Are you looking for a totally different, vibrant summer vegetable salad idea??
This vegetable "ceviche" salad is made with fresh, diced summer vegetables marinated in a lime vinaigrette. It's an absolutely delicious summer side dish that goes great with pretty much anything!
Ceviche is typically made with seafood, where you marinate the seafood in an acidic sauce - typically with lemon or lime juice and/or vinegar - to season it, make it flavorful, and make it safe to eat raw.
If you LOVE the idea of zingy, zippy, zesty flavors of ceviche, then you will LOVE making vegetable ceviche by marinating vegetables before serving them.
It makes for such a unique salad that is still healthy and delicious, but tastes totally different than the boring salads we force ourselves to eat. In this recipe, I use lots of fresh veggies and a secret ingredient: nectarines (or you can use peaches). The subtle sweetness of the nectarines balances out the acidity in the lime dressing without needing to add sugar.
It's so good, trust me!!
More summer salads: Spicy Cucumber Salad
Make-ahead summer salad
The great part about this salad is that you have to let it marinate for at least 2 hours, and up to 8 hours. You do have to plan ahead a little but it is great not scrambling at the last minute to finish preparing all your dishes because your salad will be ready to go!
Well... almost. You do need to add the avocado and cilantro at the last minute so that they stay nice and fresh instead of marinating.
Are you ready to make some ceviche vegetables??
Related recipes: 15 Easy BBQ Side Dishes
Since this salad is all about FRESH vegetables, I recommend using FRESH limes. This way you get the freshest lime juice for the marinade, and you can zest the lime to add some lime zest to the salad.
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- ⅓ cup fresh lime juice (from about 3-4 limes, it really depends on how juicy each lime is)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 scallion, chopped, white and green parts
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (remove seeds to reduce spice, or reduce amount or omit for less spice)
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 orange bell pepper, seeds removed and cut into thin strips
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup corn, thawed if frozen or drained if canned
- 1-2 nectarines (or peaches), sliced thin and chopped
- 1 avocado, diced (PREP THIS LAST SO IT DOESN'T BROWN!)
- ⅓ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Related recipe: Grilled Avocado (Personalized Guacamole)
The only "tricky" part to this salad is to remember not to chop the avocado with the rest of the ingredients because it gets added to the salad at the last minute (after a few hours of marinating). You don't want the avocado to get brown if you chop it early and let it sit out.
Same for the cilantro. It won't brown, but it will wilt and soften if chopped early.
Step 1: In a large bowl, whisk together the first seven ingredients for the dressing. Allow to sit and while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Step 2: Add bell pepper, tomatoes, corn, and nectarine to the bowl and toss gently with the dressing. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours, or up to 8 hours.
Step 3: When ready to serve, add diced avocado and cilantro and gently stir to combine.
The combination of flavors tasted exactly like ceviche, but without the fish. It's a perfect way to showcase seasonal summer fruits and vegetables, including slivered nectarines (the secret ingredient).
Shortcuts and substitutions
- I love the ease of using frozen corn in this recipe, but you can also use fresh corn -- just slice the kernels from two boiled or grilled cobs of corn and add in place of frozen corn. Canned corn works too.
- You can substitute peaches or mango for nectarines.
- If you want to add protein, you could add shelled edamame or diced shrimp to the dish (or both!). For safety reasons, I do recommend using cooked shrimp.
- This dish can be made and refrigerated up to a day ahead, but hold off on adding the avocado and cilantro until right before serving. This ensures that they will stay green and fresh.
- Feel free to play with the ratios of vegetables. If you love something, add more of it!
Related recipe: Summer Orzo Salad
How to serve this summer salad
This recipe is very versatile. You can serve it as a snack or appetizer with tortilla chips. It also makes a fantastic side dish for a BBQ and pairs well with any grilled meat or fish. Check out these Summer BBQ Menu Ideas!
If you're looking for a main course salad idea, shrimp goes wonderfully with this recipe -- you can either chop up cooked shrimp and add it directly to the mixture, or serve it on top.
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!
Marinated Summer Vegetable Salad (Ceviche Salad)
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- ⅓ cup fresh lime juice from about 3-4 limes
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 scallion (green onion) chopped, white and green parts
- 1 jalapeno seeded and diced (or use canned for less spice)
- 1 shallot thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt or more, to taste
- 1 orange bell pepper cut into thin strips
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup frozen corn thawed (or fresh boiled corn, or drained canned corn)
- 1-2 nectarines sliced thin and chopped
- 1 avocado diced
- ⅓ cup fresh cilantro leaves chopped
- In a large bowl, whisk together the first seven ingredients for the dressing (lime zest through salt).
- Add bell pepper, tomatoes, corn, and nectarine. Toss gently with dressing. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours, or up to 8 hours.
- When ready to serve, add avocado and cilantro and gently stir to combine.