Zucchini and Herb Pasta Salad

July 11, 2016
Zucchini + Herb Pasta Salad - A salad that tastes like summer. Rich in veggies and fresh herbs, it's simple to make and substantial enough for dinner

Happy Saturday!

What are you up to this weekend?

Summer Weekend 5-680x

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

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We're looking forward to a quiet couple of days at our house.  At the top of the wish list is a date with our grandson, some time in the garden, and floating on the lazy river

True confessions?  I'm really looking forward to getting out of the house a little

For the past few days, I've had the worst sunburn in, oh my, I can't remember how long, but probably since I was a kid.  I'm always diligent about wearing my sunscreen, but this time it got away from me.  I was weeding, the podcasts I was listening to were so good, such a beautiful afternoon, and the time flew by

As I stepped into the shower later that evening, I winced, “Ouch, surely I'd put it on my back too?”  Alas, lessons learned

This weekend we're also going to try our hand at grilling pizza

Not long ago, I found myself standing in the checkout lane, leafing through the latest issue of Cook's Illustrated.  In it a three-page article detailing the ins and outs of pizza on the grill.  Secrets for making crusts that spread easily, won't puff up and will brown evenly.

One of the tricks?  Rather than stretching the dough in flour, instead, do so in a generous amount of olive oil(!)

We're really excited to give it a try

Whatever you're up to, I hope you have a good one(!)

Zucchini + Herb Pasta Salad - A salad that tastes like summer. Rich in veggies and fresh herbs, it's simple to make and substantial enough for dinner

For the weekend .. a few links from around the web

The 10 best modern love essays    [via The New York Times]

5 Drinkable DIY Beauty Potions    [via Food Coach NYC]

The power of casual gratitude    [via The Atlantic]

Related: A British Grandma who includes “please” and “thank-you” in her Google searches .. believing that manners will make the search quicker     [via NPR]

The key to better salads?  A bigger bowl     [via The Kitchn]

Looking for dessert ideas?  On my shortlist are caramel chocolate ice cream, this chocolate cake, and these blueberry baked donuts

The European Trick or making better sandwiches    [via Epicurious]

Are Dandelion Greens the new Kale?   [via The Chalkboard]

Obama After Dark .. The president's nightly routine (which includes eating seven lightly salted almonds)     [via The New York Times]

How to make Bon Appetit's Most Popular Salad of all Time (The Caesar)     [via Bon Appetit]

Zucchini + Herb Pasta Salad - A salad that tastes like summer. Rich in veggies and fresh herbs, it's simple to make and substantial enough for dinner

The summer evenings are so beautiful right now.  The sun stays up until eight-thirty, and dinner can easily be enjoyed outside in the shade with a warm breeze.  No matter if it's on the back deck or even a small picnic at the park

Anything to savor the time

This salad reminds me of that feeling; it tastes like a summer evening.  A beautifully green pasta recipe filled with veggies, edamame, fresh herbs, capers, and mozzarella.

It's one of the best things we've eaten in a while

At first glance, it looks like run-of-the-mill pesto pasta, although it's far from it.  Basil is blended with flat-leaf parsley, the zest of a whole lemon.  Lastly, tablespoons of capers and mozzarella are stirred in.

The star of the show is really the zucchini, which are cut into thin disks and fried until golden before being splashed with a bit of red wine vinegar.  Producing something that's neither crisp (chip-like), nor pickled, instead more intriguing than all three.

There's also the surprise of edamame here in the pasta-pesto combination

Certainly, everyone won't be keen on frying zucchini for a weeknight dinner, but hear me out.  I'd argue that it's really the easiest way to accomplish the task.  Roasting a lot of thin disks would take quite a while, and wouldn't come out so evenly browned.

Admittedly (does anyone else do this?) according to my measuring cup, the zucchini absorbed a little over a tablespoon of oil in the frying process.  Thinking about how much I'd use in the roasting or sautéing process, it seems like a pretty ok deal overall



~ Adapted from The New York Times

Zucchini and Herb Pasta Salad


  • cup sunflower oil (or grapeseed oil)
  • 3 medium zucchini, cut into ¼" thick slices
  • 1 ½ Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup edamame
  • 2 cups basil leaves, shredded coarsely
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves
  • cup olive oil
  • fine grain sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 9 oz campanile pasta (or strozzapreti or penne pasta - choosing a gluten-free pasta will make this recipe gluten-free)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 ½ Tbsp capers
  • 7 ounces buffalo mozzarella, torn into chunks


