Fresh Buffalo Mozarella and Zucchini Ribbon Salad

ensalada de lazos de calabacin - Chris Ciolli

Zucchini Ribbon Salad – Chris Ciolli

You know how plain Mozarella, especially fresh mozarella tastes like nothing. It’s over-encompassing flavor is nada, zero, zilch? Not so with Buffalo Mozarella. It’s an origin-protected cheese for a reason… So worth the price difference (almost double) for so much more flavor.

Anyway, I love buffalo mozarella, but caprese salads lack a certain amount of fiber to fill up on, to make them a meal and my husband isn’t a big fan of fresh basil (sad, really). One of my favorite solutions to this cooking conundrum is a mozarella and zucchini ribbon salad. It’s crunchy, healthy, packed with nutrients and healthy fats and filling enough to function as a light meal. Score!


Buffalo Mozarella and Zucchini Ribbon Salad Serves 2


  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 Medium sized tomatoes or 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup black kalamata olives (if desired)
  • 1 8-10 oz ball of fresh mozarella di bufala (fresh mozarella made from cow’s milk is edible, but not nearly as tasty).
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder or finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper


  1. Combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper in a small glass jar.
  2. Shake well and put aside.
  3. Slice zucchini lengthwise into ribbons with a food processor, or if you’re old school like me you can use a vegetable peeler and explain to yourself in soothing tones that don’t own excess kitchen appliances because your kitchen is tiny and outlets are scarce).
  4. Slice tomatoes into wedges or cherry tomatoes into halves
  5. Pit the olives, if desired.
  6. Arrange the zucchini ribbons in the middle of a salad bowl with the tomatoes around the outer edge.
  7. Cut buffalo mozarella in half and place in the center of the salad.
  8. Sprinkle olives over the top of the salad.
  9. Drizzle with the dressing you prepared earlier.
This is an awesome, pretty salad, and is a nice alternative when you’ve just about had it with lettuce and all its leafy vegetables.
P.S. Add some fresh basil to this for a nice caprese salad twist. Caprese salads were a total revelation for me on my first trip to Italy. Who knew fresh cheese, basil and tomatoes could be so decadent. Mmmmm. Another spice I like with this dish (in moderation) is fresh mint.
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