Squash throw down
July 21, 2011By Kim Dannies
I saw a photo of the most beautiful summer squash salad in the June 2011 issue of Bon Appetit. I also saw a very similar recipe in April’s Food & Wine. So I thought, “Heck, this must be a pretty good idea.” It is! This salad is so easy and spectacular that you’ll have no problem using up excess zucchini and yellow squash this summer. Since I don’t follow recipes well — and I love both magazines — I made a composite of the two recipes. This is a great 24-hour do-ahead party dish. It also morphs into a crowd-pleasing main course. On a plain white platter, this salad stunner looks and tastes like summer personified.
Shaved summer squash salad
Choose 6 firm zucchini and yellow squash each. Gently wash the veggies and dry with paper towel. Cut tip and ends off each squash. With a vegetable peeler shave each squash lengthwise, turning it as you go to capture a bit of color on each slice. Peel until you get to the seed level and then discard the stalk. Place the squash ribbons in a flat-bottomed marinade dish.
In a small processor combine 2 to 3 garlic cloves and the zest of one lemon and mince well. Add 3/4 cup of fresh lemon juice. With the motor running, drizzle in ½ cup of olive oil. Blend well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the squash, coating well. Seal and marinate up to 24 hours.
To serve, line a plain platter with a handful of fresh micro-greens. With clean hands gently heap the squash onto the platter. Add ribbon-cut fresh mint and a handful of shelled pistachio nuts. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt and add a twist of fresh pepper. Optional: with the vegetable peeler, carve some fresh Parmesan cheese curls and sprinkle over the salad. Serves 8 to 10.
Cook up a pound of linguini and drain. Double the dressing recipe. Combine with the shaved squash and top with fresh Parmesan curls, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Serves 8 to 10.
Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France. She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three twenty-something daughters who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to kimdannies.com.