First of all, I wanted to start off by saying thank you to everyone for your support on my last post. My posting has obviously slowed down a lot more than I thought it would, but again, I don’t plan to be gone for too long – although I’m sure it will still be a while yet. Just one of a few “extras” on my plate lately, I can finally post about today though!
Today marks the start of my new column called The Locavore’s Cookbook, in our local paper! Once a month I’ll be writing about one kind of local produce and what can be done with it among other interesting facts or tips and tricks to get your kids(or picky husbands) to like it. I’ve been so excited to get started and now I’m so excited to pick something new to write about each month, especially with all the fall produce coming soon. I have so many things I’d love to write about and so many recipes to share. There really is so much variety just in our small town and I can’t wait to share recipes and ideas on how to use it all up. On that note…
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Let’s get on with the recipe, shall we? I’ll admit, I’m a little excited about this one. If fact, I’m really proud of it. I was very excited to try a way to eat summer squash that wasn’t super mushy, which is my biggest complaint about summer squash, and usually why I only put it in my baking. When I first made this, I made a small batch just in case it wasn’t good at all. I was super surprised to find that both kids and my husband loved it. In fact my hubby has asked for it again, and again! I’m pretty sure I remember him saying he hates zucchini and I don’t ever remember him eating it willingly but he really loved this salad. I call that success!
I’m also excited because you can adapt this however you like. Don’t like dill? Use oregano, or basil, or thyme, or your favorite combination of fresh herbs. Omit the cheese to make it vegan, or to just make it lighter. You could even make it spicy with a fresh hot pepper, or even some dried red pepper flakes. Instead of lemon, use your favorite vinegar, I’m sure a high quality apple cider vinegar or even balsamic vinegar would taste delicious. Really, you can do anything with this idea.
Marinated Summer Squash Salad
- 1 lb summer squash, julienned
- 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
- Zest of one lemon
- Juice of one large lemon
- a large pinch of salt, more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed using a garlic press
- 2 tbsp fresh dill or other fresh herbs
- 1/4 C crumbled feta cheese(optional)
Julienne your summer squash by slicing the entire squash into 1/4″ slices. Divide the slices in half and turn each half on the flat side and then slice again into 1/4″ slices until it is all chopped into matchsticks. Chop the matchsticks in half to shorten them if needed. Spread the squash out over a towel or a couple paper towels and sprinkle with a large pinch of salt, or about 1/4-1/2 tsp salt. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
In a small seperate bowl combine the olive oil, lemon zest and juice and garlic. Once the squash has released some of it’s juice, place another towel over top and press more of the liquid out. Then transfer the squash to a bowl. Pour the dressing over top and mix well. Cover and place in the fridge for 1-2 hours, stirring a couple times in the middle if possible. When about to serve, taste and add salt as needed and chop the dill and sprinkle over top. Serve cold sprinkled with feta cheese if desired.
Unfortunately the salad will become watery if left overnight, feel free to reduce the amount of squash and dressing used to only make enough for one meal. Or keep the cut up squash and dressing seperate in your fridge overnight and press the liquid from your squash before combining it with the already mixed dressing an hour or two before serving.