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat sunflower oil over medium-high heat.
  • Fry the zucchini slices in batches (don't crowd them) for ~ 3 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a colander to drain.
  • Tip the zucchini slices into a bowl, drizzle the vinegar over the top and stir, then set aside.
  • In the boiling water, blanch the edamame for ~ 3 minutes. Drain the edamame and run them under cold water and then set them aside to dry.
  • Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil again
  • In a food processor, combine half the basil, all of the parsley and the olive oil. Season with sea salt + freshly ground pepper and process until smooth.
  • In boiling water, cook pasta until al dente; drain and rinse under cold water.
  • Return the pasta to the pot.
  • Add the zucchini slices and their juices over pasta.
  • Add edamame, basil sauce, lemon zest, capers, and mozzarella. Stir together gently, then taste and season with additional salt and pepper.
  • Right before serving, stir in remaining basil.
Serves: 8
Nutrition + Show
Calories 370
Total Fat 28g
Saturated Fat 3.3g
Carbohydrates 25.8g
Fiber 2.6g
Sugars 3.1g
Protein 6.4g
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  • Reply Jenny May 27, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    I love any recipe which features zucchini, this sounds great for a summer evening.

  • Reply Rachel May 28, 2017 at 12:28 am

    I do love a cold dish on a hot day and often opt for salads and pasta x

  • Reply Melanie May 28, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    5 stars
    Love this recipe it’s a good one for the Summer. I am always looking for new Zucchini recipes so really want to try this!

  • Reply Laura May 30, 2017 at 7:49 am

    This pasta salad sounds delicious and perfect for a warm spring evening. Also hope you had fun grilling pizza – sounds like a blissful weekend

    Laura x

  • Reply Angie May 30, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    This absolutely looks delicious and healthy! I bet my mom would love this too I would give it a try

  • Reply Jen June 2, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    5 stars
    I love having pasta salads at this time of year, even better if the weather is right and we can eat outside. This dish is right up my street, perfect ingredients, and a tasty end result. Hope the sun burn is improving, and make sure you don’t get any more.

  • Reply Robin June 14, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Grilling pizza is pretty awesome. We just learned about it last summer and now we do it all the time. SO good!

  • Reply Jeanette June 14, 2017 at 7:56 am

    You have so many great suggestions for food. He’s a cutie and herb pasta is something I cannot wait to try it. We have grilled pizza it is pretty easy just make sure you put all of oil down on the grill first. It tastes outstanding.

  • Reply Alli Smith June 14, 2017 at 8:01 am

    I hate to get sunburned! I try to always wear sunscreen but sometimes I do forget some spots, especially when working in the flower garden. I was on the go last weekend and the thought of staying home, taking it easy and enjoying zucchini and herb pasta salad sounds like a plan to me.

  • Reply Tomi June 14, 2017 at 8:27 am

    5 stars
    I would have never thought of pairing zucchini and edamame. Zucchini is one of my fave veggies and a constant in my garden and we steam edamame and serve with a ginger sou sauce. Thanks for sharing as this will make a nice addition to my Summer menu.

  • Reply Sarah Bailey June 14, 2017 at 10:37 am

    There is something about a nice cold dish on a hot summers evening and this sounds like it would make for the most delicious dish.

  • Reply Katie Kinsley June 14, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Since the heat started rising here I have not been able to be outside much. I am afraid of getting sunburned because I don’t want to be hurt! lol

  • Reply Tracy June 14, 2017 at 11:05 am

    OUCH! Sorry to hear about the sunburn. My Godmother/Great Aunt passed from Skin Cancer so I try to be super careful, but a few years ago I got a severe burn after a day at the amusement park and I did put on sunscreen when I headed out, I just didn’t reapply during the day and I paid for it big time. I love anything pasta so I will definitely give this recipe a go. As for the pizza, that’s my takeout food and I have never made one myself at home that wasn’t frozen! 🙂

  • Reply Lisa June 14, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    This recipe looks so amazing. I would love to make this for an easy summer dish.

  • Reply Censie Sawyer June 14, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Great recipe! I need to keep this for later because our garden always gives us a TON of zucchini and I am always wondering what to do with it. THanks for the great idea. Also, all of those desserts you shared….uh yes please. So much goodness!

  • Reply Pam Wattenbarger June 14, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Zucchini grows so well around here. Once we left our car unlocked at church and someone put zucchini in it! I could have used this recipe for it.

  • Reply Bailey June 14, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    A delicious pasta salad is one of my favorite easy summer meals. In fact, the combination of zucchini and herbs in this one makes this such a flavorful option!

