Every summer, we can't help ourselves when squash hits the farmers' markets. Gourds of every shape and color fill our baskets, and we inevitably end up with a heap to experiment with in our Test Kitchen.
This year, we're keeping things simple with a bright, raw shaved salad. Squash ribbons top a bed of creamy ricotta before getting hit with a bright-green herb oil, toasted sunflower seeds and a drizzle of honey. It's refreshing but substantial, and you don't even need to turn on the stove.
Ripe summer squash is packed with water, so you want to toss it with salt, oil and lemon juice right before you plate and serve. This way, the squash keeps its bite without leaching liquid all over the ricotta. If you want to prep this salad in advance, have everything in a bowl, except the dressing, and toss it right before you plate.
To learn more, read "No Sweat."
Shaved Summer Squash Salad
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: N/A
Total Time: 30 minutes
1 cup whole-milk ricotta
½ cup olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon honey, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 garlic clove, finely grated
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup mint leaves, divided
¼ cup basil leaves, divided
1 tablespoon thyme leaves, divided
2 pounds summer squash, thinly sliced on a mandoline
½ serrano chile, thinly sliced
¼ small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds, for garnish
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the ricotta, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, honey, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper until smooth. Set aside for later.
2. In a mini food processor or blender, combine ¼ cup of the olive oil with half of the mint, basil and thyme leaves. Purée until smooth, then strain, discarding any solids.
3. In a large bowl, toss the sliced summer squash with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil; the remaining half of the mint, basil and thyme leaves; and the serrano chile, red onion, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
4. Spread the ricotta on a platter. Top with the summer squash mixture, using a slotted spoon to make sure it's well drained. Drizzle with the herb oil, garnish with honey and the sunflower seeds, then serve.