romano: Shave the pecorino romano into delicate, paper-thin slices and artfully arrange them on the plate to add a touch of elegance and richness to the dish.

  8. Use negative space: Embrace the concept of negative space on the plate to allow the dish to breathe, creating a visually striking presentation that draws attention to the vibrant vegetable ribbons.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Crafting a Perfect Vegetable Ribbon Salad

  • Vegetable peeler: A tool used to peel the skin off vegetables, creating thin strips or ribbons.
  • Mandoline: A kitchen tool used for slicing and cutting uniform pieces of vegetables into thin, even slices.
  • Small saucepan: A small cooking pot with a handle and a lid, used for boiling or heating small amounts of food.
  • Slotted spoon: A spoon with slots or holes that allow liquid to drain through while lifting solid food items.
  • Bowl: A round, deep dish used for mixing, serving, or storing food.
  • Ice water: Water that has been chilled with ice, used to quickly cool down cooked vegetables and stop the cooking process.
  • Small bowl: A smaller-sized bowl used for mixing and combining ingredients.
  • Grater: A kitchen tool with sharp-edged holes used to shred or grate hard cheeses like pecorino romano.

Storage and Freezing Guidelines for Summer Vegetable Ribbon Salad

  • This summer vegetable ribbon salad is best served fresh, but if you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. The vegetables may lose some of their crispness over time, but the flavors will still be delicious.

  • If you want to prepare the salad in advance, you can shave the vegetables and store them separately in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, toss the vegetables together with the dressing and pecorino romano shavings.

  • While it's not recommended to freeze this salad as the vegetables will lose their texture and become soggy upon thawing, you can freeze the individual components separately. Blanch the asparagus for 2 minutes, then shock it in ice water before draining and freezing in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer the asparagus to a freezer-safe container or bag.

  • The zucchini, yellow squash, and carrots can be shaved and frozen in a single layer on a baking sheet, then transferred to a freezer-safe container or bag once frozen. When ready to use, thaw the vegetables in the refrigerator and pat them dry with a paper towel before tossing with the dressing and remaining ingredients.

Fascinating Facts About Summer Vegetable Ribbon Salad

The summer vegetable ribbon salad is a great source of essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This dish is a perfect way to incorporate a variety of vegetables into your diet, promoting overall health and well-being.

Budget-Friendly: Is Summer Vegetable Ribbon Salad Cost-Effective?

This summer vegetable ribbon salad recipe is highly cost-effective for a household. The main ingredients, such as zucchini, yellow squash, and asparagus, are affordable and readily available. The use of simple and fresh ingredients makes it a budget-friendly option. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $10-$12. The salad is nutritious, delicious, and versatile, earning a solid 9/10 rating for its affordability and taste.

Is This Summer Vegetable Salad Healthy?

This summer vegetable ribbon salad recipe is a healthy and refreshing choice. Here's why:

  • The salad is packed with nutrient-dense vegetables like zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus, and carrots, providing essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • The dressing is made with heart-healthy extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice, which adds flavor without excessive calories or unhealthy fats.
  • Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese provides a good source of protein and calcium, but the amount used is moderate, keeping the salad light.

To make this salad even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Add more variety to the vegetable mix by incorporating other nutrient-rich options like bell peppers, radishes, or cherry tomatoes.
  • Boost the protein content by adding a handful of cooked quinoa, chickpeas, or lentils to the salad.
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices in the dressing, such as fresh basil, mint, or a pinch of red pepper flakes, to enhance the flavor without relying on excessive salt or oil.
  • If you're looking to reduce the calorie and fat content further, use a light hand when drizzling the dressing and garnishing with cheese, or opt for a lower-fat cheese like feta or goat cheese.

Editor's Take: My Honest Opinion on This Summer Vegetable Salad

This summer vegetable ribbon salad recipe is a delightful celebration of seasonal produce. The combination of zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus, and carrots creates a vibrant and refreshing dish. The simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper allows the natural flavors of the vegetables to shine. The addition of pecorino romano adds a salty and savory element that complements the freshness of the salad. Overall, this recipe is a perfect way to showcase the beauty and flavors of summer vegetables in a light and satisfying dish.

