So I’m standing at a farm table, reach over and pick up the biggest zucchini I’ve ever seen. I don’t stop there. I move to the yellow squash section and throw a few into my basket for good measure. When I get my sunny, summer treasures home and lay them on the table, I look them over as say to myself, “Mmmm, what beautiful color. What exquisite shapes!” And then in the next moment, I am reminded of one simple fact: Neither B nor I particularly like zucchini!
It’s true. And it’s a problem. For in the coming weeks, we can expect that our very generous neighbors will be giving us summer squash by the bags full. Everyone plants too much zucchini. It’s a well-known fact in these parts. The blossoms are pretty and the plants are virtually indestructible.
I can’t possibly compete with Amanda Hesser’s exotic Zucchini with Basil, Mint, and Honey recipe on Food52. And, as I have mentioned before, I am not a great baker, so zucchini bread was not the first resolve to my squash overstock problem. So, in honor of the 8th Annual West Stockbridge Zucchini Festival, which we sadly missed last Saturday, I present you with the most refreshing, delicious squash salad recipe I could come up with.
Mixed Summer Squash Salad
Try this gluten-free, low-carb salad that makes the most of abundant, late-summer squash, zucchini, and my neighbor Trudi’s refreshing mint. It’s like a vegetarian Carpaccio!
4 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
¼ tsp fine sea salt
¼ toasted pumpkin seeds or pine nuts (unsalted)
Parmasan or Aagio cheese for shaving
Garnish with sprigs of mint
1. Using a mandolin or other slicer, shave the squash into paper-thin slices and set aside in bowl.
2. Cut mint leaves into very thin slivers and add to squash.
3. Combine the lemon juice, oil, and salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk together. Pour the dressing over the squash, add the nuts, and toss all together thoroughly. Let mixture stand for at least 10 minutes to allow the squash to soften and the flavors to develop.
4. Transfer salad to serving dish. Garnish with shavings of cheese and a few sprigs of fresh mint.