Zucchini salad with lemon-thyme vinaigrette, sweet onions and pecans

Raw zucchini even better than cooked!

The first zucchinis of the season are always so sweet and tender. Too often these tasty vegetables are served cooked – or even overcooked. My mom often slices them into garden salads, which got me thinking about making a raw zucchini salad. Mixing yellow and green zucchinis, which I was fortunate to receive in my Farmers Feast basket from the Ottawa Farmers’ Market, along with a lemony vinaigrette, sweet onions and toasted pecans makes for a perfectly lovely summery side dish or luncheon meal.


  • 4 small, slender zucchini (about 6 inches/15 cm in length and less than 1 inch/2.5 cm in diameter)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (22.5 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.2 mL) each salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) good quality olive oil*
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) minced sweet onion
  • 1/3 cup (90 mL) toasted pecan pieces

*Note: a flavoured olive oil with a little heat (ie chili oil) would also be very tasty


  • With a mandoline or very sharp knife, slice the zucchini diagonally into very thin rounds. Put in a bowl and set aside.
  • In a small jar with a tight lid, combine lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper, thyme leaves, Dijon, olive oil and minced sweet onion. Cover and shake well to combine and emulsify. Taste and adjust lemon, oil or salt to suit your preferences.
  • Drizzle the vinaigrette over the zucchini slices and toss gently to combine.
  • If serving later, cover and refrigerate for up to four hours.
  • When ready to serve, scatter pecans over the top and serve immediately.

Serves 2 – 4.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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