Sweet and Sour Zucchini Corn Salad

Sometimes garbage salads are the best.

They’re the salads I make when I have a produce drawer full of stuff and I throw it all together.

And sometimes all that stuff works so amazingly well together. That was this salad.

I never even intended to photograph it or share the recipe, but after one bite, I knew I had to.

It’s naturally vegan, gluten-free, light, fresh, and healthy. Perfect summer food and helps with the abundance of zucchini many people have now. Not me, I have to buy mine.

It reminds me of salsa, but I’m calling it salad so there’s no shame in shoveling it down by the fork-full. Although every few bites, I piled it on tortilla chips because everything tastes better on crunchy corn chips. It would make a great bruschetta topper.

The salad makes use of just about anything you’d have in your produce drawer. Customize it with your favorites.

I used juicy pineapple and mango which add a sweet element, lime juice adds sour, zucchini and corn add crunch, edamame adds chewiness and protein, cilantro adds extra flavor, and a jalepeño pepper and hot pepper jelly add heat.

There’s plenty of sneak-up-on you heat from the jalapeño pepper and hot pepper (homemade here or here). When mixed with lime juice, the hot pepper jelly and lime turn into a great vinaigrette and gives the salad it’s bold, zippy flavor and sweet heat. It tasted better the second day after the flavors married.

There’s so much flavor, texture, and crunch in every bite and I couldn’t get enough of it.

Sweet-and-tangy, hot-and-sour, juicy, fresh, healthy. Loved it.

Sweet and Sour Zucchini Corn Salad (vegan, GF)

The salad makes use of just about anything you’d have in your produce drawer. Customize it and toss in your favorites. It’s naturally vegan, gluten-free, light, fresh, and healthy. Juicy pineapple and mango add a sweet element, lime juice adds sour, zucchini and corn add crunch, edamame adds chewiness and protein, cilantro adds extra flavor, and a jalepeño pepper and hot pepper jelly add heat. There’s heat from the jalapeño pepper and hot pepper jelly, and when mixed with the lime juice, a great vinaigrette forms and gives the salad it’s bold, zippy flavor and sweet heat. There’s so much flavor, texture, and crunch in every bite. The salad can be made up to 24 hours in advance and kept refrigerated. It tastes better the second day after the flavors have married.

Did you make this recipe?

Ingredients:

1 small zucchini, diced small (about 1 to 1 1/2 cups)
1 average/small de-seeded jalapeño pepper, diced finely (or keep the seeds for extra heat)
3/4 cup diced pineapple (fresh, frozen, or canned)
3/4 cup diced mango (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup corn (fresh or frozen; I don’t cook or thaw it)
1/2 cup cooked edamame
1/3 cup hot pepper jelly (homemade here or here, Trader Joe’s, or your favorite)
juice from 1 very juicy lime, 3 to 4 tablespoons
cilantro leaves from about 1/2 bunch of cilantro, torn or chopped (I used 1 whole bunch)
pinch cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
salt and pepper, optional and to taste
chips or bread for serving, optional

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, toss very well to coat, and serve immediately. Optionally, refrigerate salad for up to 24 hours before serving. Fruits and vegetables will release their juices and salad will be juicier, but the flavors will have married and salad tastes better on second day. Salad will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 4 days, noting it will become juicier as time passes.
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