There’s something about the combination of raw and thinly shaved vegetables with Pecorino Romano cheese I find irresistible. Many vegetables can be given this treatment: asparagus, fennel, fava beans (briefly blanched), and summer squash, to name a few.

When fresh, these vegetables need little more than salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice — no cooking is necessary (with the exception, of course, of the fava beans).

Parmigiano Reggiano would be a fine substitute for the Pecorino, but there’s something about Pecorino — its saltiness — that works so well here. You can cut it the same way as in the fava bean and pecorino salad: Stick the tip of a big chef’s knife right into the block and twist until nice chards break from the block, or you can shave it with a peeler.

shaved zucchini
raw zucchini salad
raw zucchini salad
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summer squash salad

Zucchini and Pecorino Salad

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  • 1 zucchini, about 8-inches long
  • Pecorino Romano cheese, to taste
  • kosher salt or Maldon Sea Salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • herbs, such as basil, parsley, chives, or tarragon


  1. Shave the zucchini on a mandoline into thin spaghetti-like strips or into coins. Place in a bowl.Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stick the tip of a big chef’s knife into a wedge of Pecorino and twist until nice chards break from the block. Add to the bowl.  Drizzle olive oil over the mixture. Squeeze with lemon. Gently toss. Taste, adjust seasoning as needed with more salt, pepper, lemon, etc.
  2. Add lightly chopped or torn herbs to taste. Serve.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Dress
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: summer, squash, salad, raw