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Zucchini Corn Salad

This zucchini corn salad with fresh basil and feta is served with a bright and tangy lemon dressing and will be on repeat all summer long! This recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free, and can easily be made vegan.

Grilling is a popular cooking method for corn and zucchini in the summer. But, what do you do if you don’t have a grill? You go the pan-searing route, which is what we did with this salad. You get a similarly delicious lightly charred flavor and an easy clean-up.

It’s the perfect side dish to bring to barbeques, celebrations, or any get-together. Just make sure to grab some for yourself first because it’ll go quickly. For the ultra summer feast serve alongside a frozen watermelon marg and Margherita pasta.

Ingredients

Salad

  • Corn – this recipe uses fresh ears of shucked corn for the base of the salad.
  • Zucchini – the perfect accompaniment to the corn.
  • Olive oil – what the zucchini and corn get seared in.
  • Crumbled feta – add a nice salty flavor and creamy texture. Use dairy-free or regular. For dairy-free feta, I like the brand Follow Your Heart.
  • Fresh basil – adds freshness and another layer of flavor.
  • Salt and pepper – to taste.

Dressing

  • Extra virgin olive oil – the best oil base for every homemade vinaigrette.
  • Lemon zest – gives the dressing an amazing lemon flavor.
  • Lemon juice – adds acidity and brightness.
  • Raw honey – adds a touch of sweetness to offset the tartness from the lemon.
  • Salt and pepper – to taste and heighten the flavors.

How to Make Zucchini Corn Salad

To a large hot skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place the zucchini cut-side down and cook for 5 minutes until golden brown.

Remove from the skillet and sprinkle with salt. You’ll need to do this in two batches.

Add the corn kernels to the skillet along with salt and pepper. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until starting to brown.

Cut zucchini into 1/2-inch pieces and cut each piece in half again. Add to a large bowl along with the corn and toss with the dressing to combine. Serve with feta and chopped basil.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.

How can you make this zucchini corn salad using what you already have? Here are some ideas

  • No zucchini? – you can use yellow squash (also called summer squash), portobello mushrooms, or eggplant for a similar texture.
  • No fresh corn? – you can also use frozen corn, just make sure it’s thawed first. You’ll need about 3 1/2 cups.
  • No feta? – just leave it out.
  • No basil? – you can add in another fresh herb such as parsley or cilantro.
  • Make it vegan – substitute the honey for maple syrup.
  • Add cooked protein – shrimp, chicken, bacon, or white beans can be added to make it a filling main dish.

Equipment

Making this salad requires no fancy equipment, just basic kitchen tools such as a chef knife, cutting board, mixing bowls, whisk, measuring spoons, and a large skillet to cook the zucchini and corn.

If you have a grill pan, feel free to use that instead of the skillet.

Storage

Store this salad in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Top Tip

Make sure your pan is nice and hot before you add the oil and zucchini. A hot pan makes all the difference for getting a nice sear on the zucchini.

More Summer Salads You’ll Love

Zucchini Corn Salad

5 from 6 votes
A large serving platter with zucchini corn salad and feta crumbles.
This zucchini corn salad with fresh basil and feta is served with a bright and tangy lemon dressing and will be on repeat all summer long! This recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free, and can easily be made vegan.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Serving Size 6

Ingredients
 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 medium-large zucchini, cut in half lengthwise or 4-5 small-medium
  • 4 ears corn, shucked, & kernels removed from cob
  • salt & pepper, to taste amounts in instructions
  • ¼ – ½ cup crumbled feta dairy-free or regular
  • handful fresh basil, roughly chopped

Lemon Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt reduce by half if using another type
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and add more salt or pepper if needed. Set aside.
  • Heat up a large skillet over medium heat. Once nice and hot, add the olive oil and place the zucchini cut-side down. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the skillet and place on a plate. Lightly sprinkle with salt and set aside. Repeat with remaining zucchini.
  • Add the corn kernels to the skillet, season with ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Cut zucchini into half-inch pieces and cut each piece in half again. Add to a large bowl along with the corn and toss with the dressing to combine. Serve with feta and chopped fresh basil. 

Notes

Make sure your pan is nice and hot before you add the oil and zucchini. A hot pan makes all the difference for getting a nice sear on the zucchini.
SUBSTITUTIONS:
No zucchini? – you can use yellow squash (also called summer squash), portobello mushrooms, or eggplant for a similar texture.
No fresh corn? – you can also use frozen corn, just make sure it’s thawed first. You’ll need about 3 1/2 cups.
No feta? – just leave it out.
No basil? – you can add in another fresh herb such as parsley or cilantro.
Make it vegan – substitute the honey for maple syrup.
Add cooked protein – shrimp, chicken, bacon, or white beans can be added to make it a filling main dish.

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