One summer day at the market, everything that appealed to me seemed to be in intense shades of yellow and gold: yellow peppers, yellow tomatoes, golden peaches, the sweetest summer squash sidling up to dewy lemon-colored squash blossoms. I began to feel a yellow hunger. This salad of yellow summer squash, sliced paper-thin and dressed with fruity olive oil, makes a fine beginning to a yellow meal.–David Tanis
LC Color Crazy Note
We can see how this would be a lovely prelude to a yellow meal. Although honestly, we consider it to be a lovely prelude to just about any summer meal. And, on some sweltering nights, it suffices as the meal itself—quite capably, we might add.
Shaved Summer Squash with Squash Blossoms
- 2 pounds small yellow zucchini or other summer squash
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- 1 lemon
- 12 squash blossoms
- 1/2 pound ricotta salata or mild feta
- Rinse the squash and pat them dry with a kitchen towel. Cut off both ends of each squash. Using a mandoline, a hand-held slicer, or a sharp, thin-bladed knife, cut the squash lengthwise into very thin slices. Place the squash in a large bowl and cover with a damp towel until you are ready to serve—it only takes a minute or two to finish the salad.
- Just before serving, season the squash lightly with salt and pepper and toss gently. Drizzle with enough olive oil just to coat. Add the juice of half the lemon. Toss again, taste, and adjust the seasoning.
- Mound the dressed squash on a platter. Tear the squash blossoms (petals only) into strips and scatter them over the salad. Discard the stamen and stem. Using a sharp vegetable peeler, shave the cheese over the platter. Serve immediately.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I didn’t think I’d like this at first because it seemed it didn’t have enough in it to bring out the flavor of uncooked squash. Boy, was I surprised. My family liked it, and I’d thought for sure that the squash would just be pushed around their plates. I shaved the squash with my mandoline, put it on the platter, sprinkled a good-quality olive oil over it, and then added the lemon, salt, and pepper, putting the feta cheese on last. I let this sit for about 20 minutes to really let the flavors meld together and permeate the squash. The only thing that was missing for me were the squash blossoms—I just couldn’t find them at the markets. I’d like to make again, possibly adding some mint or arugula leaves for some added flavor.
Served with the grilled lamb chops, it made for a perfect summer meal.
Originally published August 02, 2010