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Summer Squash Salad

Summer Squash Salad

Summer Squash Salad (or Zucchini Carpaccio)—Thinly sliced summer squash served with olive oil, lemon juice, mint, Parmesan cheese, and toasted pine nuts.

Photography Credit:Elise Bauer

My friend Evie suspected that when I tried her summer squash salad recipe that I would have to eat my words (no pun intended) regarding my mom being the only one who could prepare squash well.

Well, I have eaten my words, and this fabulous salad as well!

This is a lovely way to prepare summer squash or zucchini—thinly sliced, marinated briefly with mint in olive oil and lemon juice, tossed with toasted pine nuts, and served with shaved Parmesan. A veritable zucchini carpaccio.

I have made one small adjustment to my friend’s original recipe—increasing the amount of olive oil and lemon juice recommended. I found I needed more to adequately coat all of the squash.

Summer Squash Salad Recipe


  • 4 small zucchini or mixed yellow and green summer squash (1 pound total)
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed mint leaves
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (1 ounce)
  • Grana Padano, Parmesan or Asagio cheese for shavings
  • Fresh mint sprigs for garnish


1 Toast the pine nuts: Heat a small skillet on medium high heat. Add the pine nuts. Stir gently as the pine nuts start to brown. When slightly browned, remove from heat and let cool.

2 Slice the squash into paper-thin slices using a mandoline or other slicer. Set aside in a bowl.

3 Chiffonade the mint: Stack the mint leaves, roll them together lengthwise and slice crosswise to make very thin slivers. Add to squash in bowl.

4 Dress the salad: Combine the oil and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk together. Whisk in the salt and pepper and pour the dressing over the contents of the bowl.

Add the pine nuts and toss all together, gently, but thoroughly. Let mixture stand for at least 10 minutes to soften the squash and develop the flavors.

5 Serve: Transfer salad to serving dish or to four individual salad plates. Garnish with shavings of cheese made with a vegetable peeler and a few sprigs of fresh mint.

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    • 3 tablespoons whole almonds
    • 1 pound summer squash (a mix of green and yellow)
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1 minced garlic clove
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • Baby arugula
    1. Roast almonds and coarsely crush. Meanwhile, trim the ends off summer squash. Using a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the squash lengthwise into strips and transfer to a large bowl.
    2. In a small bowl, whisk together extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, minced garlic clove, and kosher salt to taste. Pour dressing over squash. Let stand for a few minutes, then add a few handfuls of baby arugula. Shave a little Pecorino over the squash and toss. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with the crushed almonds.

    Raw zucchini is nice and crisp, but can be a little tasteless and boring. Cooking brings out the flavor, but can turn it limp, too. I was looking for a treatment that would enhance the taste, but keep some of that crunch and I found it with this zucchini salad. It’s kind of the Goldilocks of zucchini recipes! Salting and marinating brings out the flavor, but keeps the zucchini and yellow squash pleasantly crisp.

    Fresh basil, parsley and sweet peppers join in this celebration of summer produce. Kalamata olives bring a nice briny note. The dressing – a little sweet, a little tart – pulls it all together!

    This zucchini salad is so tasty, colorful and refreshing on a hot summer night! The rest of my family are not big summer squash/zucchini fans, but they loved this salad!

    Herbed Summer Squash Salad

    Heyy, heyy guys! Happy Labor Day. Hopefully you guys are NOT laboring but relaxing instead. We are soaking up the last unofficial weekend of summer with a BBQ today at our dear friends house. So today’s post is going to be quick and sweet. Just like this simple Herbed Summer Squash Salad. I made this on a whim this past week with leftover zucchini and yellow squash I had in my fridge that were on the verge of going bad. I instantly fell in love with all the flavors and could not wait to share it with you guys.

    This salad was somewhat inspired by my mamas eggplant salad I grew up eating with ton of garlic, fresh herbs, jalapeno pepper, vinegar + oil. I used almost the same “dressing” for this squash salad, minus the jalapeno pepper. I pretty much chopped up raw squash and added quite of bit of pressed garlic, fresh dill + parsley. Then tossed everything in vinegar + olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for couple hours so all the flavors soak into the squash and marinate a bit.

    Serve this salad with grilled chicken and roasted potatoes or juicy steak. It’s a strong flavored salad (heavy on the garlic) that pairs absolutely delicious with comfort food dishes (potatoes, pasta, chicken, bread?) Best part you can literally make it today (like now) and have it ready on the table in time for your BBQ this afternoon. Pretty awesome, huh?

