Zucchini, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, and avocado combine to earn this zucchini noodle salad a permanent place in your spring and summer salad rotation.
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Zucchini used to be one of those vegetables I would eat only when someone else prepared it, but I was never really impressed by it. Most times it’s cooked to mush and for those of you who’ve been around a while you know that I don’t get on too well with mushy vegetables.
Then, we moved to San Francisco and while unpacking I discovered a julienne peeler. It looks like a Y-style vegetable peeler, but it has all these perpendicular blades that allow it to quickly and easily julienne vegetables. With all the craze of spiralizing going on, I decided to try the peeler on a zucchini and just like that, the zucchini noodle salad was born.
The first thing I learned is that raw zucchini is delicious. The second is that it doesn’t need a lot of assistance to make it into a tasty side dish or even an entree salad. This version of zucchini noodle salad is one of my go to recipes for spring and summer.
As I mentioned above, this recipe can be made using a simple julienne peeler. However, it can also be made with a spiralizer. I was fortunate to borrow my friend’s spiralizer when preparing this recipe at her house.
The spiralizer was a bit quicker than the peeler, but once you include the clean up time for the spiralizer it takes about the same with either method. In other words, I’ll stick to my space saving peeler, but if you have a spiralizer by all means use it!
If using a spiralizer, be sure to stop once in awhile and trim the noodle for length. If you spiralize the entire zucchini at once you will get very, very long noodles that are difficult to mix and serve.
If using the julienne peeler, place the zucchini on a cutting board for stability and rotate the veggie with each stroke of the peeler to keep things even. I use as much of the veggie as I can peel off, skins and seeds included.
Once the zucchini is julienned toss it with a half teaspoon of salt and place it in a colander to drain. You won’t get a lot of liquid out of it, but allowing it to sit for 10 minutes while chopping the rest of the veggies helps to soften the zucchini.
Chop the bell pepper (any color will do) into a medium dice. Half or quarter the cherry tomatoes depending on your preference. Peel and chop half of an avocado. Place all veggies in a bowl with the zucchini.
Drizzle in the olive oil and lime juice, sprinkle on the panko bread crumbs and other half teaspoon of salt. Toss gently to combine and serve. If you would like to make this salad in advance I recommend chopping the veggies in advance, but not adding the panko, olive oil, lime juice, or salt until no more than 30 minutes prior to serving.
Prepared as directed, this salad will make 2 – 3 entree sized portions which can be served up with a protein of your choice if desired, or 4 – 6 side sized servings. It goes great with this Balsamic Honey Dijon Pulled Pork or these Panko Crusted Oven Fried Rockfish Fillets.
Don’t forget to pin this recipe for later!!
Zucchini Noodle Salad
Zucchini Noodle Salad
- 3 zucchini
- 1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- juice of 1/2 a lime about 1 TBSP
- 1 tsp of salt divided
Julienne or spiralize the zucchini. Toss it with a half teaspoon of salt and place it in a colander to drain for 10 minutes while chopping the rest of the veggies.
Chop the bell pepper into a medium dice.
Half or quarter the cherry tomatoes.
Peel and chop half of an avocado.
Place all zucchini, bell pepper, tomatoes and avocado in a bowl.
Drizzle in the olive oil and lime juice.
Sprinkle on the panko bread crumbs and other half teaspoon of salt.
Toss gently to combine and serve.
Recipe Notes1. If using a spiralizer, be sure to stop once in awhile and trim the noodle for length.
2. If using the julienne peeler, place the zucchini on a cutting board for stability and rotate the veggie with each stroke of the peeler to keep things even.
3. I use as much of the veggie as I can peel off, skins and seeds included.
4. If you would like to make this salad in advance I recommend chopping the veggies in advance, but not adding the panko, olive oil, lime juice, or salt until no more than 30 minutes prior to serving.