Yellow summer squash and zucchini aren’t just for roasting, steaming, sauteing or grilling. They are also very good raw, pared into ribbons and adorned with cider, a little yogurt, salt and pepper, and dill. Martine Jacobs, who joined this household in early September to help in the gardens, made it for supper one evening and one bite convinced me that I ought to share it.
She learned it from a chef named Zack, at the Granite Art Garden in Sullivan where she spent part of the summer in a volunteer program, tending the gardens and pitching in on other activities. One evening, Zack pulled together what he named the Feast at the Quarry, spread a red checked tablecloth on end to end picnic tables under the sky near gardens blooming with orange daylilies and gathered everyone together to eat fresh oysters, grilled scallops, and garbanzo stew with dulse, green salad with nasturtium flowers and this salad among other fresh local fare.
After dreary months of quarantining, waiting out COVID-19, Martine found the experience entrancing and oh-so-welcome. She didn’t write the recipe down, but it’s not the kind of salad that needs much precision and definitely ought to be made to taste.
Either yellow summer squash or green zucchini are the ticket. A combination is very pretty. One medium squash makes enough for four servings. A flat paring tool makes ribbons when you pare the length of the squash into a bowl.
A dash of cider vinegar or rice vinegar and a sprinkle of salt over the squash which you toss with your hands or spoon, then let stand for a while, softens the vegetable a little. Yogurt, a little mayonnaise or sour cream with a drizzle of olive oil provide the dressing. Fresh pepper and a small handful of coarsely chopped fresh dill if you have it, or a generous sprinkle of dried dill, finish it off. Fresh chopped chives added with the dill wouldn’t go amiss.
Squash Ribbon Salad with Dill
Yields 4 servings
1 medium summer squash or zucchini
1-2 tablespoons of cider vinegar or rice vinegar
Sprinkle of salt
About 1 tablespoon of yogurt or mayonnaise
2 or 3 sprigs of fresh dill, coarsely chopped, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper.
1. Pare the squash into a medium bowl, drawing your parer the length of the squash to make ribbons.
2. Sprinkle squash ribbons with the vinegar and salt and toss them. Let stand for a half hour or so.
3. Before serving, add a drizzle of olive oil and the yogurt or mayonnaise, the dill and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss and serve.