  • Reply LaShawn June 14, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    I love light pasta salads in the summer. It’s too hot for heavy food! I have zucchini in the fridge, I might try this out this weekend

  • Reply Sarah Honey June 14, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    My family loves cold pasta salad in the summer. It’s easy to make and not too heavy! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Adriana June 14, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    This looks SO incredible! I love pasta dishes, and especially pasta salad! Definitely going to try this out for lunch one day soon. Can’t wait!

  • Reply Melissa Dixon June 15, 2017 at 12:47 am

    My husband and I are hitting up some city wide garage sales this weekend. We like to buy and sell things so we make quite a profit on city wide sales. We love doing I because we are getting paid to be together and that is fantastic in our book! Living the dream! P.S. I hope your sunburn gets better, ouch!

  • Reply Tami June 15, 2017 at 1:57 am

    I think I got sunburnt today, too. I am feeling it in my arms. This weekend we are going to relax after a busy week of vacation bible school. I may even try the grilled pizza you mentioned. That will be a challenge for sure.

  • Reply Chris June 15, 2017 at 2:23 am

    This is an amazing pasta. I love zucchini and always looking for new ways to eat this. I pinned this for future references!

  • Reply Emily June 15, 2017 at 2:32 am

    Great recipe, which I’m sure has healing properties for sun burn! Maybe instead of recipes for pasta you should consider recipes for homemade suncreams 😉 I’m curious was you gardening a herb garden or a vegetable patch becasue if you grow your own ingrediants that would be really cool!

  • Reply Kris June 15, 2017 at 2:47 am

    4 stars
    What do you use to treat sunburn? We apply tea tree oil and witch hazel and then coconut oil to regularly moisturize sun-burned areas. Sometimes even wearing sunscreen doesn’t help. Oh, salads and desserts are my kind of thing. It’s eating without the guilt! 🙂

  • Reply Rebecca Swenor June 15, 2017 at 3:46 am

    5 stars
    It sounds like you had a great weekend. We grill out every weekend during the summer usually. Roasting marshmallows if the grill is still hot after eating. We maybe go for a walk after eating or sometimes we watch movies. Thanks for sharing your awesome weekend and the recipes.

  • Reply Annemarie LeBlanc June 15, 2017 at 7:04 am

    5 stars
    Whenever we get sunburn, I reach for my trusty aloe vera plant, scoop out the gel and apply to the sunburned area. Works really good! I always have to remind my kids to apply and re-apply sunscreen. Oh, BTW, as I was reading through your post, I saw something about grilled pizza? I haven’t tried that. I will include that in our weekend BBQ menu plan.

  • Reply Jenn June 15, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Sounds like a lovely weekend that you have planned. my husband and I are headed for a week of alone time. of course we have to work, but our teenage daughter is about to leave us for a camping trip. She is even taking the dogs. Will be interesting to see how different life is. She is vegan, so I already know that our dinners will be a little different. I might even give this olive oil trick a try and trow us together a homemade pizza. I haven’t done that in years.

  • Reply David Elliott June 15, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    I really was looking forward to some time off this weekend but I have to do a few things for work anyway that will not allow me to get much time off. Ah well. Sorry to hear about the sunburn. That would be awful. I have had a couple of bad ones and I could barely move. Your pasta here does look delcious and good luck with the BBQing pizza. I have a friend of mine who does that over some bricks he puts in the BBQ. It tastes really good. Just remember the corn meal.

  • Reply Vianney Rodriguez June 16, 2017 at 3:52 am

    I feel your pain we recently return from a family vacay at the river and I came back with the worst sunburn – ouch! I am loving that the zucchini is fried before adding to the pasta. yum!

  • Reply Stephanie Pass June 16, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    I just love zucchini anything. This pasta salad looks so good I am going to have to make it this summer.

  • Reply Aileen Adalid June 17, 2017 at 11:56 am

    5 stars
    Great recipe! thanks for sharing! Definitely going to try this out soon. Can’t wait!

  • Reply Sara June 17, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    One of my favorite things about summer is that it is zucchini season! I have never made a pasta salad with zucchini but I am going to change that soon!

  • Reply Aileen July 6, 2017 at 1:40 am

    I’m trying to eat healthier now so pasta with lots of veggies is a dish I would be up for anytime! Just so timely that zucchini is in season for us now too. By the way, I also love the desserts you shared. Looks amazing!

  • Reply Ainsley July 17, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    5 stars
    the natural remedy I use for sunburn is aloe vera gel. It does soothe and cool the sunburned areas, especially the shoulders. The aloe vera plants are so easy to grow and they have so many uses. But of course, since prevention is better than cure, please never forget to bring your sunscreen with you.

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