Zucchini Salad

Zucchini Salad
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sliced zucchini
A good way to use a big zucchini.

We had one of those eight ball squash (basically a spherical zucchini squash) left from our CSA pickup, and we wanted to do something a little different with it. We thought about the Zucchini and Bread Salad, and we were headed that direction when we veered off and decided on a new style zucchini salad. One based vaguely on our Light Cole Slaw recipe, instead.

With it being based on the Light Cole Slaw, you can probably guess what we did. Made the coleslaw “gravy,” poured it over the zucchini, tossed it all together, and served it up. We didn’t want to get too close to coleslaw, so we left out the raisins, carrots, and even the celery seeds that we like so much. But, that gives you, dear Scratcher, enough to call this salad “zucchini slaw,” if you happen to have someone who loves coleslaw but isn’t all that found of summer squash. We guess that there might be some people like that.

Zucchini Salad

Yield: 2-3 servings

Zucchini Salad


  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pickling spice
  • 1 large zucchini
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Abbreviated Instructions

In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, salt, and pickling spice. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Simmer 5 minutes, then remove from heat.

Meanwhile, cut zucchini into strips and place in a bowl. Strain vinegar mixture over zucchini and toss to coat. Let stand 5 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Ingredient discussion:

We came up with the idea for this salad because, often, zucchini is so prolific that people start surreptitiously leaving bags of it on their neighbors’ doorsteps. And, maybe with a new and different recipe, that might not happen as much. For the vinegar, just use the plain old distilled white vinegar. You don’t need the extra flavor from a wine vinegar; that’s what the pickling seasoning is for.

Procedure in detail:

making dressing
Make the gravy by simmering the vinegar, sugar, salt, and spices together, and the salad is half done.

Make “gravy.” It may be a little odd, but we refer to the sauce for coleslaw as gravy, even though it’s nothing like gravy. Well, not always, but sometimes, such as when we made it this time. In a small saucepan, mix together the vinegar, sugar, salt, and pickling spice, and place it over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Let simmer 5 minutes, then remove from heat.

Chop zucchini. While the gravy is simmering, chop the zucchini into strips, or matchsticks, and place in a bowl.

straining out pickling spice
You don’t want to chomp down on pickling spice bits; strain them out.

Strain and marinade.  Strain out the pickling spices from the gravy and pour over the zucchini strips. Toss the zucchini, then let it marinade about 5 minutes, tossing a few more times. This will allow the gravy to soak in just a bit. Now, you’ll end up with extra gravy on the bottom of the bowl, but that’s because the zucchini is losing liquid. Either dish it up, or not, your choice.

Season. Taste, and give your salad a shake of salt or a grind of pepper if needed before serving.

We had this salad as a light lunch and both thought that it was a great way to eat zucchini. It’s not as good as coleslaw made with cabbage, but it’s still good. And, for a lunch that takes only 10 minutes to put together, well, the zucchini salad is worth four stars.

Worth the trouble?

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