Friday, June 27, 2014

Zucchini Carpaccio or Raw Zucchini Salad with Lemon, Herbs, and Goat Cheese (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

Use small fresh-from the garden zucchini to make Raw Zucchini Salad with Lemon, Herbs, and Goat Cheese.

Raw Zucchini Salad with Lemon, Herbs, and Goat Cheese found on

(For Phase One Fridays I feature Phase One Recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites.  I've been seeing small perfect zucchini at the farmer's market for the last two weeks now, so it seems like a perfect time to make this Raw Zucchini Salad with Lemon, Herbs, and Goat Cheese.)

Zucchini Carpaccio is a dish I've been intrigued by since I first heard about the idea of thinly slicing zucchini and then marinating it in a dressing of olive oil and lemon juice, so I have no idea why it's taken me so long to try it. It was the Carpaccio of Raw Zucchini from Sidewalk Shoes that finally pushed this dish to the top of my list. Pam used a recipe from Tyler Florence, but I ended up making my own version, heavy on lemon and herbs, and with the addition of a little goat cheese, since I'm always in favor of goat cheese in a salad!

This is a recipe you should adjust to your own taste, and I love lemon, which is why I used lots of lemon juice and zest in the dressing. This time I used dill and chives for the herbs, but I think fresh basil, mint, or parsley would also taste great here. If you're adapting the recipe, be generous with the amount of dressing to be sure the zucchini all gets marinated, and also add a generous amount of herbs.

I used the 1.5 mm blade in my mandoline to slice the zucchini, making slices that were between 1/8 - 1/16 inch thick. Many recipes call for slices that are "paper-thin" but I opted for just a tiny bit thicker, so the finished salad had a hint of crunch to the zucchini. You can slice by hand if you don't have a mandoline.

Layer the zucchini in a serving dish, adding ground sea salt and ground black pepper to each layer. (I used a sea salt grinder from Costco for the salt.)

Remove all the zest from one lemon, and put in a small dish. Then squeeze all the lemon juice into the dish, catching and discarding any seeds. (This is a generous amount of lemon zest, so if you don't love lemon as much as I do, you might prefer less.)

Then whisk 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil into the lemon zest and juice. This may seem like a lot of olive oil, but you're only eating the amount that sticks to the zucchini.

Pour the dressing over the zucchini slices and let it marinate 15-30 minutes, while you chop the herbs and make the rest of your dinner.

When you're ready to serve, sprinkle with 3-4 T of chopped herbs and then crumble over 2 T of goat cheese. (You could also use Feta, Ricotta, or Parmesan if you're not a goat cheese fan.)

Zucchini Carpaccio Salad with Lemon, Herbs, and Goat Cheese
(Makes 2-4 servings, depending on what else you're serving with it. I ate more than half of this myself as a light lunch. Adapted from many zucchini carpaccio recipes; look after the recipe for other versions.)

2 medium or 3 small zucchini, washed and thinly sliced into rounds, leaving skin on (I used a mandoline for slices that were 1.5 mm thick)
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste (I used ground sea salt)
1 lemon (use all the zest and juice, and I would choose a large lemon)
1/4 cup best quality extra virgin olive oil
1-2 T chopped dill
2 T thinly sliced chives
(Other herbs such as basil, mint, or parsley can be used. I would use 3-4 T of herbs, no matter which ones you choose.)
2 T crumbled goat cheese (could also use Feta, Ricotta, or Parmesan cheese for a slightly different version)

Wash zucchini and dry with paper towel or dishcloth, then thinly slice into rounds, using a mandoline or sharp chef's knife. (I used the 1.5 mm size for my mandoline.) Arrange the zucchini slices on a serving platter (either in a single layer or in several layers) and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. (If you make several layers of zucchini, be sure to season each layer.)

Wash the lemon and dry with paper towels or dish towel, then cut off ends of the lemon and discard. Zest the rest of the lemon skin and put lemon zest in a small dish. Squeeze all the lemon juice into the dish with the zest, discarding seeds. (If you don't get at least 2 T lemon juice I'd use two lemons.)

Whisk 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil into the lemon zest/juice mixture, then pour the dressing over the zucchini slices. Let zucchini marinate for 15-30 minutes while you prep other ingredients or make the rest of dinner.

Wash herbs and spin dry or dry with paper towel, then chop herbs. When you're ready to serve the salad, sprinkle with chopped herbs and goat cheese and serve immediately. (Don't take the goat cheese out of the fridge until right before you're ready to serve it or it won't crumble.)

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South Beach/Low-Carb Suggestions:
Everything about this salad is perfect for all phases of the South Beach Diet, or any other low-glycemic or low-carb eating plan. Goat cheese is relatively high in fat, but there is only a small amount, and olive oil is a "good fat" for South Beach (plus, more than half the olive oil will be left on the plate, so you're not eating that much oil.) This would be great with something like Grilled Halibut with Garlic Cilantro Sauce or Grilled Chicken with Lemon, Capers, and Oregano.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight using The Glycemic Index partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Versions of Zucchini Carpaccio You Might Like:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

I write about Zucchini Carpaccio at

Carpaccio of Raw Zucchini from Sidewalk Shoes

Zucchini Carpaccio with Poppy Vinegar and Thyme from Chocolate and Zucchini

Zucchini Carpaccio, Two Versons from Nami Nami

Zucchini Carpaccio with Almonds from The Cooking Photographer

Carpaccio of Zucchini with Capers and Mustard from Cook Sister!

