This summer squash ribbon salad with grilled sweet corn, heirloom cherry tomatoes & cilantro-pepita dressing is home to 3 of my favorite summer veggies and my all-time favorite herb. Plus, it requires just 15 to 20 minutes to throw together, making it a fantastic weeknight meal option.
Because of its simplicity, it’s a dish that shines extra bright when attention is given to harvesting the ripest, most flavorful produce.
The juiciest cherry tomatoes, crispest sweet corn, and most vibrant summer squash will work a bit of magic here. The three of them get swooped up in a bowl, offering layers of flavor and a variety of textures, and a creamy cilantro-pepita dressing is drizzled on top to balance those sweet summer vegetable vibes.
To make it, you’ll start by lightly blackening the corn over a grill or open flame on your stove. You want a delicate char to deepen the flavor of the sweet corn and weave a grilled note throughout the salad. You can skip this step altogether and leave the corn raw if you want to simplify the salad even more.
Then, you’ll use a vegetable peeler to shave two zucchini and one yellow squash lengthwise into ribbon-like strips. I love how pretty and delicate these ribbons are in the salad. They have a mild earthy flavor, a pop of sweetness, and a crisp bite.
The last veggies/fruits to go into the salad are heirloom cherry tomatoes. You can use standard cherry tomatoes instead, but I’m a sucker for the ombré-like hues that heirlooms offer.
Once you have all the veggies prepared and nestled into a bowl, you’ll make the dressing. Combine cilantro, pepitas, a bit of water, apple cider vinegar, fresh lime juice, a tiny pour of pure maple syrup, sea salt, and black pepper in a blender, and blend until it’s smooth and creamy. Then, drizzle it over the veggies. If you’re looking for a bit of texture on top, I think a generous sprinkle of sunflower seeds and/or hemp seeds would be pretty amazing on this salad. I just wish I would have thought to add them before devouring it last Friday!
Summer Squash Ribbon Salad with Grilled Sweet Corn, Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes & Cilantro-Pepita Dressing
Ribbons of summer squash, juicy heirloom tomatoes, and grill-blackened sweet corn are tossed in a light yet creamy cilantro-pepita dressing. This salad SCREAMS summer. Be sure to use the freshest squash, tomatoes, and sweet corn you can find, because every ingredient counts in a simple salad like this one.
Summer Squash Ribbon Salad
- 2 ears sweet corn, shucked and silks removed
- 2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
- 1 medium yellow squash, ends trimmed
- 2 cups heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
Creamy Cilantro-Pepita Dressing
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, tough stems removed
- 1/4 cup raw pepitas
- 1/4 cup filtered water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Additional Topping Ideas
- Sunflower seeds
- Shelled hemp seeds
Lightly char the shucked ears of corn by placing them over an open flame on a grill or stove, rotating ever few minutes. Watch out for popping kernals. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Then, one at a time, stand each ear of corn up on its end within a shallow, wide bowl, and use a knife to carefully cut the kernals away from the ear. Set aside.
Use a vegetable peeler to peel the zucchini and yellow squash lengthwise into ribbon-like strips. Divide them between two bowls and top with the cherry tomatoes and corn.
To make the dressing: combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend on high until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
Drizzle each salad with as much dressing as desired. Add additional toppings, if desired. Serve immediately.