Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Light Summer Salad

Memorial Day weekend has come to a close and we have some serious post-barbecue cleansing to do. Over the next few weeks we’ll be exercising outdoors every chance we get, making sure we get our standard eight glasses of water a day, and keeping our meals light and refreshing.

To that end, soups and salads featuring seasonal produce are the name of the game. Zucchini, with its high water content (perfect for rehydrating) and low calorie count (the better for beach season), is among our favorite warm-weather veggies. Zucchini is also high in folate, potassium and vitamins A and C. When you’re at the market browsing the zucchini selection, make sure you go for the smaller, younger options.

As for our preferred zucchini-packed dishes, we, along with actress, fashion icon and mother of two Maggie Gyllenhaal, love this popular dish from Brooklyn restaurant Walden. Simple yet satisfying, it’s the perfect light lunch or summery starter.

1 medium zucchini
1 cup arugula
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon lemon juice
Sea salt

1. Halve zucchini lengthwise, and steam for 7 minutes until soft but not mushy. Lay on paper towels to drain. When zucchini is cool, cut into paper-thin slices.
2. Place zucchini slices on a plate and top with arugula. Garnish with basil, pine nuts, olive oil, lemon juice, salt to taste and Parmigiano-Reggiano.