Thursday, July 29, 2010

Recipe for Marinated Zucchini Salad with Olives, Artichokes, Red Pepper, and Red Onion

Marinated Zucchini Salad with Olives, Artichokes, Red Pepper, and Red Onion
(Updated and added to Recipe Favorites July 2010.) This recipe for Marinated Zucchini Salad with Olives, Artichokes, Red Pepper, and Onion had been lurking in the archives of Kalyn's Kitchen since 2005 without a single photo! Then recently someone left a comment saying they liked the recipe, and it reminded me to make it and take photos. Now I'm reminding myself that salads with Parmesan cheese on them look fuzzy in photos, but I do hope the photos will inspire a lot more people to make this tasty salad. If you happen to end up with some monster zucchini in the garden, they can be used in this if you scoop out the seeds and trim away most of the pithy white part, then cut the zucchini into small pieces before you steam it. You can use this recipe as merely a starting point, because there are lots of other raw or cooked vegetables that would be good here, so have fun with this one!

Cut up zucchini into bite-sized pieces, steam for 3 minutes and then drain. (If you're using older zucchini, cut away the large seeds and most of the white part before you cut it into pieces.)

Artichoke hearts are kind of a pricey ingredient, so I only used one small jar, but you can use more if the budget permits. Be sure the artichokes are drained well.

Dump one can pitted olives into a colander and drain well.

Chop up red bell pepper into bite-sized pieces.

Cut a small red onion into bite-sized pieces. (If you don't like raw onion, leave it out, or I think green onion would be good in this.)

Mix the salad dressing, lemon juice, Parmesan, basil, and oregano. (The last few years I've been using pesto in this instead of dried basil, but if you use dried basil your dressing won't be this green!)

Put all the salad ingredients into a plastic bowl with a tight-fitting lid (or Ziploc bag) and pour over enough dressing to completely moisten ingredients. Let salad marinate 4-8 hours in the fridge. When you serve, stir in a bit more dressing and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Marinated Zucchini Salad With Olives, Artichokes, Red Pepper, and Red Onion
(Makes 4-6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn.)

4-5 small zucchini, cut into half moon slices about 1/2 inch thick (or bite sized pieces)
1 can large pitted black olives, drained very well
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained very well
1 red or green pepper chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 red onion chopped into bite-sized pieces

Dressing Ingredients:
1 cup Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing
(or your favorite Italian dressing with no sugar)
juice of half lemon (2 T)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, Asiago, or Romano cheese
1 T dried basil (or use 2 T basil pesto or 3 T. chopped fresh basil)
1 tsp. dried oregano
Optional: additional 1/4 cup grated parmesan to sprinkle over salad just before serving

Cut zucchini into quarter slices or bite sized pieces. (If you're using large zucchini, cut away the seeds and most of the white part.) Steam zucchini until barely tender/crisp, about 3 minutes, then drain very well. (You can plunge the steamed zucchini into water with ice cubes to stop the cooking if you're in a hurry, but I don't always do that.)

While zucchini is cooking, open olives and artichoke hearts and dump into a colander to drain well. (Draining the zucchini and olives well is essential or the finished salad will be watery.) Chop the red bell pepper and red onion into bite-sized pieces.

Combine zucchini, olives, artichoke hearts, red pepper and red onion in plastic or glass container with a lid (or use a Ziploc bag.) Pour dressing over, just enough to cover veggies, and stir gently. (I usually only use part of the dressing to marinate the veggies and then stir in a little more dressing when I serve it.)

Marinate in refrigerator 4-8 hours. If you can turn it over once in a while to keep the vegetables covered with dressing that would be great, but it's not essential. Just before serving stir in a little of the reserved dressing. Sprinkle the salad with more freshly grated Parmesan cheese when serving if desired.

At the risk of sounding like a cheese snob, let me say that this is best with freshly grated cheese. I like to grate it on the large side of the grater for the final 1/4 cup and serve the salad with the grated cheese not mixed in. However if all you have is pre-grated Parmesan, not to worry. It will still be yummy.

South Beach Suggestions:
This salad is perfect for any phase of the South Beach Diet, but be sure to choose a dressing with less than 2 grams of sugar per serving. For phase one, this would taste great with Grilled Spicy Tuna, or Marinated Flank Steak. For phase two or three, add something like Georgette's Really Lemony Greek Pilafi.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. 

More Salads with Zucchini:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Marinated Summer Squash and Chickpea Salad with Lemon, Herbs, and Parmesan from Kalyn's Kitchen
Raw Summer Squash Salad with Arugula, Feta, and Herbs from Kalyn's Kitchen
Zucchini Carpaccio (raw zucchini salad) With Lemon, Herbs, and Goat Cheese from Kalyn's Kitchen
Warm Zucchini Salad from Eat. Drink. Smile.
Zucchini Salad with Yogurt Dressing from Scrumptious Street Blog
Marinated Zucchini from A Life (Time) of Cooking
Fried Zucchini Salad with Feta from The Culinary Chase
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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  1. Oh my gosh!! This is SO GOOD! I have a ton of zucchini right now, and I'm always in the market for a new yummy recipe. THIS IS FABULOUS! I kicked it up a notch by using Feta cheese (TO DIE FOR in this salad, I promise!). Yum!! Thanks for posting this! Oh... and PS... is it still SB friendly if you eat all of it? :)

  2. JoAnn so glad you liked it. It's funny because I just made a note of this yesterday to make so I can take photos!

  3. I think the dressing alone could be a great post! Have you used this salad dressing recipe in other salads? If you could recommend any other salad options I'd appreciate it.

