I have a squash drawer in my fridge and it tends to fill up rather quickly this time of year. Thanks to our CSA, we get weekly deliveries of cucumber, patty pan squash, yellow and green summer squash, and zucchini and it seems like there’s no end in sight to all of that bounty.
Me and the squash drawer have a bit of a love/hate relationship.
As a kid, I hated all squash, but I’ve come around. I had to! My husband, he’s on a much slower squash-cycle. But when I made this salad with raw zucchini, summer squash, fennel, beets and cucumbers, he went for seconds. This salad is good. It might even be the one to convert your tepid squash intentions into a full blown squash love affair.
The key to this salad is the nearly paper-thin vegetables. It’s a different take on raw vegetables and it helps to keep salads from getting ho-hum. Luckily, I have my trusty Benriner Japanese Mandolin to help me out with the job. It’s a pretty inexpensive tool and I turn to it often for making salads. If you don’t have a mandoline, use a vegetable peeler or load up on patience and put your knife skills to the test.
Besides all those lovely raw vegetables, the salad is lush with toasted walnuts (for crunch!) and grated salty parmesan cheese. Red wine vinegar, dijon and honey round out the dressing. All that’s left is to dig in and go back for seconds.
elsewhere: Last week I made a nectarine & black bean crunch salad. The recipe is over at Poppytalk and it’s like eating summer on a plate.
shaved summer vegetable salad
(loosely adapted from Thimble)
If I was serving this for others, I would layer the vegetables on a platter saving the beets for last (they’re bleeders), drizzle with the dressing and then garnish with the fronds, nuts and cheese. It’s prettier that way.
2 small cucumbers
1 small fennel bulb + few fronds
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow summer squash
1 small beet
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 c olive oil
1 T red wine vinegar
1 t honey
1 t dijon mustard
salt & pepper
1/3 c walnuts, toasted & roughly chopped
1/3 c grated parmesan cheese
Using a mandoline or vegetable peeler, finely slice the cucumbers, fennel bulb (save the fronds for later), zucchini, summer squash and beet – near paper-thin is ideal. Shave the beet last as it will stain your other vegetables if you do it first. If you are using a knife, exercise patience, grasshopper! Add the vegetables into a serving bowl.
In a small jar, shake together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, dijon and salt and pepper. Taste & adjust seasoning, if needed. Pour over dressing and lightly toss. Sprinkle with the fennel fronds, walnuts and parmesan cheese before serving. Serves 4.