Raw Squash Salad
30 Min

Raw Squash Salad

Inspiration comes from many places, nostalgic memories, a flavor I am trying to chase, an exciting new ingredient, an old magazine clipping or, quite simply, from dining out.

Last week, with some co-workers, I ventured out to Coltivare, a cozy neighborhood restaurant, and garden in the Heights. After ordering a couple of appetizers, the ever-popular pizzas, and spreads, the first thing that arrived on our table was a zucchini and cucumber carpaccio. We had not ordered it, but Ryan Pera, Coltivare’s chef, and co-owner was in the kitchen and glanced over at our table with a smile.

With most farm stands currently in full-blown zucchini harvest mode, I felt I had run the gamut of tasting zucchini dishes. I was wrong. This one blew me away.

Crisp, chilled, thinly sliced zucchini and cucumbers spread on a plate, topped with aromatic herbs, toasted walnuts, tiny chunks of aged cheese, and a simple vinaigrette. I can see why Ryan wanted us to taste that salad. We had a wonderful meal that night, but I couldn’t wait to re-create a version of that salad — and here it is. I swapped out the cheese for tiny bites of freshly minced ginger, but feel free to use your favorite aged cheese instead.

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Cook Time

30 Minutes



Step 1
To make the dressing: In a small frying pan over high heat, warm the olive oil and pop the mustard seeds. Immediately, turn the heat off and let the oil cool down for a few minutes. Stir in the juice of 2 lemons, salt, serrano, ginger, and maple syrup. The dressing can be made a day or two ahead and refrigerated until ready to use.
Step 2
Remove the ends and thinly slice both the squashes and cucumber. Arrange them on a large plate or on four salad plates. Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts on top. Spoon the dressing over the vegetables and garnish with torn basil leaves. Serve immediately.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
Juice of two lemons
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 small serrano chile, minced
1-inch piece ginger, minced
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
1 medium zucchini squash, chilled
1 medium yellow squash, chilled
2 medium Persian cucumbers, chilled
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
A few basil leaves

Notes & Variations

  • Pick small zucchini or yellow squash, they are slightly more tender and have fewer seeds.
  • Crumble goat or a favorite aged cheese over the salad.
  • Substitute sliced garlic cloves instead of ginger.
30 Min

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