Shaved Zucchini and Tomato Salad with Pesto and Cracked Pepper

Shaved Zucchini and Tomato Salad with Pesto and Cracked Pepper

This recipe was inspired by our Taste of Italy Box which can be found on our Nursery page. Utilizing almost all the ingredients, it is the a great way to take advantage of your harvest. By keeping all the ingredients raw, you showcase the natural flavor of the homegrown vegetables, keeping you coming back bite-after-bite. The nutty zucchini, sweet tomatoes, and bright pesto are the perfect summer pairing. 

If I am having guests over or I am on my way to a summer picnic, this is a go-to recipe. It's easy, simple, delicious, and always a crowd pleaser.

Serves 4-6 people


  • 2 Cocozelle zucchini
  • 1 Better bush tomato
  • 1 Gold medal tomato
  • 1 large bunch of basil
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese (plus more for garnish)
  • ¼ lemon (seeds removed)
  • Salt and pepper 


  • Kitchen Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Food processor or mortar and pestle
  • Microplane (Optional)
  • Mandoline (Optional)
  • Pepper Mill (Optional)



Add your basil to the food processor (or mortar & pestle)**. Start the food processor and slowly drizzle in the olive oil. This will lubricate the grinding process and create your dressing. Next add the parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lemon. Make sure to taste and add salt and more lemon to your liking. 

** If you are using a mortar and pestle, add your basil and salt together first to aid the grinding process. After blending together, add a glug of olive oil and continue to grind. Continue this process until you get your desired consistency. Grate in your parmesan and add a squeeze of lemon and salt to taste.


For the zucchini, first trim off the butt end. Next, shave your zucchini on the mandoline about ¼” thick. Rip or cut your sliced zucchini in half for plating. If you are slicing with a knife it can be easier to cut the zucchini crosswise in half to make it more manageable. If you are prepping this ahead of time you can soak your sliced zucchini in water to prevent it from turning brown. 

For the tomatoes, remove the core at the top. Then cut in half and then in thirds to create wedges. 

Begin building your salad. I like a big platter but a serving bowl will work just fine. Layer the shaved zucchini and your tomatoes across the plater. Then drizzle and dollop your pesto over your veggies. Next, grate some parm over the platter and crack some pepper and a touch more salt on top. Enjoy!