Zucchini Agrodolce Recipe

A pretty, summer-centric zucchini agrodolce - shredded zucchini doused with a garlic infused agrodolce splash of vinegar, honey, and olive oil, tossed with a good number of other tastes and textures pulled from my cupboards and pantry. Toasted coconut and walnuts add crunch, red onion for bite and assertiveness, a couple of chopped dates, and tiny greens or herbs threaded about.

Zucchini Agrodolce

I suspect we've talked about this before. I fight a losing battle to keep my kitchen under control. Looking at the counter tops this morning I see - Corsican honey, clary sage-blackberry honey, also olive blossom honey. There are voatsiperifery peppercorns I picked up in Paris months ago, preserved kumquats from the Saturday farmers' market here in San Francisco, dried candy cap mushrooms, dried celery blossoms in a small bowl, camu and wheat grass powders, midnight beans, and a lavender thyme za'atar blend I made over the weekend with dried rose petals and black sesame. The sprawl extends to the refrigerator, cupboards above, and kitchen island behind me. But there is a limit, and every couple of months, I put the brakes on, refrain from bringing anything else into the kitchen, clean up, re-organize, and do my best to use what I have on hand. Enter today's recipe, a pretty, summer-centric zucchini agrodolce. The premise is simple - shredded zucchini doused with a garlic infused agrodolce splash of vinegar, honey, and olive oil. Add to that a good number of other tastes and textures pulled from the cupboards and pantry - toasted coconut and walnuts bring crunch, red onion for bite and assertiveness, a couple of chopped dates, and tiny greens (you could do herbs) threaded about.

Zucchini Agrodolce

Above: A corner of the kitchen this morning at 7 a.m.

Zucchini Agrodolce

Above: Four types of nuts & seeds, four types of tea, five kinds of peppercorn in a bowl.

Zucchini Agrodolce

Above: 7:45, same morning, after some tidying.

Zucchini Agrodolce

I used yellow summer squash here. You can use regular green zucchini or a mix, and here are some more zucchini recipes. This would be fantastic made with blanched (and well dried) cauliflower in place of the summer squash later in the year - or even now! Enjoy, -h

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Zucchini Agrodolce

Julienning summer squash can be a bit time intensive, you can certainly do a version of this with very thin coin-shaped slices instead. I used a mandolin to make quick work of it all.

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons runny honey
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more to taste
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small red onion, finely sliced, soaked in ice water
1 pound zucchini, julienned

1 cup / 4 ounces toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
2/3 cup / 1 ounce toasted coconut flakes
3 dates, pitted and chopped
to serve: micro greens or chopped herbs

Combine the vinegar, honey, garlic, and sea salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until it comes together, remove from heat, and let cool for a few minutes. Whisk in the olive oil.

Drain the onions, and pat dry. In a large bowl, combine the zucchini and onion together, pour over the vinegar mixture, toss well, then taste and add more salt to taste. Set aside for a few minutes. Alternately, you can move it to the refrigerator until you're ready to serve.

Before serving, toss the zucchini mixture with the walnuts, coconut flakes, and dates, then finish with a generous sprinkling of herbs or micro greens.

Serves 6.

Prep time: 10 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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I just love your style, Heidi. From the way you write to the way you think about organizing your life to your unique recipes. This salad looks pretty amazing.

HS: Thanks Katie!

Katie @ Whole Nourishment

Hi Heidi, I also tend to accumulate various food items over a relatively short amount of time and I relish in the challenge of figuring out ways to use them all up. I love the simplicity of your blog and approach to recipes. Well done!

Renee H.

I recently bought a new bottle of vinegar and to put it away, had to take out the old bottle. What to do with maybe a 1/4 cup? Then I see this recipe and .... I now have a small bottle of salad dressing for lunch! Thank you.

myrna sossner

Love this post, Heidi. Can you offer a recipe for using dried candy caps sometime? I've had some begging to be used for quite a while and I'm eager to try them! Thank you.

Hi Lindsey - I like to use them in broths - as I find their flavor and aroma sweeter and less fishy than more typical dried shiitake. Wayne likes to re-hydrate them, pat them really dry, and then deeply pan-fry as part of a larger stir-fry, but cook the mushrooms on their own, and stir them in at the end of the stir-fry.

Lindsey Reed

I think your kitchen looks stunning even when you think it's a bit out of control! Simple gorgeous. I have kitchen envy. Loving this summery salad!

Liz @ Floating Kitchen

Looks like another delicious combo of colors, flavors & textures. For a pot luck while we are visiting family & friends in Brazil, I made your black pepper cauliflower salad - it was a big hit, there was none left - thank you! I may try this with cauliflower as you suggested, sounds wonderful! Best wishes.


Thank you, Heidi, for this introduction to agrodulce. Having been gifted yesterday with yellow summer squash and having everything else on hand, this beautiful salad will be today's lunch. What a lively combination of flavors and colors.


Lovely! I have been enjoying a lot of zucchini based salads lately, this summer has been perfect for them! Love the idea of a slightly sweet salad with the honey and dates.

Catherine @ Chocolate & Vegetables

I have the same problem/process. Actually, this article reminded me that I have fresh crowder peas in the fridge from my most recent shopping spree at the farmers market!

Evelyn Roberts

I am definitely making this!

Sherri McNary

I've just made this to have for dinner later. My knife skills aren't the best, so after julienning for 30 seconds, I switched to fine slices of half-half moons. I'm out of white wine vinegar so I used apple balsamic instead and it's all very tasty so far, even without the nuts, etc. added yet! I really like the honey taste in the dressing. Great timing to have a simple, no-cook zucchini recipe, thank you!

HS: Thank you for reporting back Jul! And I'm all for lazy adaptations that work! Bravo for the half-moon.


I'm so with you! I'm having a 'clean out the pantry, bring NO food in the house until we eat down some of this mess!' I just got back from a lovely trip to SF and brought home wayyy too many things. Last night, I used the last of a bag of beluga lentils in a pot of rice with coconut milk and jalapenos from the garden. I used some jam that a friend in SF gave me to coat some fried tofu in (with a hefty pinch of red pepper flakes). It was awesome! I could send you the recipe, if you like. anyway, I know I'm not the only one that loves to see your kitchen, so thanks for sharing :)


Your kitchen looks cozy and beautiful before and after!


yYour kitchen at 7am looks like mine...but after I do the tidying. Which can only mean one thing: I'm a messy person. Or maybe we (men) have different tidiness standards. Yes, that's probably it! Loving this zucchini agrodolce, I had them once in Rome and loved them. Can't wait to make them again!


That looks fantastic! A little feel of deliciousness, mmm ^ ^ And I cannot believe how few ingredients it requires, fantastic :D And high five for the tidying up! x

Jules @ WolfItDown

Oh wow, you did a great job cleaning! In my kitchen, there´s always something standing around….not to speak of the beautiful salad you created - I love the flavors , textures, and the light, airy looks ! I´ll try this for sure!


I love pantry clean up ideas! Really stirs up your creative juices ! Again, just love those clean fresh colors !

Ciao Florentina

hi heidi, your kitchen counter is a thing of beauty, before AND after tidying! and oh, the light!! sigh. the salad looks like it's perfect right about now.

HS: Hope you've had a great summer Chika! xo


Instead of julienning the zucchini, I think it would work well to use a vegetable peeler. This is what the recipe for Yuba Noodle Salad on Food Wishes said to do with carrots. Zucchini could also be cut that way for your recipe, I am guessing.

Kelsey Lane

Miss Heidi, your clutter is still pretty to look at? How is that even possible?! ;-)

xo Miss Emma

Emma Galloway

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