So easy to prepare, the vibrant colors of this ribbon veggie salad will complement any meal. Naturally vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free, get your healthy servings of rainbow vegetables, topped with a light, lemony dressing.
Summer is a super slow time in the food blog world, which is too bad, really, because that’s when all the best foods of the entire universe are popping right out of the ground, fresh and crunchy, in all colors of the rainbow.
If vegetables make you scrunch up your nose, summer is the perfect season to dive in and test the waters anew. Our tastes change as we age, and things that we thought were totally gross when we were younger [bell peppers!] can suddenly become gourmet grub [I can eat them like apples].
Plus, when it’s hot — and it’s been hot, humid, and just generally miserable for the last many weeks (so much so that even my tomatoes have given up trying to set flowers for new fruit #sadface) — something light and crunchy with a side of the iciest iced tea ever just hits the spot.
Get Rainbow Ribbon Veggie Salad in Da House
- This dish was made for summer vegetables. Here’s what you do: go to the farmers’ market and tell your favorite farmer that you’ll take one of each, please. 😉 I love a kaleidoscope of colors, but you can use your favorites! Many summer vegetables can be served raw with crunchy, delicious results. Remember, raw vegetables are not scary! Try: carrots (rainbow colors!), cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, red beets, golden beets, fennel.
- Making veggie ribbons is really easy, with the right tool. You can certainly use a spiral slicer — they’re really fun! — but you don’t strictly need one. I created the salad here using this economical serrated peeler, which creates wispy strips of vegetable loveliness. It’s also the perfect tool for removing citrus zest in strips, while leaving behind the bitter pith. I make an epic orange marmalade every winter, when oranges are at their best, and this tool makes quick work of peeling the citrus (see the marmalade post for how well the peeler works on oranges).
- And herbs. Don’t forget the fresh herbs! Basil, cilantro, parsley, mint – try one or a little of all. You’ll love the bright punch that a sprinkling of finely minced herbs gives to a dish like this. And if the urge strikes to add a few crumbles of salty feta cheese, well, that’ll be our little secret.
- Finally, there’s the dressing — light and lemony, just enough to coat the veggies with an extra hit of flavor. And, and so easy to whip up with ingredients that are probably already in your pantry.
- Oh! I just thought of this: I bet this would make an awesome, non-dairy slaw on top of grilled brats or lentil sloppy joes. (Must try the latter!)
Summer is fading fast [wail!] — use up those beautiful fresh veggies in this healthy, crunchy, tasty, made-for-summer-dinners side dish.
Rainbow Ribbon Veggie Salad
for the dressing
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white wine or champagne vinagrette
- 1 tablespoon honey or agave
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
for the salad
- beets 1 red or 1 golden ... or one of both, scrubbed, with outer skin peeled and discarded
- carrots well-scrubbed, tops removed (if available, use different color carrots, such as orange, red, purple, and yellow)
- zucchini or English cucumber
- cilantro or flat-leaf parsley chopped, for garnish
for the dressing
- Combine the first five ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking all the while until emulsified.
- Time- (and wrist-) saving tip: if you have an immersion (stick) blender, add all ingredients to a tall, slender container and mix with the immersion blender until emulsified.
for the salad
- Use a serrated vegetable peeler or spiral slicer to cut each vegetable into thin strips. Chop longer strips into shorter pieces that will sit comfortably on a fork.
- Toss the vegetables to jumble the colored strips and arrange them on a serving plate. Drizzle with dressing and top with a sprinkling of cilantro or parsley.
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