If you are accustomed to cooking summer squash, serving it raw is really a lovely change of pace. Sliced into thin ribbons, squashes like zucchini, yellow, and zephyr squash have a light, satisfying crunch and refreshing flavor. The addition of basil, pine nuts, and a little goat cheese makes a delectable, and healthy, summer salad or side dish.
For the best texture and flavor, choose tender, young, smooth-skinned squash. (Mature squash may have a bitter flavor or tough seeds.) A good quality extra virgin olive oil and nice finishing salt, such as fleur de sel, are also recommended. And feel free to use this recipe as a guide, adding or substituting herbs like mint or oregano and cheeses like feta or Parmesan.
Summer Squash Ribbons
1 1/2 pounds zucchini, yellow, or zephyr squash
1 shallot, very thinly sliced (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chiffonade of basil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 ounces goat cheese
Trim the ends off the squash and, using a mandoline, vegetable peeler, or knife, cut the squash lengthwise into very thin strips.
Place in a large bowl with the sliced shallot, olive oil, and vinegar, and gently toss to combine. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Then add the basil and pine nuts and gently toss to combine.
Transfer to a serving dish(es) and crumble goat cheese on top. Serve immediately.
(Image: Emily Ho)