If there are certain vegetables you struggle to get excited about, reach for your vegetable peeler. Shaving vegetables into ribbons changes their texture so dramatically that you’ll likely find a new affection for foods you previously ignored: zucchini, carrots, fennel, beets, brussels sprouts, radishes, the list goes on.
For me, shaving zucchini has helped use up more of these bountiful squash that dominate my summer garden. Sure, I like grilled or sauteed zucchini, but I grow weary of eating them the same way day in and day out. Now, I switch it up by making shaved zucchini and carrot salads, which—as a bonus—don’t require me to turn on a stove. I use my vegetable peeler to scrape down the vegetables horizontally, creating long ribbons of zucchini and carrot. Asparagus can be peeled into ribbons as well, but they’re not in season this late in the summer.
Texturally, these vegetables retain their crunch, which is a win if you’ve been turned off by mushy squash. Plus, the long ribbons look elegant in a salad bowl. I dress them with a bit of vinaigrette, maybe some torn herbs and crumbly, salty cheese like feta or flakes of a hard cheese like Parmesan, and I have a summer side salad that came together in less than 5 minutes.