Zucchini and Arugula Salad with Lemon-Anchovy Dressing

by formerchef on June 21, 2010

Post image for Zucchini and Arugula Salad with Lemon-Anchovy Dressing

The last couple of times I’ve been to Rome I’ve had a wonderful salad made of a bitter green I’ve only seen there called puntarelle. You can see photos of it on my Favorite Rome Markets post. Typically this green is trimmed, pushed through a wire slicer, and then plunged into cold water so the leaves curl and crisp up. It’s then dressed with lemon juice and anchovies. Simple yet fantastic, like most food in Rome.

Here at home, I don’t have puntarelle, but I do have a surplus of zucchini and yellow squash in my garden (yes, already) and I’m always trying to figure out new things to try with it. I thought it would pair well with this dressing and liven up an otherwise sometimes bland vegetable. I’ve added the arugula to give it a slightly bitter, peppery kick like the puntarelle. This salad is light and fresh, and a wonderful way to use that early summer zucchini.

Zucchini and Arugula Salad with Lemon-Anchovy Dressing
Printable Recipe in PDF

1 garlic clove
3 oil cured anchovies
1 oz lemon juice
1.5 oz Fonterutoli extra virgin olive oil*
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

8 oz green zucchini (whole)
8 oz yellow zucchini (or yellow crookneck squash) (whole)
2.5 oz arugula

Serves 4 as a starter salad

Crush the garlic in a mortar and pestle*. Add the anchovies and crush them too. Add the lemon juice and combine with the garlic and anchovies and then add the olive oil, stirring it all together to emulsify the dressing.

*If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, put the garlic through a garlic press or crush with the side of your knife and then finely mince. Finely chop the anchovies. Put the anchovies and garlic in a small bowl, add the lemon juice and whisk in the olive oil.

If you have a mandoline slicer, (I particularly like the Benriner Japanese Mandoline Slicer), now is the time to use it. Wash and dry the zucchini and cut off the ends. If the zucchini is less than 7″ or 8″ leave it whole, otherwise cut it in half, making two shorter pieces.
Using the medium tooth slicer for the mandoline, cut julienned strips of zucchini, down to the center portion where the seeds are. Discard the centers or use for something else. When you are done with both squash, you should have approximately 3 cups of julienned zucchini. If you don’t have a mandoline, cut the zucchini into very thin strips and then julienne (matchstick) slices.

In a large bowl, toss together the julienned green and yellow zucchini and the arugula. Whisk the dressing if it has separated and then dress the salad with all of it. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

*The olive oil I used is from a company called olio2go.com. It’s their Fonterutoli olive oil imported from Mazzei in the Chianti region of Italy which they generously sent me to sample. This olive oil had an almost peppery flavor which nicely balanced the salt of the anchovies and the acid of the lemon juice.

I’m tagging this recipe as vegetarian because if you want to, you can leave the anchovies out of the dressing (but I really don’t recommend it).

Note; the site crashed and had to be restored after this was originally posted. Unfortunately, I lost all the comments so if you left one, sorry.

If you’re interested in food and travel, make sure you check out Wanderfood Wednesdays on Wanderlust Travel.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah V. June 23, 2010 at 7:31 am

Oh, this looks delicious. I love that it’s visually beautiful too!

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2 Stephanie June 23, 2010 at 8:27 am

Lovely recipe, beautiful photos! What a refreshing dish! :)

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3 Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen June 23, 2010 at 8:29 am

I love this! So simple yet with the anchovies, you know it’s good!

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4 Luanne June 23, 2010 at 8:45 am

Love seeing your recipe and our olive oil. I’ll be in Rome next week and will be sure to buy some Puntarelle at the market. Puntarelle is related to Dandelion. I gave some heirloom seeds to Jeff, Olio2go’s founder, for Christmas. I must ask for part of the harvest!

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5 formerchef June 23, 2010 at 9:05 am

Luanne- I had not thought of growing my own puntatelle! Doh! Where did you get the seeds? And yes, the olive oil was lovely, thank you.

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6 Krista June 23, 2010 at 11:14 am

Oh! I’m SO happy you posted this recipe! It was my favorite salad in Rome and didn’t know how to remake it. :-) Thank you!!!

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7 Nancie (Ladyexpat) June 24, 2010 at 2:40 am

This sounds glorious. I am always looking for new salads.

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8 Ciaochowlinda June 24, 2010 at 5:21 am

I love the beautiful look of this salad but I’ll bet it tastes terrific too with the anchovies. It’s nice to hear someone else talk about puntarelle – they’re not so well known here in the U.S.

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9 formerchef June 24, 2010 at 6:39 am

I know! Most people have never heard of it here. I think I may try and grow some next year.

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10 the urban baker June 24, 2010 at 6:26 am

I have everything in the house to make this. Thanks so much for tonight’s dinner inspiration. This looks lovely and yummy!

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11 formerchef June 24, 2010 at 6:38 am

Thanks! Let me know if you make it!

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12 Naomi June 24, 2010 at 12:08 pm

This looks and sounds AMAZING! It has all my favorites in it. The dressing sounds killer. Definitely going on this weekend’s menu!

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13 Beth June 24, 2010 at 12:37 pm

How can something so simple seem so refreshing and perfect? Thanks for this delicious recipe!

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14 Emily July 10, 2010 at 5:58 pm

I just made this tonight and it was FANTASTIC. A new favorite, and a great use for all my summer zucchini! Think I’ll make it again tomorrow night for company!

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15 formerchef July 10, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Awesome! Thanks for letting me know!

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