Zucchini Greek Salad

I thought I’d give Canadian chef Matty Matheson another shot, after my very unimpressive go at his version of Tex-Mex queso and short ribs. There was just nothing very Tex-Mex about his recipe, shown lower right after I “improved” it. But in the same cookbook of his, Home Style Cookery, published in 2020, I discovered a recipe for a Greek salad using grilled and raw zucchini – a nice summer recipe, especially if you grow zucchini.

Besides the zucchini, the salad includes the usual suspects – feta, cucumbers, tomatoes, pepperoncini, Kalamata olives, and capers.

Here’s an interesting note from the author regarding the recipe: “I’m a new lover of feta, and I don’t know why it took me so long, or why I considered it to be more of a diner condiment than a cheese.” (And yes, I double-checked to make sure I copied that correctly!)

What? A diner condiment? How do they serve meals up there in Canada?!! Just kidding! We’ve had many beautiful meals in British Columbia and Alberta. And they actually have fabulous pizza!

I had great expectations for this salad. What could go wrong?!

Zucchini Greek Salad
Serves 2
Adapted to make more sense

1 pound zucchini, half sliced 3/4” thick, half thinly sliced into ribbons on a mandoline
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 – 8 ounce block feta cheese
1/2 cup arugula, lightly wilted in some vinegar and oil
2/3 cup pepperoncini
1/3 cup Kalamata olives
1 cup unpeeled, roughly chopped cucumber
3 cherry tomatoes (I used lots!)
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced into rings
2 teaspoons drained capers
2 teaspoon champagne vinegar (I used a red wine vinegar)
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
2 tablespoons dried oregano

Using 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, grill the zucchini ribbons on both sides, over medium heat, until charred and fork-tender. Let cool.

Place the grilled zucchini ribbons and raw slices in a medium bowl and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the salt.

Place the feta in the center of the plate or serving platter on top of the arugula; arrange both types of zucchini around the feta. Place the pepperoncini, olives, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, and capers around the zucchini.

Drizzle vinegar and olive oil onto the cheese and vegetables. Sprinkle with sea salt and the oregano.

Two tablespoons of dried oregano is WAY too much in my book, so I cut it back to one teaspoon.

So, with such great ingredients, why did I not love this salad? First of all, the zucchini ribbons were horribly tedious to grill, plus I didn’t love the large slices of raw zucchini. They were just too big. I would suggest roasting all of the zucchini, reasonably sliced, keeping it warm when finishing the salad.

And why in the world are there only 3 cherry tomatoes in this salad? At least make it 4 so each person can have two! As you can see I went overboard on the tomatoes – even using my new favorite baby spoon tomatoes for fun!

Instead of the block of feta, which has a crumbly texture, I would have preferred a whipped feta, perhaps mixed with ricotta and seasoned with oregano.

I was also confused about the 2/3 cup of pepperoncini. I’m used to the whole chile peppers, but there was no mention of chopping the peppers. I’d purchased a pepperoncini paste of sorts for this recipe, but then felt that 2/3 cup of the purée could be way too much – especially for 2 people/servings.

I may have to give up on Chef Matty Matheson. His recipes just don’t work for me. Plus, he swears way more than I do, which is suspect…

Other people obviously like his personality and voice. He’s acting on The Bear. Interesting.

By Published On: July 18th, 202340 Comments on Zucchini Greek Salad

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. BERNADETTE July 18, 2023 at 6:03 AM - Reply

    Thanks for the honest review Mimi. I have only watched one episode of The Bear. Do you like the series?

    • Chef Mimi July 18, 2023 at 1:26 PM - Reply

      I do like it. Very intense, though. Lots of yelling!

      • BERNADETTE July 19, 2023 at 6:00 AM

        The yelling is what put me off.

      • Chef Mimi July 19, 2023 at 8:03 AM

        I understand that.

  2. angiesrecipes July 18, 2023 at 6:29 AM - Reply

    Such a pretty and flavourful salad..and so perfect for the hot days too!

    • Chef Mimi July 18, 2023 at 1:27 PM - Reply

      Thanks, Angie!

  3. Healthy World Cuisine July 18, 2023 at 8:42 AM - Reply

    This is a splendid way to enjoy all the garden freshness! When you don’t feel like really cooking on a hot day- this is a great solution.

    • Chef Mimi July 18, 2023 at 1:28 PM - Reply

      I just wish I’d liked the recipe!

  4. Molly Pisula July 18, 2023 at 9:49 AM - Reply

    3 cherry tomatoes in the recipe? And grilling super thin zucchini ribbons? This recipe has me totally confused too, but I love the combination of flavors.

    • Chef Mimi July 18, 2023 at 1:26 PM - Reply

      I add raw zucchini to some of my salads, but not giant chunks! So many odd things about this recipe!

  5. cookingwithauntjuju.com July 18, 2023 at 11:35 AM - Reply

    This is funny as I am having trouble with a new cookbook (forward by Gordon Ramsey) by a very young chef, Nick DiGiovanni. I posted one of his recipes which I had to change and the second one I changed even more but have not posted. Some chefs/cooks test their recipes and retest them and they usually turn out great but not this newcomer. I have already shelved his book and may even donate as his recipes are not working for me!!!

    • Chef Mimi July 18, 2023 at 1:25 PM - Reply

      That’s unfortunate. And cookbooks are not cheap!

  6. Gerlinde de Broekert July 18, 2023 at 2:31 PM - Reply

    I can see why this recipe doesn’t work. Mimi, I admire your willingness to try new recipes. I myself made some mediocre new dishes lately by trying out different recipes.

