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Summer is almost here and the markets are just teeming with gorgeous produce. I can hardly resist smiling at the mounds of vibrant, colorful vegetables. Upon spotting a display of striped zucchini and multicolored carrots, thoughts of a fresh, summer salad immediately started running through my mind. This Summer Salad with Vanilla Vinaigrette features shaved zucchini and carrot atop crisp greens dressed in extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and pure vanilla extract. The vinaigrette is light and bright with just a hint of vanilla flavor. Completely unique and utterly addicting. I actually never imagined such a healthy salad (as in, no bacon or ranch or blue cheese, etc.) could be so good. After photographing the plate above, I took one bite and could not stop eating. Continue reading for the recipe.
Summer Salad with Vanilla Vinaigrette
- 1 bunch young carrots
- 2 zucchini or other summer squash
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Fleur de sel or kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 handfuls of salad greens
Wash and trim the carrots and zucchini. Using a mandolin or sharp knife, carefully slice carrots and zucchini into thin ribbons.
In a small bowl or jar, combine extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, vanilla, a few pinches of fleur de sel and several turns of freshly ground black pepper. Whisk or shake to combine.
To plate, place a handful of greens on a small, chilled salad plate. Top with artfully arranged carrot and zucchini ribbons (this is the fun part). Finish with a drizzle of vanilla vinaigrette. Season with additional fleur de sel and pepper if desired.