Evie suspected that when I tried her summer squash salad recipe that I would have to eat my words (no pun intended) regarding my mom being the only one who could prepare squash well. Well, I have eaten my words, and this fabulous salad as well. This is a lovely way to prepare summer squash or zucchini – thinly sliced, marinated briefly with mint in olive oil and lemon juice, tossed with toasted pine nuts, and served with shaved Parmesan. A veritable zucchini carpaccio. I have made one small adjustment to Evie’s original recipe, by increasing the amount of olive oil and lemon juice recommended. I found I needed more to adequately coat all of the squash.
- 4 small zucchini or mixed yellow and green summer squash (1 lb total)
- 1/3 cup loosely packed mint leaves
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (1 oz.)
- Grana Padano, Parmesan or Asagio cheese for shavings
- Fresh mint sprigs for garnish
1 If you are starting with raw pine nuts, toast them first. Heat a small skillet on medium high heat. Add the pine nuts. Stir gently as the pine nuts start to brown. When slightly browned, remove from heat and let cool.
2 Slice the squash into paper-thin slices using a mandoline or other slicer. Set aside in a bowl.
3 Stack the mint leaves, roll them together lengthwise and slice crosswise to make very thin slivers. Add to squash in bowl.
4 Combine the oil and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk together. Whisk in the salt and pepper and pour the dressing over the contents of the bowl. Add the pine nuts and toss all together, gently, but thoroughly. Let mixture stand for at least 10 minutes to soften the squash and develop the flavors.
5 Transfer salad to serving dish or to four individual salad plates. Garnish with shavings of cheese made with a vegetable peeler and a few sprigs of fresh mint.