Enhance Your Summer Vegetable Ribbon Salad Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Grilled Corn on the Cob: Try grilling some corn on the cob and serving it with a zesty chili lime butter for a perfect accompaniment to the summer vegetable ribbon salad.
Mango Avocado Salsa: Whip up a refreshing mango avocado salsa to serve alongside the summer vegetable ribbon salad. The sweet and tangy flavors will complement the dish perfectly.
Caprese Skewers: Create some colorful caprese skewers with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil. These bite-sized treats will add a burst of freshness to your meal.

Delightful Alternatives to Summer Vegetable Ribbon Salad

Grilled Vegetable Skewers: Marinate the vegetables in a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and herbs before threading them onto skewers and grilling until tender and slightly charred.
Mango Avocado Salsa: Combine diced mango, avocado, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice for a refreshing and flavorful salsa that pairs well with grilled fish or chicken.
Butternut Squash Soup: Roast butternut squash, onions, and garlic until caramelized, then blend with vegetable broth and warm spices for a comforting and creamy soup perfect for chilly evenings.
Berry Cobbler: Toss fresh berries with sugar and lemon juice, then top with a buttery biscuit dough before baking until golden and bubbly for a delightful summer dessert.

Perfect Pairings: Main Courses and Desserts to Serve with Summer Vegetable Ribbon Salad

Main Courses:
Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa: Grilled salmon topped with a refreshing mango salsa, bursting with flavors of sweet and tangy fruits, along with a hint of spice from jalapenos. The perfect combination of juicy fish and tropical salsa will transport your taste buds to a beachside paradise.
Stuffed Bell Peppers: Colorful bell peppers stuffed with a savory mixture of ground meat, rice, and aromatic herbs, then baked to perfection. The tender peppers hold a delightful blend of flavors and textures, making each bite a satisfying and comforting experience.
Decadent Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse that will satisfy your sweet tooth. This velvety dessert is the perfect way to end a meal and impress your guests with its luxurious texture and intense chocolate flavor.
Tangy Lemon Tart: Experience a burst of citrusy goodness with a tangy lemon tart. The buttery crust perfectly complements the zesty lemon filling, creating a refreshing and delightful dessert that is sure to brighten up any occasion.

Why trust this Summer Vegetable Ribbon Salad Recipe:

This vibrant summer vegetable ribbon salad recipe is a celebration of fresh, seasonal produce. The combination of zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus, and carrots creates a colorful and nutritious dish. The use of extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice ensures a light and refreshing flavor, while the addition of pecorino romano provides a delightful hint of saltiness. With a focus on simple, wholesome ingredients and a visually stunning presentation, this recipe embodies trustworthiness and culinary excellence.

Share your thoughts on the Summer Vegetable Ribbon Salad Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know if you have any tips or variations to make this dish even more delicious!
Can I substitute any of the vegetables in this recipe?
Yes, you can definitely substitute the vegetables in this recipe based on your preferences or what's in season. Feel free to use any other summer vegetables that you enjoy, such as bell peppers, cucumbers, or even cherry tomatoes.
Can I make this salad ahead of time?
Absolutely! This salad can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving. Just make sure to add the dressing and cheese right before serving to keep the vegetables crisp and fresh.
Can I use a different type of cheese if I don't have pecorino romano?
Of course! If you don't have pecorino romano, you can use Parmesan cheese or any other hard, salty cheese that you prefer. The cheese adds a nice salty kick to the salad, so choose a cheese that you enjoy.
How can I make this salad more filling?
If you want to make this salad more filling, you can add some protein such as grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu. You can also toss in some cooked quinoa or couscous to add some extra substance to the salad.
Can I grill the vegetables instead of boiling them?
Absolutely! Grilling the vegetables will add a delicious smoky flavor to the salad. Just brush the vegetables with a little olive oil and grill them until they have nice grill marks and are tender. Then, proceed with the recipe as usual.

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