  4. I'm not a fan of raw onions, so here's what I do: either soak them in cold water for 30 minutes, or saute very lightly, just to take the raw edge off. I prefer to cook them just a bit, but soaking in water also eliminates some of that very raw onion flavor. This salad looks delicious, and I'm going to try it with some of the wonderful parsley from my garden.

  5. Creatively Domestic, I haven't used this dressing on anything else, but I think it would be good on lots of other things, especially salads with tomatoes or peppers. I'd like it drizzled over roasted or grilled veggies too.

    Lydia, good ideas for getting rid of the raw onion taste.

  6. I absolutely love raw zucchini. This salad looks gorgeous- and I imagine it is super flavorful. Wonderful combo, Kalyn. Love the dressing ingredients.

  7. Looks perfect for a summer picnic! I am loving all the fresh veggies!

  8. This looks awesome! I bet it is just as flavorful as it is colorful :)

  9. We are going to have tons of cauliflower in our garden this year - I'll bet this would be good marinated the same way as the zucchini.

    I love the liquid that comes in those little jars with the artichoke hearts. Could you add that in to your marinade?


  10. Karri, thanks. I've been making this salad for a long time, and now Creatively Domestic has given me the idea to try the dressing on other things!

    Rebecca, me too!

    Zesty, thanks!

    Donna, great idea to add the juice from the marinated artichokes!

  11. Hi Kalyn,
    How are you?? This salad looks good. My garden sucks this year, so I'm going to have to rely on the kindness of my neighbors for Zucchini. Hey, how do think roasted peppers would taste in this? I roast them and keep them in the frig all the time.

  12. I have been wondering about using zucchini in salads. I didn't really want to eat it raw so steaming a bit is perfect. Looks and sounds delish, Kalyn. I love the raw red onion! And, you're so right about the Parmesan cheese affecting photos. A little also seems to look like a huge amount in photos. Pursuant to our discussion yesterday, looks like you've checked off another blog post for a photo fix. ;-)


  13. Hi Chigiy,
    I'm doing fine, but not spending nearly enough time weeding and my garden is getting over-run with weeds! It's been so hot here, I keep hoping for some cooler days so I feel like getting out there. After your snakebite horrors, I can imagine your garden has suffered. Hope you are getting back to normal. I do think roasted red peppers would be fantastic in this!

    Shirley, I like the barely steamed zucchini in this, although I do like raw zucchini in some types of salad. Yep, another old post updated, but hundreds more to go!

  14. Oh my gosh...this looks amazing. I've put it on my menu list for this weekend. I have some zucchini in the fridge right now calling my name!

  15. Marinating everything would certainly bring the flavours out and this is already one tasty sounding salad!

  16. This salad looks so appetizing, so colorful and of course, it's highly nutritious. I like the salad dressing.

  17. looks so fresh and delicious, love it!

  18. Oh, I love everything about this! te texturem the colour, the flavours... just yummy!

  19. I see I am getting behind on replying to comments here, but so glad people are liking this one, even if it's an "oldie."

  20. Wow, this is great! I'm allergic to raw peppers so I left those out, but the rest is exactly as written and it IS yummy. Having it for lunch "as we speak".

    A quick tip for cooking the zucchini - I put the chunks in a covered glass casserole and microwaved it on high for 1 minute. Came out perfect, didn't need the ice water bath.

    Thanks for another great low carb recipe, Kalyn!

  21. Linda, glad you liked it! Good idea to use the microwave to cook the zucchini.

  22. I made this and it was excellent. I added grape tomatoes, sliced in half, and used marinated kalamatas instead of black olives, which I don't like. I also sweated the onions in some salt before adding (then washed under water to remove salt) to take that spicy onion edge off. I wish I had a microwave because Linda's time- (and dishes-) saving tip sounds good. This is so easy it will surely become a standby recipe for me.

  23. Tara, so glad you liked it. I love the addition of grape tomatoes. Thanks for sharing your variations.

  24. I bought all the stuff to make this the other night and accidentally bought cucumbers instead of zucchini... this happens to me ALL the time. LOL.
    ANYWAY, it was still delicious with the cucumbers! haha
    Thank you!

  25. It does sound good to me with cucumbers!

  26. Made this yesterday to use up some yellow squash and it was DELICIOUS! I added tomatoes, used green onions instead of red, and used feta as suggested by another comment-er and my husband loved it! This deserves another mention and some new pictures!

  27. Thanks so much Amy, glad you enjoyed it. (And I will add it to my long list of recipes that could use new photos!)

  28. For those who don't like the harshness of the red onion, but like the subtle flavour and crunch, try slicing the red onion into thin rings or half moons and cover with the juice of 2 limes or a lemon and leave to soak for 10-15 minutes. The onion and citrus juice can then be used in the dressing. The lime worked perfectly for this recipe to my mouth, and the red onion turns fluorescent pink, mild and crunchy, no harshness! Love this salad! Thanks for sharing so many great ones!


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