THE CORVALLIS CARROT
Lemon Squash Salad
1 zucchini (not too large)
1 summer squash (baby)
1 T onions, small diced
1 T grapeseed oil
2 T (roughly 6 leaves) basil (chiffonade)
pinch of salt
6 cracks of pepper
shaved parmesan (optional)
basil oil (optional)
yeild: 2 servings
I was craving something light and lemony this afternoon so I decided to whip up this little salad. What a great way to use up my squash! It's so refreshing, especially on hot days like today. Best thing is, it took about 15 minutes to make. You can let it sit longer, but when the squash are small, they don't need a lot of time to marinate to become tender.
I only used half of the ingredients here. When I was making this salad I just wanted a little bit and I realized it was going to be too much if I cut all of the squash, so I didn't use the patty pan squash and only used a bit of the onion, lemon and oil.
As I mentioned before, young squash is very tender but you still want to slice it as thin as possible. This will let the vinaigrette really coat each piece nicely and will make it even more tender. You can slice the onions if you like, but I like mine a little small. I just don't like the taste of raw onions very much, so the smaller the better if I'm not going to be marinating them for a long time.
To get my quash really thin I used a peeler, because I don't have a mandolin slicer. You can slice the squash in half to make it thinner before peeling. As I prepped my ingredients I just threw everything into my mixing bowl. There's no special order in which things have to be added.
Chiffonade a small bunch of basil. You want it to be really fresh. Add to the salad and give everything a quick toss. The juices will quickly start to blend together.
Next I zested and juiced half the lemon (if you really like lemon, add all of the juice and zest). Add the salt and pepper now too.
So this little sprig of basil is what I used for the oil. Normally if I make an herb oil I like to blanch and shot the herb and then blend with my hand blender, but because I needed such a small amount, I just chopped this by hand. I just drizzled a very small amount of oil (maybe a teaspoon) over the basil and chopped, then strained through a mesh strainer. This oil is optional. I just made it to give the plate a little bit more color. It didn't really add that much to the dish's flavor.
Very simple. Something that would be great with this salad would be some pinenuts. You can also top with shaved parmesan. For the plating I just used tongs to transfer the salad from the bowl to the plate and then drizzled some of the lemon vinaigrette and basil oil on the plate. Enjoy.