This salad was inspired by a chilled, grated zucchini salad that appears in Hillary Davis' phenomenal Cuisine Nicoise. I switched out the vinaigrette and added a few touches of my own, including gorgeous purple micro radish. This is the most refreshing, cooling meal I've prepared all summer. I can eat it day or night straight out of the fridge, but it's best with a glass of chilled Riesling. —Maja Lukic - Veggies & Gin
Wash and trim the zucchini (no need to peel). Grate the zucchini on a box grater or process in a food processor with the shredding attachment. Toss the zucchini with 1/2 tsp salt in a colander. Set aside to drain for 30 minutes.
Whisk together the champagne vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, and olive oil.
Wash and halve or quarter the cherry tomatoes.
Drain the zucchini and squeeze out all of the extra liquid. You can either wrap up the zucchini in a clean kitchen towel and wring it dry or just use your hands for the task.
Toss the zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and vinaigrette together. Adjust the seasoning, adding more lemon juice or vinegar. It should taste bright and refreshing, not dull or chalky. Add more salt, if needed.
Chill for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Chiffonade the basil: stack the leaves like a deck of cards, roll them up into a cigar (or yoga mat) and slice into 1/4-inch thick ribbons.
To serve, portion out 1 cup of the salad on each plate. Scatter micro radish and basil over the salad and drizzle with additional olive oil.
Store in the fridge for up to two days.
Note: Substitute white balsamic, white wine, or red wine vinegar for the champagne vinegar, if necessary. The zucchini should be pretty salty after draining so you may not need to add additional salt to the salad.