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Italian Zucchini Salad

My husband, Robert, doesn't care much for zucchini, but even he likes this salad, so it's one I make often. The dressing is generous—it can be used on other green salads and even to marinate meats for the grill. I'm always trying new recipes, and I have lots of eager tasters with three children, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. I've entered recipe contests many times before, but this is the first time I've had a recipe picked. It's the nicest feeling!
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 2 pounds zucchini
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 12 large ripe pitted olives
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 avocado
  • Pimientoor red pepper strips


  • Wash zucchini; cut off ends. Cut into 3/4-in. slices. Combine water and salt; pour over zucchini in saucepan. Cook until tender-crisp. Drain; set aside.
  • Cut olives in quarters; add to zucchini mixture. Combine the oil, vinegar, salt, paprika, pepper, sugar and basil. Spear garlic on toothpick; add to dressing. Pour over zucchini mixture in bowl; stir gently. Chill overnight.
  • Discard garlic. Several hours before serving, peel avocado; cut into slices. Add to salad; stir. Garnish with pimiento or red pepper.
Nutrition Facts
3/4 cup: 167 calories, 17g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 469mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 fat, 1 vegetable.

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  • galinthewoods
    Oct 17, 2011

    After the zucchini is marinated in this dressing, it tastes just like marinated artichoke hearts (with a little different texture of course). I like avocado in things, but I was surprised that I liked the zucchini pieces in this salad better than I liked the avocado pieces. I am glad the avocado was there though, because without them it would not seem like much of a combined "salad." The toothpick in the garlic clove is an awesome idea for finding it later and fishing it out. The wooden pick may also add in the dispersion of flavor during marinating? The only thing I didn't enjoy about my experience with this was that the recipe doesn't say how long to cook the zucchini so it is too easy to over or under cook it.