It’s the middle of summer, and I’m dreaming about fall.
I remember last year in the garden, when summer was officially drawing to a close. In September, my zucchini plants had already died, the tomatoes were withering out, and the air started to have a bit more of a bite to it than it did before.
Don’t get me wrong – I couldn’t be happier about the change in seasons, and I’m really starting to look forward to it right now.
This year has been excruciatingly hot and exceedingly dry all over California. I will be hoping and praying and dancing for rain until it comes again – hopefully in a torrential downpour, but most likely in little spatters that just barely whet the earth, and our parched appetites.
But I also think the end of summer deserves a small… what shall we call it? A eulogy. So this recipe serves as a small eulogy to the garden-fresh produce of summer, which every person who is in tune with the seasons and the food that they bring is in love with.
So, I present this dish to you. It’s mostly unadulterated, simply flavored, raw summer squash, in salad form.
Just a few other ingredients bring out its natural beauty: Pine nuts for a bit of crunch. Arugula for a bit of spice. Lemon and olive oil because, well, some things just must be included. And feta cheese pulls it all together.
My sister made this bowl for me quite a while ago when she worked at Color Me Mine. I really love it, especially where it states on the side, rather simply and entirely truthfully, “Grease is the soul of the kitchen.”
I’m not sure where she got that quote (and I don’t really care to look it up), but I do like it an awful lot. Homemade gifts are always a nice surprise, aren’t they?Print
An easy summer side dish made with a favorite summer vegetable. Sliced raw and tossed with toasted pine nuts, feta cheese, and arugula, this is a simple and refreshing way to start off a meal. For a vegan version, the crumbled feta is optional.
- Wash all of the produce well, and dry the arugula in a salad spinner.
- Cut the zucchini and squash into strips using a mandoline slicer, julienne peeler or vegetable spiralizer.
- Place the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until they are fragrant and just starting to turn golden-brown. Don’t take your eye off of them for too long – you don’t want them to burn! Quickly remove to a plate as soon as they are done.
- Stir the olive oil, lemon juice, and ground coriander together to make the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Toss dressing with the julienned squash and arugula in a large bowl, sprinkle with crumbled feta and pine nuts, and serve.
Keywords: zucchini, squash, pine nut, feta, salad
This vegetarian dish is a wonderful light lunch or side with your favorite grilled entree, like these portobello burgers.
If you need more ideas for how to use up an abundance of summertime zucchini, we’ve got you covered. And if you’re interested in growing your own tomatoes and squash, check out these expert guides on our sister site, Gardener’s Path.
What garden delights would you add to make this dish your own, and what’s your favorite way to celebrate the change in seasons? Share your stories with us in the comments below, and give the recipe a five-star rating if you loved it!
Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on September 3rd, 2014. Last updated: July 27, 2018 at 18:27 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Raquel Smith
Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now being merged into Foodal).