Don't get me wrong, I am all about a nice shaved vegetable salad--but right this red hot summer minute, this spiralized salad of summer goodness is what I'm all about. And this is why:

1. It brought me around to the spiralizer. I have been notoriously anti-spiralizing since the first person tried to tell me that "zoodles" were "just as good" as pasta. I still don't believe that a vegetable is a viable replacement for a semolina noodle, no matter how you whittle it, but this salad has helped me to be a little more progressive and open-minded about the whole thing. There is a place for the zoodle in this world (as long as you don't try to tell me that it's under my bolognese sauce). The noodle-like shape offers a delightfully crisp and satisfying mouth-feel that you couldn't achieve with a zucchini by any other method. I'm into it.

2. It's bursting with a lot of bright summer personality and is a great place to use up what's abundant and inexpensive in the produce bins right now. There aren't a ton of ways that I love zucchini cooked as a solo item. Because of its high water content, I feel like it ends up just hot and mushy most of the time I eat it sauteed as a side dish. But raw, it's a whole other story. This is the kind of fresh, light, veggie-packed salad I want to be eating every day right about now.

3. It has Parmesan cheese in the dressing (and shaved on top). Finely grated Parmesan both acts as an emulsifying agent and major flavor booster in this salad's vinaigrette, and it coats every veggie strand with salty, savory cheese goodness. This makes me happy.

4. It's great as a salad served plain or piled up on a bed of arugula, but it also makes for a super lovely alternative in any application where a summery slaw is appropriate. Layered onto a sandwich or in fish tacos, this dynamic and herbaceous spiralized mix would be an incredibly welcome addition to the party.

5. It's just plain fun to make. This goes back to the spiralizer convert thing... damn, it's really fun to crank vegetables through one of those suckers. Like way more fun than slicing, peeling, and dicing will ever be. Spiralizers are highly entertaining to experiment with and fairly inexpensive kitchen tools--the OXO spiralizer I use retails around $40.

By Darcy Lenz and Darcy Lenz