My Food Style

A Night of Inspiration: Zucchini Ribbon Salad w/ Coconut Mint Dressing

A couple of nights ago this idea for a ribbon zucchini salad came up as I watched a local chef prepare my meal. While he utilized some impressive knife skills to peel a piece of fruit, I began running through all of the safe-to-eat vegetables on the Interstitial Cystitis approved food list, and zucchini stuck in my mind. How would I create a recipe that is both fun and beautiful using zucchini?

My crazy brain thought of this. Using a potato peeler, cut end-to-end, long strips of zucchini, marinate them in salt to extract the water, and toss the strips with a light salad dressing. You must use a salad dressing that does not overpower zucchini’s natural sweetness. Thus, I created a coconut mint dressing to compliment its subtle sweetness while still awakening your pallet….just a bit.

As we build the salad up, we must not ignore its texture. Using toasted peanuts is an excellent way to add the crunch we need without adding too much flavor. Toasting any nut, allows their oil to reach the surface of the nut, creating a wonderful aroma and flavor.

Doing without any carbohydrate is always a fanciful idea, and with spring upon us, creating a nice salad without pasta seems to be a hit. Enjoy this recipe, and I promise to return too the place of inspiration and bring back some more goodies!

Zucchini Ribbon Salad w/ Coconut Mint Dressing

2 pounds small zucchini - trimmed

1 tsp salt

4 cups frisée salad greens trimmed and torn into small pieces

1/2 cup toasted peanuts

8 oz fresh mozzarella***

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces

Mint dressing

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1/4 cup mint leaves

2 garlic cloves


Using a blender, puree the coconut milk, mint leaves, and garlic until smooth. Season with salt.

Cut the zucchini lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices with a potato peeler and place in a colander set over a bowl. Sprinkle the zucchini with salt and then toss. Let them sit for 5 minutes, and then rinse under cold water.

While the zucchini sits, toast the peanuts. Place nuts in a single layer in a skillet. With the skillet over medium-high heat, stir or shake the nuts continually for 5 to 7 minutes or until they start to turn golden. Remove from the heat.

Using a kitchen towel, spread the zucchini strips into one layer, then gently roll up towel to absorb the water.

Add the mint dressing to the zucchini, frisée, mozzarella, and herbs; toss to coat.

Top with toasted peanuts and serve immediately.


What is Interstitial Cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a condition that results in recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder and the surrounding pelvic region. The symptoms vary from case to case....

What causes IC?

Some of the symptoms of IC/PBS resemble those of bacterial infection, but medical tests reveal no organisms in the urine of people with IC/PBS...

How is IC diagnosed?

Because symptoms are similar to those of other disorders of the bladder and there is no definitive test to identify IC/PBS, doctors must rule out other treatable conditions before considering a diagnosis of IC/PBS...

What are treatments for IC?

Scientists have not yet found a cure for IC/PBS, nor can they predict who will respond best to which treatment. Symptoms may disappear with a change in diet or treatments or without explanation...

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