Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes With Red Pepper Dressing

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Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes With Red Pepper Dressing


Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes With Red Pepper Dressing

Aug 12, 2016Recipes, Summer

Normally by August, people that grow summer squash are chasing folks down to give some away, but this year, either due to borers, bugs or the weather, has been pretty light. So why not try a recipe that showcases the fresh flavor of this summertime veggie? I made this last week and can testify to its ease, gorgeous presentation and really yummy flavors. The red bell pepper dressing really sets it off, in fact, I used the rest of mine on some eggs mid week, so it is quite versatile as well. You could most definitely use any kind of summer squash for this and if you have a spiralizer, you could use it instead of slicing. Happy cooking!


2 pounds zucchini or summer squash, sliced lengthwise 1/8-inch thick
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup roughly chopped roasted red pepper (see note)
1 teaspoon Maras pepper flakes, Korean pepper flakes or sweet paprika
Pinch of cayenne
Salt and pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved and lightly salted
A few fresh oregano leaves and flowers, for garnish, or a few small basil leaves
Parsley leaves, for garnish
Olives, for garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Working in batches, blanch zucchini strips for 1 minute, then remove with a spider or slotted spoon and spread on a kitchen towel-lined baking sheet to cool.
  2. Make the dressing: Put roasted red pepper, garlic, oil, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, Maras pepper and cayenne in a blender and purée until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust acidity with a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar.
  3. Arrange zucchini and cherry tomatoes on a platter. Drizzle judiciously with dressing (reserve excess dressing for up to a week) and garnish with oregano, parsley and olives.

Zucchini’s inherent versatility is well known. It shows up in pastas, vegetable stews and can even be pickled. In this salad, thinly sliced zucchini is very briefly blanched, then paired with other summery ingredients and served at room temperature. Roast the red pepper yourself or use a quality brand from a jar.



  • You can use store-bought roasted red peppers here, but to roast a red bell pepper at home, halve it vertically and remove seeds and stem. Push down each half to flatten. Lay on a baking sheet skin side up and broil until skins are blackened completely, about 5 minutes. Rub off skin with paper towel (do not rinse).