Here is the perfect paleo side dish for your summer BBQ. It has all of the things in a normal pasta salad except the noodles are replaced with thinly sliced zucchini. The key is to blanch the zucchini to cook out some of the rawness. Fresh raw bell peppers add some sweetness and crunch. Pepperoni, cheese and olives add a good amount of saltiness. The salad is dressed with a simple Italian vinaigrette. You can vary the amounts to your liking and add any other veggies you have on hand such as carrots, onions, broccoli or cauliflower and the meat/cheese could be cut out to make this vegetarian as well.
- 2 zucchini
- 1 bell pepper, sliced thinly.
- Cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered. I like Trader Joe’s mini heirloom tomatoes.
- Pepperoni, cut into small cubes.
- Cheese, cut into small cubes. I used grass-fed cheddar but whole milk mozzarella would be good here too.
- Olives, chopped finely. I used Trader Joe’s jalepeno-stuffed green olives for an extra kick.
- 5 T olive oil
- 2.5 T red wine vinegar
- 1-2 tsp each of dried oregano, basil and red chili flakes
Cut the zucchini into very thin broad slices using a mandoline. Cut the slices lengthwise several times so they resemble noodles. Add the zucchini “noodles” to a pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes. Drain and immerse the “noodles” into an ice bath to stop the cooking. Once the zucchini is chilled, drain well and add the peppers, tomatoes, pepperoni, olives and cheese. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and spices and dress the vegetables. Chill before serving.Summer "Pasta" Salad,