Balsamic Zucchini Carpaccio from Elana's Pantry

Zucchini Carpaccio from A Veggie Venture
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosures:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

This recipe was first posted for Weekend Herb Blogging, hostedby The Cabinet of Prof. Kitty. WHB is now managed by Haalo; check her site for the Rules for Weekend Herb Blogging and Who's Hosting Weekend Herb Blogging if you'd like to participate.
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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. How could you make zucchini look so good??!! With the garden in full swing, we'll be trying this one for sure. Thanks again for the blog. Your recipes are inspiring!

  2. Beautiful pictures!! I'm so glad you made this - it's one of my favourite ways to eat sweet young zucchini :) Next time, you should experiment with a vegetable peeler to slice the zucchni lengthways - harder work but makes for such pretty ribbons!

  3. This is out of control good! Tagging immediately!

  4. Kalyn, this looks so fresh & delicious! Yum!

  5. I just picked another zucchini from the garden and was wondering what new dish I could make with it. This recipe sounds like a winner! Thanks!

  6. i am really loving this recipe kalyn. i often add raw zucchini slices in my salad so i can imagine this really nicely. also love the addition of goat cheese!

  7. This looks sooooo good! I can't wait to try it!

  8. So glad people are liking the sound of this. I told someone earlier today, this may be the best thing I've cooked all summer! Definitely a keeper.

  9. It looks so fresh and delicious ... you had me at goat cheese - yum!

  10. This sounds AND looks amazing! Perfect for a hot summer night. And perfect for my mom who recently started South Beach.... Definitely bookmarked. YUM!


  11. The salad looks great and I have a new idea for the 'extra' zucchini growing off my girls' farmer's market growing contests entries. (We keep picking off the small fruits to keep the main big one growing) But... what most interested me today was your mandolin and I wonder if you could tell me where you got it, how you like it. Mine is from Pampered Chef and I find it finicky because it has a safety that requires all food to be cut small enough to fit on the holder. By the time I chop pieces I can usually just finish the job.

  12. I loved this on Pam's blog and I love it here as well. A little goat cheese makes everything more delicious!

  13. Nice to know I'm not the only one who just needs to hear "goat cheese" and I'm happy!

    Jen, I got that mandoline as a gift from a student, isn't that cool. The brand is Zyliss, and I'm very happy with it. I think they're pretty readily available. Not sure where to get the best price on it, but I do know you can buy the Zyliss mandoline at (Full disclosure: Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if you buy things through that link.)

  14. This is a fantastic recipe for raw zukes, and your photos are lovely. This is an excellent excuse for me to get out the mandoline again.

  15. carole with an "e" in NYCAugust 21, 2009 at 10:02 AM

    Thanks one more time for reading my mind. Went shopping yesterday and brought home lots of yellow and green squash (zuchini) and now instead of the same old grilled we will have this recipe tonight. I always have goat cheese in the house. I eat it for breakfast with a can of sardines to keep my weight under control. Easy since I love both. Thanks for the tip of the day with this salad.

  16. This looks great! I also have a favorite raw squash salad - zucchini and summer squash ribbons with pecorino and walnuts, dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. With zucchini, lemon, and good cheese you can't go wrong!

  17. I have been enjoying raw zucchini salads lately and this one looks nice and fresh and good! I like all of the green in it.

  18. love the sound of marinating zucchini and pairing it with cheese and herbs - must try this when summer comes

  19. Thanks for the mention!

    I'm going to have to give your version a try!

  20. I've been using my mandoline a lot this summer. When I bought it (the OXO, which cost $69), it seemed an extravagance, but for dishes like this, and for slicing fennel for raw salads, it's indispensable.

  21. Beautiful! This looks so fresh and delicious.

  22. These look delicious - a great way to use up all of that excess zucchini in the market right now.

    I did something interesting with zucchini on the weekend.

    Thin slices (length wise) grilled on the BBQ. When cooled each slice is covered with a mixture of soft cheese, olive oil, and herbs. Rolled, sprinkled with lemon zest and thyme, this makes an impressive appetizer!

    One of these days I will blog about it!

  23. Yes, I stink at keeping up on comments, but I am reading them and do appreciate each one.

    Jerry, you must blog that recipe; sounds fantastic!

  24. This sounded so good...finally made it tonight and it was! I made it as a side dish with my favorite salmon recipe (, but actually could have just eaten it all...yum!

  25. This sounds super! So fresh. I love it. With summer just around the corner in my part of the world I'm definitely going to be making this soon.

  26. Looks delicious - thanks so much for the recipe!

  27. Love your raw zucchini ideas! Beautiful blog! My have turned my family into zucchini lovers with this!

  28. Thanks for the nice feedback, and so glad your family is enjoying this.

  29. Awesome! Glad I found your site! Jessica Fuhrman Boise Idaho

  30. I made this tonight. Technically it's the first salad I've ever eaten (and I'm 37) and it was fantastic. Thanks!

  31. Paul, how fun that I have tempted you to make and eat your first salad!

  32. This looks awesome! I'm about to be overrun with the zuchs, thanks to my CSA, and last year I got a little tired of sauteed or grilled. YUM!

  33. thanks for the shout out from a recipe from way back! Don't tell Tyler, but I like your use of goat cheese better!

  34. Thanks Pam. I am a goat cheese lover for sure!

  35. Whenever I wonder what first made me want to buy a mandoline, I think of dishes like this one. It's the perfect tool for achieving those uniformly thin slices that will absorb the lemon dressing. Yum!

  36. Lydia I agree totally about the mandoline. I love using it for something like this where I want nice even cuts!

  37. I love raw zucchini!! I usually eat it with olive oil and parmesan. . can't wait to try this! delicious!

  38. Hope you enjoy! I am really fond of this one.


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