You Can Make a Surprisingly Creamy Salad Dressing With Raw Zucchini

You Can Make a Surprisingly Creamy Salad Dressing With Raw Zucchini


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Photo: Claire Lower

Contrary to public opinion, I do eat vegetables. I am a frequent eater of salads, and just this year started growing my own vegetables (and, technically, fruits), the most robust of which has been zucchini.

Until this summer, I didn’t even think I liked zucchini very much, but I wouldn’t dare waste the literal fruits of my own labor, so I have been enjoying discovering all the forms the green squash can take. I’m pushing the limits of what zucchini can be, and I’m a better eater because of it.

Zucchini can be an excellent, simple sautéed side, yes. It can also be a sexy, buttery pasta sauce, or a vibrant, yet somehow incredibly creamy dressing. Just chop up a zuke and blend it with oil, vinegar, and seasonings of your choice. That’s literally all there is to it.

The raw zucchini gives the dressing a beautiful green hue and, more surprisingly, a rich and creamy body. (Staring at it now, I realize it is in fact “Lifehacker green.” That’s synergy, folks.) It’s flavorful enough when blended with olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper, but you could just as easily add herbs or other spices to excellent results. (I, in my infinite wisdom, added a whole clove of raw garlic.) I think a little nutritional yeast or powdered parm would also be fun, though I haven’t tried it yet, because I am out of both.

Because it’s such an adaptable dressing, I want you to think of the following as more of a template than a strict recipe. Start with the bare bones ratios below, take a taste, then add some fresh herbs, spices, or any other add-ins you think it “needs,” sampling after each addition. I think you will find it needs less than you think. To make fresh zucchini salad dressing, you will need:

  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup acid of some kind, whether lemon juice, lime juice, or your favorite salad vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar.)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh pepper to taste (I used 20 grinds from my pepper grinder.)
  • 1/2 clove of fresh garlic (I used a whole one and it was aggressively garlicky, which I enjoy but may be too much for some people.)
  • Optional: Mint, dill, basil, chives, green onion, nutritional yeast, turmeric, MSG, or any other add-in your heart desires

Add everything except the optional ingredients to a vertical blender and blend until smooth. Give the dressing a taste and add your favorite herb or seasoning. Blend again, and adjust the salt or sugar if needed. Repeat with each additional add-in, making sure to taste after each addition. Once you’ve got things exactly how you want them, pour the creamy green dressing over salads, lentil bowls, rice bowls, grilled proteins—you get the idea. (I can’t imagine you don’t know how to use salad dressing, but I always like to provide a few suggestions.)

 



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