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.

raw zucchini salad
shaved zucchini
raw zucchini salad
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summer squash salad

Raw Summer Squash Salad with Lemon, Pecorino & Herbs

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Alexandra Stafford
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 as a side dish
  • Diet: Vegetarian
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  • 1.251.5 lbs. summer squash or zucchini
  • kosher salt or Maldon Sea Salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Regianno, to taste
  • 1/2 cup herbs, such as basil, parsley, chives, or tarragon


  1. Shave the zucchini and summer squash on a mandoline into thin coins or spaghetti-like strips. Alternatively, slice thinly with a knife. Place in a bowl. Season with a few big pinches salt and toss to coat.
  2. Add a few cracks of pepper, the lemon juice, and olive oil, and toss again. Taste. Adjust with more salt and lemon to taste. 
  3. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the Pecorino or Parmesan into the bowl. Add the herbs and toss gently to combine. Taste once more and adjust with more pepper or cheese and herbs to taste. 
  4. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately or within an hour or so. 
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Toss
  • Cuisine: American, Italian