One of the great things about summer squash is that there are a lot of ways to prepare it raw. Unlike winter squash, summer squash is already ready to eat the moment you pick it, and you don’t really have to do much to it to create a great dish. Here are two recipes using summer squash cut into ribbons.
This recipe from Cookie + Kate celebrates the creative things you can do with squash. By peeling the zucchini and yellow squash into ribbons, you not only create a salad that looks pretty on the plate, you also change the way you experience the squash when you eat it. I like using citrus instead of vinegar in the dressing, for a change, too. And feta is one of my favorite cheeses. I love the pungent flavor, and it’s naturally low in fat. I never buy the lowfat or zero-fat varieties, because they lack flavor. Regular feta has less than half the fat of most other cheeses anyway.
The only cooked item in this salad is the toasted pine nuts. You could leave them raw if you’re a raw purist, but toasting them does add a great deal more flavor and a bit of crunch. I detest tarragon, so I would never add that to this salad. I think either the mint or the parsley is enough to add the right herbal impact. I actually prefer parsley in this salad. The recipe doesn’t specify organic vegetables, but that’s what I would use.
If you don’t want to take the time to peel the squashes to get those ribbons (I don’t), you could use your spiralizer instead, or just put them through your food processor’s slicing blade. Either way, this is an easy and refreshing summer salad that’s quick enough for a family night yet sophisticated enough to serve to guests if you choose to.
A variation on this salad is the shaved zucchini salad with radishes shown in the video. If you wanted to stay raw, you could serve this with a raw veggie burger instead of the grilled shrimp. The one in Judita Wignall's Going Raw might be just the ticket.
Summer squash is fun to experiment with, too. Try some of your favorite chopped-up vegetables on it and a touch of your favorite cheese--if not feta, then you could shave a curl of fresh Parmigiano Reggiano--or use a flavored olive oil if you happen to have one on hand. Just keep it simple, and you can end up with a recipe that you'll want to make again and again.