Courgette Salad being picked up by wooden servers

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This courgette salad is made for warm summer days. Load it into a bowl for a barbeque or serve alongside freshly cooked chicken or fish for a delicious yet light accompaniment. This salad has a light and zingy lemon, garlic and basil dressing that adds a beautiful flavour, whilst being subtle enough that you can pair it with a multitude of dishes.

What’s in it?

This recipe combines uncooked courgette and rocket for the base. If you’ve not ventured into using raw courgette before then you are seriously missing out. It’s fairly bland with a mild sweetness, so it is perfect to pair with a tasty dressing or sauce. Raw courgette is also firmer, which gives the salad an extra crunch and helps it hold its texture. An added benefit is that uncooked courgette contains more vitamin C than it does after cooking.

Cherry tomatoes and toasted pine nuts are tossed through the salad to add extra flavour and visual appeal.

The dish is topped off with a drizzle of a simple yet divine dressing. Freshly chopped basil, lemon juice and garlic bound in silky olive oil.

Is courgette good for you?

Firstly, if you’re wondering what the heck a courgette is, then chances are you know it by another name. Zucchini is the common name in many countries, whereas courgette is standard in others. In South Africa, the name ‘baby marrow’ is used.

While not as nutritionally dense as some other vegetables, courgettes are definitely healthy. They contain vitamin C and potassium among other things. Furthermore, they contain certain compounds that can help prevent cancer.

When using courgettes, you don’t need to peel them. In fact, the skin actually holds most of the nutrients found in courgettes. They are also super low in calories and fat.

Courgette salad on a plate with a juiced lemon

Can I make it in advance?

You can absolutely make courgette salad in advance, which is great for entertaining or those occasions where you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen on a sunny afternoon.

When making this in advance combine the dressing and the salad separately and don’t dress the salad until you are about to serve. You can make the salad up to a day in advance (a little longer if you aren’t too worried about it wilting slightly). And you can also prepare the courgette up to 3 days in advance and add a little salt to keep it drier and prevent it from becoming soggy.

The dressing can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days.

What can I serve this with?

To turn this salad into a full meal, why not try serving it:

Variations & Substitutions

  • Add a pinch or two of chilli flakes to the dressing for an added kick
  • Substitute balsamic vinegar with the lemon in the dressing for a tart yet sweet alternative.
  • Add a handful of cooked sweetcorn or peas for a sweet addition to the salad.
  • Substitute mint for the basil to give a fresh, cool flavour.

Ingredients & prep

For a full list of ingredients with weights and measurements jump to the printable recipe card.

  • Courgette standard green courgette or a mixture of green and yellow for added visual interest
  • Rocket/arugula
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Pine nuts, toasted
  • Garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oiluse a good quality oil as this directly affects the overall taste of the salad
  • Lemon juice
  • Fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

How to make it

For more detailed steps with recipe tips jump to the printable recipe card.

Recipe steps 1-2
  1. Make the dressing by putting all the ingredients into a sealable jar and shaking. Leave to infuse.
  2. Thinly slice the courgette using a speed peeler or a mandolin
  3. In a large bowl add the courgette, rocket, cherry tomato halves and toasted pine nuts. Give the dressing another shake and drizzle over the top.
  4. Toss all the ingredients together and serve

Looking for more great salad recipes? Try:

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Courgette Salad being picked up by wooden servers

Courgette Salad

  • Author: caroline
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


A light and refreshing courgette salad with fresh basil, garlic and lemon dressing. This is the perfect summer side dish for your next barbeque or alongside grilled chicken, fish or meat! 

The default recipe serves 4.


  • 12 large courgettes (around 4-500g / 14-17oz total) thinly sliced – use a speed peeler or a mandolin.
  • 200g / 7oz cherry tomatoes (around 16-20), halved
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 large handful rocket / arugula

For the dressing:

  • 60ml, 1/4 cup olive oil (see note 1)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 10 fresh basil leaves,  finely chopped


  1. Place all the dressing ingredients into a jar with a lid. Add a little salt and pepper and shake well.
  2. Prepare the courgette and tomatoes and place them in a bowl with the pine nuts and rocket/arugula. 
  3. Toss the dressing through the salad and serve immediately. 


  1. Make sure to use a really good quality olive oil as it will directly affect the taste of the dressing.
  2. If you want to prepare things in advance then combine the salad and the dressing separately. Only combine the dressing with the salad when you are ready to serve. 
  3. The dressing will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge whereas the salad will only keep for around a day. 
  4. You can add a pinch or two of chilli flakes for an added kick to the dressing. A handful of sweetcorn or peas also makes a great sweet addition. 
  5. You can substitute the lemon juice with balsamic vinegar or mint for the basil for some great flavoursome alternatives. 
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Side
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Salad


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 200
  • Fat: 17g
  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Protein: 4g

Keywords: salad, vegetarian, vegan, side, light, healthy, vegetables

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