    Recipe Summary

    • 3 to 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    • 4 medium zucchini (1 pound), very thinly sliced
    • 4 medium yellow summer squashes (1 pound), very thinly sliced
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, plus sprigs for garnish

    Coat a large skillet with oil. Add a third of the garlic, and heat over medium-high heat until sizzling, 1 to 2 minutes. Add a third of the zucchini and yellow squashes, and cook until just wilted and browned around edges, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat twice with remaining garlic, zucchini, and yellow squashes. Stir in vinegar to last batch, and let evaporate slightly. Return all batches of zucchini and yellow squashes to skillet, and stir in oregano. Serve warm or at room temperature. Garnish with oregano sprigs.

    Recipe Summary

    • 2 zucchini (1 pound total), cut into thin slices
    • 2 small yellow squashes (1 pound total), cut into thin slices
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1/2 teaspoon honey
    • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
    • 1 ounce Pecorino Romano, coarsely grated (1/4 cup)
    • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn if large

    Generously sprinkle zucchini and squash slices with salt let stand in a colander 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry, then transfer to a large bowl. Whisk together oil, lemon juice, Dijon, and honey. Drizzle mixture over slices. Add pine nuts, cheese, and basil toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or let stand at room temperature up to 2 hours.


    • In mortar or using the flat side of a chef’s knife, mash the garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt. Put the paste in a small bowl (or keep it in the mortar) and whisk in the lemon juice. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes and then whisk in the olive oil.
    • Using a mandoline or a sharp chef’s knife, cut the squash diagonally into very thin (1/16- to 1/8-inch) ovals. Put the squash in a medium bowl, season with salt and pepper, and gently toss with about two-thirds of the vinaigrette.
    • Combine the arugula, parsley, chives, and capers in a separate bowl, season with salt and pepper, and toss with just enough vinaigrette to lightly coat. Taste both the squash and herbs and adjust the seasoning with salt or pepper if necessary. Layer about a third of the squash in a shallow bowl or platter, scatter about a third of the arugula mixture on top, and sprinkle with a third of the grated Parmesan. Repeat the process with the remaining squash and arugula mixture, sprinkling each layer with grated Parmesan. For garnish, use a vegetable peeler to shave long strips from the chunk of Parmesan onto the salad. Serve immediately.

    25+ Mouthwateringly Delicious Summer Squash Recipes

    These delicious dishes will put your homegrown veggies to good use.

    Summer squash&mdashthat banana-yellow cousin to the zucchini&mdashis a staple of warm weather cooking. Whether you're growing them in the vegetable garden, getting them from the farmers market, or simply taking advantage of the fact that they're on sale in the summer, it's easy to end up swimming in squash, and wondering what to do with them. Luckily, they're incredibly versatile.

    Especially when they're young and succulent, summer squash are mild and delicious (and they're especially filling if you're looking for ways to substitute zucchini for carbs). Maybe that's why we always end up planting and buying so much. Then, come late July, our countertops and produce drawers are suddenly overflowing.

    If you're in the same boat, then don't worry. We have a great variety of summer squash recipes, both from our site and favorites from around the web, to put your vegetables to use&mdashlike vegetarian slow cooker recipes. From delicious sides like patty pan squash recipes and healthy pizza, to easy casseroles and easy summer salad recipes, these dishes are so good you may start feeling like you need to plant more next year!

    As always, you can&rsquot go wrong with a good-old round of oven-roasted squash. With all these great tasty courses, including side dishes, soups, and salads, squash is about to become your go-to veggie. Plus, once summer comes to an end, keep these butternut squash recipes and winter squash recipes on the back burner for more festive fares.

    Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash Salad

    1 cup pecan halves, coarsely chopped
    2 zucchini, ends removed and sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch planks
    2 yellow squash, ends removed and sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch planks
    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley
    3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    3/4 cup ricotta cheese

    Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the pecans on a baking sheet or in a dry skillet. When the oven is hot, bake until fragrant and lightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

    Heat a grill or grill pan over high heat until lightly smoking. While the grill is heating, toss the zucchini and yellow squash in a large bowl with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

    Evenly arrange the zucchini and squash on the grill and cook until grill marks are visible, about 3 minutes. Working quickly, flip and cook until lightly charred on the second side and the vegetables have softened in the center, about 2 more minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

    Add the parsley, vinegar, toasted pecans, and remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    To serve, arrange a small pile of salad in the center of each place. Top each salad with a few dollops of ricotta cheese and serve warm.

    Summer Squash Salad with Red Onion and Queso Fresco

    35 minutes 10 minutes active

    This is our adaptation of an ensalada de calabacitas (zucchini salad) created by Iliana de la Vega, chef at El Naranjo in Austin, Texas and native of Mexico. Crescents of green zucchini and yellow summer squash combined with slices of red onion makes for a colorful dish, with bright, vibrant flavors to match. Queso fresco is a firm, crumbly, slightly bouncy Mexican cheese with salty, mildly tangy flavor fresh goat cheese is creamier and has a more assertive tang. Both are excellent in the salad, so use whichever you prefer.