Late summer is the best time to live in the Northwest. Our weather is finally consistently warm and our gardens are overflowing veggies. Have you been to the farmers’ market lately? The colorful rows of tomatoes, peppers, and summer squashes scream at you to eat them. (EAT ME! EEEAAAT MEEEEE!)
But, if you have high yield zucchini plant in your garden you have zucchini up the yin-yang about now. It is daunting to keep up with the amount of zucchini those plants produce. I have heard of people dropping off bags of zucchini on neighbors’ doorsteps when they aren’t home. Unfortunately, my puny garden couldn’t handle zucchini and I haven’t seen any bag-fulls on my doorstep. I would gladly accept them if you were curious…
Whenever I hear of a good zucchini recipe, I feel like it is my duty to share it with all those folks drowning in squash – and for those of us who buy arm loads every chance we get. A while ago, I had dinner with some friends at Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty, one of my favorite pizza restaurants in town. We were starving and decided to order a squash appetizer. It was so incredible, I went home immediately and recreated it… And have made it over and over again.
The squash was sliced thinly, tossed in a lemon-olive oil dressing and served raw. The lemon helps loosen the squash up a bit – by beginning the breakdown process – but it retains a nice crispness and flavor. Toss in sliced mint, basil and chevre and you have summer on a plate.
2 yellow squash
6 mint sprigs, leaves removed and roughly chopped
10 basil leaves, sliced thinly
2 tbsp of chevre, or another soft, delicious cheese
2 tsp of lemon juice
2 tbsp of olive oil
1/4 tsp of sugar
salt and pepper to taste
After washing your squash, begin to slice it into 1/8 inch slices. I used a mandoline (like this one), in order to get uniformly thin slices, but it will be fine if you just slice them thinly.
Next, make the dressing. First add the lemon juice to the salad bowl you are going to use. Add a pinch of salt and drizzle in a bit of the olive oil while whisking. Continue whisking until the solution is emulsified and changed to an opaque mixture. Next, add the remaining oil slowly, while continuing to whisk. Taste and add sugar if necessary. Add in at least 1/4 tsp of salt. You want it to taste tart and a bit salty. Add ground pepper and more salt if necessary.
Take your squash and half the herbs and add them to the bowl with dressing. Toss. Sprinkle the top with the remaining herbs and the chevre. This should be served immediately or within 10-15 minutes, before the lemon starts to break down the squash too much.