Marie-Paule’s Simple Poached Zucchini Salad

Marie-Paule is a minimalist. She uses high quality ingredients and just a few at a time. This recipe is a classic example. It is comprised of zucchini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. I threw in the tomatoes for color and a bit of parsley for something fresh but neither are necessary. You could use mint as well. I love mint and zucchini.

The quality of the zucchini you use is important. It should be as fresh as possible and firm. I prefer smaller ones as they cook more evenly. The salt and pepper is also important. I like Tellicherry pepper from India. I find it extremely aromatic and a bit spiced. You can play with the sea salt. I like sea salt from the Camargue but you could use another sea salt or perhaps a volcanic salt from Hawaii. You can play with the kind of olive oil but I would recommend extra virgin.



  • 1 lb Zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I like Badia a Coltibuono)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes


  1. Bring to a boil about two quarts of water. Do not trim the the ends of the zucchini as it absorbs water.
  2. Put about 2 teaspoons of sea salt in the water. It will help to keep them green. Place the whole zucchinis into the water and reduce to a simmer. Simmer uncovered until the zucchini is tender, about 7 minutes. You are not looking for al dente.

3. While the zucchini is simmering place the oil, salt, pepper and parsley in the bowl.

4. When the zucchini are done, drain them and cut them in pieces. Place them immediately in the oil. Toss to coat. They will absorb the oil and seasonings better while they are warm and their pores are open. Squeeze the lemon over the zucchini and toss again. Add the tomatoes when the zucchini are room temperature.

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