The secret to bringing out the flavor of the zucchini without making it soggy is to cook it whole for just long enough to soften it. I love zucchini cooked this way in a variety of salads—with tomatoes as I’ve done here, or tossed with tuna or poached chicken and hard-boiled egg. Here, cucumber adds a nice crunch.
- 4 small zucchini, about 1 ½ pounds
- 1 pint ripe, juicy cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ English cucumber, sliced into half moons
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, shredded
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Set a large bowl of ice water near the stove.
Slip the zucchini into the boiling water and cook just until softened and bright green, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer them to the ice water and let stand until cool. Drain well.
Trim the ends from the zucchini and cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, then crosswise into ½-inch slices. Toss the zucchini, tomatoes, cucumber and basil in a large bowl.
Drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and toss well. Serve chilled or at room temperature.