August 2, 2009

Summery Zucchini, Sweet Corn, and Arugula Salad

This salad is summer in a bowl! I am not normally a fan of raw zucchini, but when it's sliced paper-thin, tossed with sea salt, and allowed to hang out for a while to draw out moisture, it becomes tender and delicate, retaining its freshness but losing the raw taste. I learned this technique from chef Myra Kornfeld during a class this weekend at the Natural Gourmet Institute.

You can slice the zucchini with a mandoline, the slicing attachment of a food processor (great if you're doing a large quantity), or, if you're feeling particularly masochistic and/or want to practice your knife skills, with a good old chef's knife.

Combined with quick-sauteed corn, peppery arugula, a good extra-virgin olive oil, and a sprinkling of parmesan, I've discovered my new favorite summer salad.

Zucchini, Sweet Corn, and Arugula Salad
Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a side dish

1 medium zucchini
Kernels from 2 ears of fresh corn
8 ounces of arugula, washed well and dried (about 3 cups)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated parmesan (optional)
  • Slice the zucchini into paper-thin rounds and combine with 1 tsp sea salt in a colander placed over a bowl. Let sit for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until much of the moisture has been drawn out of the zucchini and it is tender and pliable. Rinse the zucchini with water and pat dry.
  • Saute the corn kernels in 1 tbsp olive oil with pinches of salt and pepper for 2-3 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, combine the arugula, zucchini, and corn. Toss with 2-3 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Top with grated parmesan, if desired.


  1. Oh, this sounds delicious - what an awesome flavor combination! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Definitely exemplifies summer. What would happen if you skipped the salting of the zucchini?

  3. Without salting, the raw zucchini will still have a starchy, woody texture (something I'm not a fan of). The salting process "cooks" it by drawing out the water and making the zucchini tender.