Summer squash salad


Well, it’s happened. I have too many vegetables. My CSA pickup was yesterday and I still have a bunch of carrots and a whole cabbage and a variety of other goodies from last week. And I never seem to have enough eggs to eat them with at breakfast. Thankfully most of them keep a while. We shall see.

As we are in the throes of summer squash season (pretty sure zucchini is a type of summer squash, so that applies here too), I thought I’d feature the lovely mild golden vegetable here. With a few of the growing number of tomatoes (does it seem very late for tomatoes this year? Maybe because I’ve been further south in years past. I cannot even express how excited I am about tomatoes).

Anyway, like most salads, in fact most things I’ve been posting, this is pretty simple. I guess that’s kinda my style. I did happen to stumble across a recipe for this, in one of my new cookbooks (!), The New Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone by Deborah Madison. But it is not dissimilar from something I would otherwise throw together: veggies, cheese, vinegar.

Summer squash salad
1 summer squash
Olive oil
2 cloves of garlic (I happen to have fresh, but use whatever)
1 ripe tomato (a few small ones would also be good here)
Several basil leaves
A few teaspoons of your favorite vinegar (I like red wine)
Salt and pepper

Cut up the squash in thin rounds. I like to wash it and slice it between a small knife and my thumb right into the pan. Sauté with oil and garlic until soft and slightly translucent (I tend to err on undercooking them, because I like to maintain a bit of crunch). Meanwhile, chop up the tomato and place with the basil and cheese in a bowl. When the squash is done, add that to the bowl. Top with vinegar, salt, and pepper. Taste, and enjoy. Eat warm or cold.

As I alluded to, this adheres to some essential tenets of salads and vegetarian cooking. The most important ingredients are vegetables, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. You can do magical things with these basic components. To make it a full meal, add some form of protein: cheese, nuts, seeds, beans. I often bring a salad topped with a bit of goat cheese and some sunflower seeds to work (read how to pack a salad in a jar here). And I remember a few summers ago where I was using a random selection of ingredients to make a couple different dishes: green beans with vinegar and almonds (I think I roasted these with soy sauce if I remember correctly); and zucchini with fresh ricotta and a little lemon juice.

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