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.
Ah, the mountain of summer zucchini. 🙂 This salad sounds like a perfect way to attack it! I like the combination with more traditional raw salad veg & nuts.
Such a pretty shaved salad! I have a love/hate relationship with my squash drawer, too, but I’m so proud when I use it up. Marc isn’t a big squash fan, either, so I’ll have to try this!
I totally go through phases when it comes to eating squash, but this summer I have actually not overdosed, so I’m happy to have more. I definitely agree that raw vegetables like squash and fennel demand to be sliced very thinly. Your salad looks so refreshing!
You know, I have never eaten a shaved salad before. It sounds so fancy, like something you’d find on the menu of a pricey restaurant. Since my budget these days doesn’t allow for $$$ restaurant visits, I’d be just as happy to replicate your version at home. You know I haven’t used my mandolin slicer all summer as I’ve been mostly eating rustic Greek salad. I think it’s time to mix it up a bit 🙂
I wouldn’t say that I LOVE squash but I do like it quite a bit. My brother on the other hand…won’t touch it with a ten foot pole. I’m going to have to try this on him!
I love this idea! Shaved vegetables look so much prettier than regular old chopped and this salad is so fun!
How timely this post is- My husband and I just started a vegetable garden two months ago and have just started to pick our own squash! I’ve made a summer squash salad with fresh lemon juice and basil, nice to have another to try out. Now if only I had a mandolin! 🙂
(P.S. I’m a new fan! I love finding new food blogs 🙂
Thanks Eileen, it’s a great way to plow through all of that zucchini!
Nicole, I think the key with Cornelius liking this was that it was raw – hope you try it out!
Kasey, want to come by and take some of that squash off my hands? It’s getting a little ridiculous at the moment!!
Bijoux, I think you’d like this one – put that mandoline to use and mix things up 🙂
Joanne, I’m with you – does anyone really love summer squash? Really??!
Agreed, Sues. This is a nice way to make a dent in the zucchini harvest.
Christy, hope you and your husband find lots of good ways to use up that squash! Try this one out and let me know what you think.
That nectarine and black bean salad was delicious and refreshing. My pregnant neighbor, her unborn baby and I simply looooved it!
Just found your blog and made your quick pizza dough (it was excellent). This salad looks awesome — will try it soon.
Sophie, glad to hear it!
Foodwithpictures, I make that pizza dough all the time! Glad you enjoyed it.
I made this. I appreciate a healthy salad that’s unlike the usual boring salads I make. The toasted walnuts are an essential ingredient, as they twist the veggie flavors. I think the dressing could have used more of a citrus bite.
RF, glad you enjoyed the salad – it’s true, the walnuts do add so much here.