The best thing about working with fresh, seasonal produce is that you always know whatever ingredients you have on hand are going to taste great together! It’s simply the way Mother Nature intended it and it’s an easy way to learn how to pair foods together.
My favorite way of remembering this is:
What grows together, goes together.
So simple yet so true! So when I saw my little zucchinis, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil sitting on the counter after visiting the farmer’s market this week, I knew they’d all work well in a simple, clean & delish dish. Now all I had to do was decide what type of dish I wanted to make – and that’s when it hit me!
I remembered a reader leaving me a tip in the comments a few months back. She said that she liked to make a salad using raw zucchini and feta cheese!
Now this was an eye-opening tip for me b/c I had never eaten summer squash raw before, I usually cook it up, so naturally I was intrigued and this was my chance to give it a go.
Here’s what I learned about working with raw Summer Squash:
- Keep It Seasonal. The squash must, must, must be fresh and tender (and that’s only gonna happen in season). A salad like this will NOT work with over-sized, out-of-season, squash.
- Keep it Thin. Cut the squash as thin as you possibly can – if you have a mandoline, this would be a great time to pull it out. This ensures that the squash is able to soak up all the flavors.
- Keep it Room Temp. This is true for lots of Summer produce – you will get the most flavor from your ingredients when they are at room temperature. When you eat fresh, delicate flavors cold from the fridge you lose a lot of the flavor and this salad is no exception! So be sure to have all you’re ingredients at room temp and eat this salad right away!
Needless to say, this salad was light, refreshing and full of flavor. I’ve actually made it several times in the past couple weeks and am so excited to be working with Summer Squash in a whole new way!
So tell me… have you eaten raw squash before? If so, what do you like to do with it? Do you have any tips or recipe ideas you can share?
Raw Summer Squash Salad w/ Feta and Tomatoes
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Be sure to choose young, tender, seasonal squash because it will make or break this salad!
- 4 cups thinly sliced zuchinni
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- The juice of one lemon
- 1 tbsp olive oil (plus a little extra for drizzling)
- 2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
- 10 basil leaves, rolled and sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
Make sure to slice your Squash as thin as you possibly can. If you have mandolin, this would be a great time to use it.
Combine the squash, tomatoes, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice and olive oil.
Gently mix in the feta and basil and finish with an extra drizzle of olive oil right before serving.
Makes 6 side servings (about ¾ cup each)
Nutrients per 3/4-cup: Calories: 90; Total Fat: 5.8g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 10mg; Carbohydrate: 8g; Dietary Fiber: 2.2; Sugars: 3.7g; Protein: 3.3g