My friend 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 my friend's original recipe—increasing the amount of olive oil and lemon juice recommended. I found I needed more to adequately coat all of the squash.
Summer Squash Salad
- 4 small zucchini or mixed yellow and green summer squash (1 pound total)
- 1/3 cup loosely packed mint leaves
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) pine nuts
- Grana Padano, Parmesan or Asagio cheese for shavings
- Fresh mint sprigs for garnish
Toast the pine nuts:
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.
Slice the squash into paper-thin slices:
Using a mandoline or other slicer, slice the squash. Set aside in a bowl.
Chiffonade the mint:
Stack the mint leaves, roll them together lengthwise and slice crosswise to make very thin slivers. Add to the squash in the bowl.
Dress the salad:
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 squash.
Add the pine nuts and toss together, gently, but thoroughly. Let mixture stand for at least 10 minutes to soften the squash and let the flavors develop.
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.