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

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What color is the paint on your walls and cabinets? It’s so pretty!


I often feel that my morning counters are like the beach after a storm. The flotsam and jetsam always manages to deposit themselves overnight. Alas, at least the tidying is soul satisfying. delicious looking dish as always!

gail {A Healthy Hunger}

Currently in the process of enjoying this dish: it is a divine combination of flavors. I think it could even be served at the end of a meal, as a sort of sweet yet healthful alternative to dessert.


Pretty posting today. Even your “messy” kitchen is clean and sanitary with nary a toaster crumb! All the stray knives on our counter have butter, cheese or tomato bits stuck to them 😉


I know exactly what you mean. I keep buying ingredients and my pantry (pantries, actually) spill over every time I dare to open them to grab something…
BTW, the dish looks so appetizing!!! I’ll need to try it!

Angel Reyes

Wonderful! Thanks for the great tip! My cupboards are pretty cluttered as well! 🙂

Eleonor Bergström

I even love the before picture at 7 a.m. 😉
xo, Elisa


Beautiful dish! Also…I want everything in your kitchen, awesome little finds. It really does add up quickly though lol, I have those weeks as well forcing myself to use up what I have before shopping!


Can´t wait to try it! Love all your salads.


Hi Heidi, could you please id the purple leaf on the dish? It was served as a garnish at a diner and didn’t taste like a herb so we assumed it was a sprout or salad leaf.


Thanks Heidi. I had loads of yellow courgettes in the fridge from our allotment and a picnic invite for today and needed something to bring. I added some bulgar to bulk it up, it was super delicious.


hehe I’m exactly the same, everyone hates sharing a kitchen with me cos there’s always pots and jars of this and that cluttering the place!
I cannot wait to make this! Did you serve it as a side to something? I’m not sure whether it would go better with a grain or bean or something for dinner.
And I join others in looking forward to that za’atar blend and recipes, I have just discovered za’atar, a lovely Lebanese one from Ottolenghi in London, and I’d love ideas fro using it 🙂


Since I’m drowning in garden zucchini, I may have to try this tonight! On another note, any chance you’d share the za’atar recipe you mention? It also sounds fantastic. 🙂

HS: Hi JB, I have it on my list of things to write up – one of my favorite things.


Hi Heidi!
Love your pics and recipe! As always a source of inspiration for my mind and belly. Question: In the pic of the nuts/seeds/tea/peppercorn selection; what sort of tape are you using to adhere the photo to the glass cabinet above the counter-top?Thx!

HS: Hi Lily! I like to use paper “washi” tape…it comes off easily without leaving stickiness, but has pretty good holding power on many surfaces.


I am curious as to why put the red onions in ice water?

HS: Hi Chris, I find that takes a bit of the bite out of them, but if you like strong red onion flavor, by all means, go for it straight. 🙂


haha, I have a very similar looking kitchen, but I love it. Great recipe! This is so full of yummy ingredients 🙂

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

Could you share the recipe for the lavender-zaatar blend? That sounds absolutely amazing! What do you use it on?

HS: Hi C.R. – It’s on my list!

Crazy Radishes

I love a busy kitchen! Happy Nesting.


Thoroughly enjoyed Zucchini Agrodolce for dinner tonight. The dressing is perfectly balanced and oh so flavorful. Used my new Y-slicer to make long yellow-squash noodles–they held up well in the dressing, remaining delightfully crisp. A great recipe I know I’ll make often. Thank you.

HS: So happy to hear it Janice!


I was just looking at my countertop thinking the same thing this morning. Out of control! Time to toss it all in a salad. 🙂

la domestique

Pretty kitchen, either way…and this dish looks delicious and healthy!


My motto: “Dull women have immaculate homes.” Your kitchen looks welcoming – like someone really loves to cook in it! Lucky for all of us. A favor: please estimate onion ingredients in cups. I can guess, but it would be helpful. Thanks!


Heidi, your “messy” countertop has both flair and flavors to stimulate mouth and mind! No wonder you can “pull something together” with ease and abandon. Would you post the ingredients of the za’ atar recipe? i have dried rose petals, black sesame seeds, and 65 lavender bushes. Would love to whip up something exotic with these! Thank you.

HS: Hi Angela! I plan to write it up soon – xo -h


Any new recipe in using zucchini at the end of summer is always most welcome. I like the date and walnut topping on this, which really lifts the dish.


Try a “Vegettii” instead of the mandolin. It works quite well with squash and takes no time at all.

HS: I will keep my eyes open for one! Thanks for the tip Marla.


your ‘mess’ is really very tidy!! Beautiful before, during, and after!! Making this for dinner later- yum!!


My counters are also a mess this time of year, but not nearly so sophisticated as they are covered in piles of small asian pears of various kinds, bartletts, some early apples, a kumquat here and there, tomatoes, various canned goods like pickles and yellow squash relish, etc. I guess when the counters can hold no more I will have to organize the pantry!
Great timing on the recipe as a neighbor just gave me some yellow zucchini and I was wondering what to do with the rest of it after I get through with the marmalade recipe. I look forward to having this tonight!
Speaking of recipes, I’ll have to do some research for preserved kumquats. I’m debating on whether I want to keep my dwarf tree or not, and a new recipe may give it at least another year’s reprieve from the tree saw!
Thanks, Heidi, for sharing your flavor inspirations and your eye for beauty in each and everything around you.


I wish my clutter looked like your clutter! 😉 Thank you for sharing this recipe; it looks so interesting and different… and yummy!


always good to find new recipes during zuc/cougette glut season. Thnks


Clutter yes, but it’s tasty clutter. Sounds like a great mix of sweet/sour and crunch.


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 😀 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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