Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer Squash Ribbon Salad with Lemon Citronette

summer squash salad recipe
photo from cookieandkate.com
Can we not talk about how long it's been since I last posted? Life has been a little crazy, cooking hasn't been happening as much as I'd like for it to, and when it does happen it's usually for a meal I'm sharing with others. I know other food bloggers manage to photograph their food AND eat with people, but I haven't quite mastered that art yet.

Case in point: I'm borrowing this photo from the recipe author Cookie and Kate, because I didn't take pictures of my own creation.

I really liked this salad, and it got an overwhelmingly positive response from my friends who ate it. I liked the zing of the lemony dressing, the crunch of the toasted almonds, the creamy saltiness of the Feta, the cheerful yellow and green colors of the squash ribbons, and the overall freshness and brightness of the salad.

When I tasted the dressing on its own, the garlic seemed strong enough ward off a small army of vampires, but once it got mixed in with the rest of the salad components, it was fine. Still very garlicky, but much more balanced. However, if you're not a huge fan of garlic, I'd suggest using less--or sauteing it first to tame its bite.

My only mild complaint about the recipe is that it required getting quite a few dishes dirty--skillet, cookie sheet, colander, serving bowl, and cutting implements. But in the grand scheme of things, that's not a huge deal. And it went together fairly quickly--while the squash ribbons undergo their salt treatment, you can do most of the rest of the prep.

Fun fact: citronette is the same thing as a vinaigrette, but with citrus instead of vinegar as the acidic component.

Summer Squash Ribbon Salad with Lemon Citronette
Adapted from Cookie and Kate
Yield: 4 servings

Salad Ingredients
1 lb. zucchini
1 lb. yellow summer squash
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup Feta cheese crumbles

Citronette Ingredients
Zest and juice from 1/2 a lemon (about 1/2 tsp. zest and 1 Tbsp. juice)
1 large garlic clove, chopped
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Squirt of agave nectar or honey (I didn't measure but probably used 1-2 tsp.)
1-2 tsp. fresh mint, chopped
1-2 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped

Prep the squash: Rinse and trim the zucchini and yellow squash, then use a veggie peeler to shave them into ribbons. It works best to start on one side, shave until you start to get to the seeds, then rotate the squash a quarter turn and repeat with the next side. Reserve seedy cores for another use. Spread the squash ribbons on a cookie sheet, sprinkle liberally with salt, and toss slightly, then let them sit for 20 minutes (this draws out excess moisture). At the end of 20 minutes, transfer to a colander, rinse well, then drain well.

Toast the almonds: Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the slivered almonds and toast, stirring frequently, until they're toasty and fragrant. Remove from skillet and allow to cool.

Make the citronette: Add the lemon zest and juice, garlic, olive oil, and agave to a mini food processor. Process until the garlic is finely minced. Add the mint and parsley and pulse until they're finely minced but not completely liquefied. Alternatively, mince the garlic and herbs by hand, then combine all citronette ingredients in a mason jar; shake or whisk well.

Assemble: If not serving right away, store components separately. When ready to serve, whisk/shake the citronette, then toss with the squash ribbons, almonds, and feta.


- Leftovers actually kept pretty well. The squash was a little more limp and the almonds less crunchy the next day, but the flavors and colors were still great.
- Kate also calls for fresh thyme. I didn't have that (my plant died!) so I left it out of the recipe, but I think it'd be great added back in. I could also see basil being a nice addition.

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