    • Chef Mimi July 19, 2023 at 8:06 AM - Reply

      I’m usually pretty good at knowing how good a recipe will turn out, but I did not read through this one. I just liked the ingredients!

  7. Tandy | Lavender and Lime July 19, 2023 at 1:40 AM - Reply

    I love that you posted this recipe, with all your doubts and reservations. I think some recipe books have recipes that just do not make sense. The idea of this salad, using the ingredients as inspiration is great :)

    • Chef Mimi July 19, 2023 at 8:05 AM - Reply

      Yes, I could easily re-do this salad with the same ingredients, but used differently. And prepared differently.

  8. Sherry Mackay July 19, 2023 at 2:02 AM - Reply

    Mm interesting. yes that is way too much oregano that he suggests. You wonder if they actually try their food? And fetta being a condiment? wow that’s odd. and the tiny amount of tomatoes – also weird. He doesn’t sound like my kind of guy/chef either. For cookbook club earlier this year we used a book by an aussie male chef. Everyone seemed to love it except me!

    • Chef Mimi July 19, 2023 at 8:04 AM - Reply

      Interesting. Well, you know your own tastes. I’ve rarely purchased a cookbook that didn’t work for me, but this one get donated for sure.

  9. David @ Spiced July 19, 2023 at 6:02 AM - Reply

    Interesting combination of flavors – sounds delicious. I don’t think I would go with that guy’s proportions, but I bet you could use the concept to create something mighty delicious! Kudos to you for trying again though. I would’ve given up on him after the BBQ fail.

    • Chef Mimi July 19, 2023 at 8:03 AM - Reply

      Well, I thought, what could go wrong with a Greek salad????

  10. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen July 19, 2023 at 8:21 AM - Reply

    I generally use cookbooks as inspiration, rarely do I make anything from them as written. We all have such different tastes!

    • Chef Mimi July 19, 2023 at 1:13 PM - Reply

      Yes, I have a difficult time actually following a recipe, which is why I don’t bake!

  11. Cynthia M Woodman July 19, 2023 at 9:28 PM - Reply

    That zucchini salad sounds delish Mimi!

    • Chef Mimi July 20, 2023 at 9:53 AM - Reply

      Thanks, Cynthia!

  12. Nigella Eats Everything July 20, 2023 at 5:49 PM - Reply

    Well your version is absolutely stunning! His recipe on the other hand sounds utterly bizarre, did he have an editor?!

    • Chef Mimi July 21, 2023 at 8:11 AM - Reply

      I have no idea. So strange.

  13. thatskinnychickcanbake July 21, 2023 at 5:36 PM - Reply

    What a fun twist on a Greek salad! I’d be happy to eat this for my lunches next week!

    • Chef Mimi July 22, 2023 at 5:45 PM - Reply

      Read through the recipe first – it’s a bit odd. Or just do your own thing using these ingredients!

  14. Supraja Lakshmi N July 22, 2023 at 2:13 AM - Reply

    This salad looks so refreshing and satisfying! I will definitely make this soon. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe, you are a master of salads.

    • Chef Mimi July 22, 2023 at 5:44 PM - Reply

      You are too kind!

  15. Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons July 23, 2023 at 11:51 AM - Reply

    It sounds off to me as well Mimi. I would definitely make some major changes. Thanks for the review. At last a cookbook I don’t need to purchase (although I do like him on The Bear).

    • Chef Mimi July 23, 2023 at 3:45 PM - Reply

      Do you really?! I can’t stand his voice!!! But he’s a interesting character for sure.

  16. Hannah Kaminsky July 25, 2023 at 8:38 AM - Reply

    Wow, what an odd and misguided recipe. It’s things like this that make me wonder: Who tested this? Did anyone proofread? Was it written by AI? Such a shame… And while I do swear a lot in real life, I wouldn’t want that all in print. It reads very differently, of course.

    • Chef Mimi July 25, 2023 at 9:08 AM - Reply

      Isn’t that crazy?! I’ve now given up on the cookbook.

  17. Carrie Tyler July 25, 2023 at 9:10 AM - Reply

    Love the candid review! You definitely inspired me to make a zucchini salad and I like your tips :)

    • Chef Mimi July 25, 2023 at 3:49 PM - Reply

      Just make it the right way! It will be delicious.

  18. David Scott Allen July 28, 2023 at 5:19 PM - Reply

    It really did sound like all the ingredients would make a fine salad, but all your points make sense… 3 cherry tomatoes? WTH (I went with “what the heck” so as not to make you think I curse all the time! hahahahaha) I might try this with your edits because all the ingredients are good. I might just do nice big hunks of feta instead if whipped. As for the peperoncini – I might slice them AND add some of the Calabrian chiles… (they are so good, but 2/3 cup might ill me…) Thanks for your edits and thoughtful review. I will skip the book, and probably the television show!

    • Chef Mimi July 29, 2023 at 8:49 AM - Reply

      You need to watch him for a few minutes on YouTube. His voice is so irritating to me that I have no idea why he’s so popular! Yes, all the ingredients are good, except for the pepperoncini confusion!

  19. Raymund July 30, 2023 at 7:07 PM - Reply

    I have to agree with you, feta is truly a wonderful cheese, and it pairs so beautifully with the Mediterranean ingredients in this salad.

    • Chef Mimi July 30, 2023 at 8:39 PM - Reply

      I agree with you, too! It’s a wonderful cheese. So is goat cheese. Well, so are all cheeses!

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