Zucchini Caprese with Parmesan Corn Crisps


This simple summer salad combines very thinly sliced raw zucchini that gets marinated with tomatoes in a simple oil and vinegar mixture. The juicy marinated veg gets layered with fresh mozzarella and then the marinade gets spooned over everything as a dressing. If you want, bake up some crispy parmesan corn for a crunchy and sweet topper. You can marinate the veg a day ahead and assemble when ready to eat!

Ingredient highlight

Tomatoes! There is nothing like a ripe juicy summer tomato and the end of summer is peak season. Not only does that mean they will be sweeter, juicier, and more flavorful, but it also means their nutrient content is at its highest. Tomatoes are a great source of vitamins C, A, K, and potassium. They’re rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that gives tomatoes that bright red color. They also are high in lutein and zeaxanthin – two nutrients important for eye health.

P.S. When eating tomatoes NOT in summer, I always opt for cherry tomatoes since they are usually sweeter and juicier.

Servings 4
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes


  • 2-3 zucchini (about 1 lb), sliced as thinly as possible lengthwise or crosswise into strips or rounds*
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1-3 summer tomatoes, sliced into ½-inch thick rounds
  • 1/4 cup ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar 
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 10-12 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into ¼ -inch thick rounds
  • Fresh basil (optional)

For the parmesan corn crisps (optional):

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • *A mandolin really comes in handy here. If you don’t have one, try using a Y-peeler to peel into strips. You want them super thin so that they soften up nicely in the marinade.
  • Note: ~ Not into the raw zucchini? Make it a grilled zucchini caprese! Grill the zucchini in rounds (or bake them), then toss with the marinade + tomatoes.


  • Add the zucchini to a bowl and sprinkle ½ teaspoon salt all over and toss to coat well. Arrange the tomatoes on top and sprinkle those with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Let the zucchini and tomatoes sit for 10 minutes to draw out excess water. Drain off the water.
  • Add olive oil, vinegars, oregano, and garlic and gently toss to combine and coat everything. Let sit out at room temperature for at least 15 minutes or overnight in the fridge.
  • Assemble your salad! Give the zucchini and tomato another toss in the marinade. Layer the mozzarella with the tomatoes and piles of zucchini. Drizzle some of the marinade juices all over (delicious for dunking bread or pizza crusts!). Top with basil and parmesan corn crisps (if using).

For the parmesan corn crisps:

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Add corn to the baking sheet and arrange it into a flat layer (see photo or video). Sprinkle the salt and pepper evenly over top, then sprinkle the parmesan evenly all over the corn. Bake for 15-20 minutes (20-25 minutes for frozen corn) or until the cheese is a deep golden brown all over. Set aside to let it crisp up as it cools, then break into chunks.

Items you can prep ahead (optional)

  • Slice 2-3 zucchini (about 1 lb) as thinly as possible lengthwise or crosswise into strips or rounds*
  • Slice 2-3 summer tomatoes into ½-inch thick rounds
  • Salt the veggies
  • Marinate the veggies
  • Make the parmesan corn, if using


  • To make vegan, substitute mozzarella with thick slices of avocado. Skip the cheesy corn and just top with raw or charred corn or skip the corn all together.
  • You could sub cucumber for the zucchini or peaches or melon for the tomatoes.


  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Leftover parmesan corn crisps can be store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 4 days.:

Leftovers + Repurposing:

  • Enjoy this right out of the fridge or for best flavor, let it sit out for 10-30 minutes to come closer to room temp. Layer it with or just mix in mozzarella. 
  • Serve with crusty bread for dunking into the marinade.
  • This salad pairs well with any grilled protein.
  • Add the zucchini and tomato to a simple green salad, using the marinade as the dressing. Top with cheese, etc…

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