I needed a break from the drama and craziness of this week, so I decided to post another recipe for you, even though it’s not Friday yet. Food always exerts a calming influence on me!
This one won’t have step-by-step instructions, because I’d already made it by the time I realized it’s a good candidate for my new recipe series. But I do have a “finished product” photo for you. I hope it looks cool, refreshing and summery to you! It’s a five-minute side dish with lots of healthy ingredients.
We need some cool refreshment around this house today. It’s only June 4 and it’s positively broiling outside (and inside). Some of our family and friends know that we have a little A/C problem in our home. The A/C runs fine; the problem is it runs too much and doesn’t get anywhere. It’s currently 79 in my bedroom and 78 in the upstairs hallway. That probably doesn’t sound too hot to most people, but I am a person who was really meant for cooler climes. I don’t enjoy summer in Georgia; I merely survive it. ;-) I sleep best when it’s about 64-68 in the room, and sleep well only at 72 or below. And last night when I went up to bed at 11:30, it was still a balmy 75 in the bedroom. Sigh. We were hoping not to have to move out of our bedroom again this summer, but that’s another story for another post.
Without further digression, here’s today’s recipe:
Summer Squash Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
This recipe is super-simple, and is a great use for my favorite Lemon Vinaigrette from Giada. For this photo, I had hoped the “crinkle cut” effect of the squash would be a little more evident. I’m having a hard time getting a good, clearly focused photo of anything up close with our new camera. Hopefully I will get around to actually reading the instructions sometime soon! But anyway, the idea for using the vinaigrette over the squash came to me from a Quick Cooking magazine recipe we (or rather, I) love. (Hubby assiduously avoids raw vegetables, other than iceberg lettuce.) The QC recipe calls for thinly sliced squash rounds, arranged in a pretty spiral on a plate and then topped with dressing. I have made the salad that way before for parties, but found that the veggies become soggy after a day or so. Since we eat a lot of leftovers in this house, I try to apply dressings one serving at a time. For everyday preparation, I’ve been cutting the squash into half rounds with my Pampered Chef Crinkle Cutter, which makes very cute and surprisingly easy slices. (Don’t you just love all these endorsements for products, and people, for which I’m not getting paid? LOL!)
I keep the squash in a covered container in the fridge and mix up the dressing for storage in the fridge, too. Then I combine as I go. I use a Magic Bullet (er…here I’m trying to convince myself not to rave about another kitchen product, but ...okay, I failed ...seriously, it will change your life!) But you could use anything you prefer, and a glass jar with a lid is perfect. Just put the lid on tightly, and then shake until your teeth rattle. (Just don’t do what I have done, and let the jar go flying out of your hands while you’re shaking… I’m sure you can imagine how bad that would be. You really don’t need to try it yourself to find out ...just take my word for it and keep a firm grip on that jar.)
Dressing ingredients (makes about 2/3 cup):
2 tsp grated lemon zest
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup chopped parsley leaves (save a bit for garnish)
1-2 garlic cloves, minced (to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Blend all ingredients in a blender, or shake well in a jar. Season to taste. Flavors will blend over time, so make ahead if you can. Refrigerate until needed. Re-blend just before adding to the veggies, to ensure dressing hasn’t separated. Pour desired quantity over veggies, garnish with chopped parsley and serve!
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