This cantaloupe, corn, and zucchini salad with lemony pesto is a perfect no-cook recipe for hot summer nights. It’s vegan, gluten free, and dairy free.
What’s fresh, fast, raw, and super delicious?
Cantaloupe, corn, and zucchini salad with lemony pesto, that’s what!
This salad is seriously so simple, and with farmers market produce in contrasting shapes and colors, it’s easy on the eyes and so satisfying. Corn and zucchini are two things that are often cooked, but are actually very refreshing in their raw state. Get your hands on some sweet corn and make this as soon as possible–the raw kernels will be just bursting with summer flavor.
Here’s my CSA haul from the week I developed this salad (have you thought about signing up for a farm share?). This summer especially I have really been enjoying cooking with the produce in my box, trying to minimize trips to the store and maximize my fresh vegetable intake.
Here’s how we’re making this salad: ball the cantaloupe (or cube it if you’re not sure where your melon baller* is! <–this and others marked with a * are affiliate links, which means I earn from qualifying purchases), make the zucchini into ribbons with a peeler (save the core for a smoothie!), and cut the corn kernels off the cobs.
Next, make a simple pesto (use your favorite recipe or mine, in the notes section below) and thin it out with olive oil and lemon juice to make a lemony pesto dressing. Toss everything together, top with fresh basil leaves if you’re fancy, and you’re done! Meatless Monday doesn’t get much better than this.
Wondering what to do with the rest of your pesto? I love a pesto frittata because it could not be easier. Bolognese-stuffed zucchini, sheet pan baked eggs, and simple roast chicken are also great pesto pairings.
Looking for more summery salads? Try this kale salad with peaches and candied pecans, crispy chicken Thai salad, or rainbow salad with grilled chicken and raspberry-walnut dressing. This roasted eggplant salad from Alexandra’s Kitchen also looks amazing!
- 2 ears of fresh sweet corn
- 2 cups cantaloupe balls
- 1 large zucchini, shaved into ribbons
- 2-3 tablespoons pesto*
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh basil leaves
- Cut the kernels off the corn and place them in a large bowl. Add the cantaloupe balls and zucchini ribbons.
- In a small bowl, mix the pesto, olive oil, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the dressing to the salad and toss to combine. Top with fresh basil leaves and serve.
Here's a simple pesto I love to use in this salad: Pulse 2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, 1/2 cup cashews, 1-2 cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil, and sea salt to taste in a food processor until thoroughly combined. Extra pesto keeps in the refrigerator for a few days--pour a layer of olive oil on top to preserve the color--and also freezes well.
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