Up to your elbows in zucchini?


Photograph by Dan Dry, all rights reserved

Walk through the farmers markets this week and you will see mountains of summer squash in all shapes and sizes. Squash is originally from Central and South America; Columbus took the odd vegetables back to the Mediterranean where the Italians called the thin green ones zucchino, meaning "small squash." The word squash comes from an American Indian word skutasquash referring to "something green eaten green."

Whatever you call them; this is the time to eat summer squash. Many of us grow the prolific vines in our home gardens and we can never have too many recipes that feature the tasty vegetable. This recipe makes great use of summer squashes whether zucchini, crookneck, pattypan, romanesco or eight-ball. Buy an assortment next time you are in the market and make this quick, flavorful salad.

My resident wine-geek, Drew, poured an Italian malvasia to drink with this salad. The wine's staccato-like acidity dances on the tongue and pairs well with the mineral notes of the squash and the fresh green herbs. Ask at your local wine shop for a malvasia from the Salento region of Italy.

Shaved Summer Squash, Roasted Almonds and Parmesan with Lemon Vinaigrette

Serves 6

6 cups             very thinly sliced summer squash: zucchini, crookneck,
pattypan and 8-ball

½ cup              roughly sliced flat-leaf parsley

½ cup              roughly sliced mint leaves

1 ½ cups          shaved Parmesan cheese

½ cup              roasted, sliced almonds

2 tablespoons   fresh lemon juice

4 tablespoons   grassy, green olive oil

1/2 teaspoon    grated lemon zest

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a very large bowl add the zucchini, herbs, cheese and almonds.

In a small bowl add the lemon juice. Using a fork or a small whisk, gradually whisk in the olive oil to form an emulsion. Add the lemon zest and season vinaigrette with salt and ground black pepper.

Drizzle squash mixture with enough vinaigrette to coat lightly and season with salt and pepper.

Serve this salad immediately, divided among 6 plates or in a large bowl as a centerpiece for a buffet.

A mandolin works well for this recipe. Alternatively, use a sharp chef's knife and slice very thinly, no more than 1/8th-inch thick.

© Drew Goss and Susan Goss Reprinted with permission from West Town Tavern: Contemporary Comfort Food

For more information: West Town Tavern ; Pea Bruschetta



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