Summer Squash Salad with Lemon Citronette Recipe

The Summer Squash Salad with Lemon Citronette is a vibrant and refreshing dish that marries the best of summer produce with Mediterranean flavors. The zingy citronette dressing, the soft texture of the squash and the tangy feta cheese will take your tastebuds on a delightful journey. It's the perfect dish for a summer gathering or a light, healthy lunch.

Summer Squash Salad with Lemon Citronette Recipe
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Photos of Summer Squash Salad with Lemon Citronette Recipe

You can usually find mixed baby squashes at farmers markets during the summer, but if not, any type of summer squash will work. Try to find smaller, younger squash as they are more tender and have a fresher flavor. Quality feta cheese is crucial for this recipe, as it provides a salty contrast to the sweet squash. Look for feta in the cheese section of your supermarket, preferably imported from Greece or the Mediterranean region for the most authentic flavor.

Ingredients for Summer Squash Salad with Lemon Citronette

pine nuts: A type of nut that adds a delicate flavor and a bit of crunch. They're often used in Mediterranean dishes.

mixed baby zucchini and yellow squash: The star of the dish, these squashes are sweet, tender and refreshing.

salt: Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.

feta cheese: A tangy and salty cheese that adds a great contrast to the sweetness of the squash.

lemon zest: Adds a tangy and fresh flavor.

lemon juice: Provides acidity and freshness to the dish.

garlic clove: Gives the dish a slight spicy kick and depth of flavor.

thyme: A herb that adds a subtle earthy flavor.

mint: Imparts a refreshing and aromatic flavor.

italian flat-leaf parsley: Used for its fresh, bright flavor and as a garnish.

olive oil: The base of the citronette, it adds a rich, fruity dimension.

One reader, Cordi Fenner says:

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This summer squash salad with lemon citronette recipe is a game-changer! The combination of fresh zucchini and yellow squash with the tangy citronette dressing is simply divine. The addition of feta and pine nuts adds a delightful crunch. It's a refreshing and flavorful dish that's perfect for any summer gathering. Highly recommended!

Cordi Fenner

Techniques for Crafting the Perfect Summer Squash Salad

How to shave the squashes into ribbons: Use a vegetable peeler to shave the squashes into paper-thin ribbons, starting on one side and making quarter turns until you reach the seedy core.

How to toast pine nuts: In a small skillet over medium-low heat, toast the pine nuts until they are turning golden and fragrant, stirring frequently.

How to make citronette dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest and juice, garlic, thyme, mint, and parsley. While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing is well blended. Set aside until ready to serve.

How to toss the salad: Right before serving, whisk the citronette one last time. Toss the squash with the feta, pine nuts, and citronette. Serve immediately.

How To Make Summer Squash Salad with Lemon Citronette

Who says you can’t have squash in the middle of summer? Try this squash salad recipe that is topped with lemon citronette, making it cool and refreshing.

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking:
Total: 25 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

For Salad:

  • ¼cuppine nuts
  • 2lbmixed baby zucchini and yellow squash
  • salt
  • 1cupquality feta cheesecrumbled

For Citronette:

  • ½tsplemon zestfinely grated
  • 1tbspfresh lemon juice
  • 1largegarlic clovepressed or minced
  • 1tspfresh thymechopped
  • 1tspfresh mintchopped
  • 1tspfresh Italian flat-leaf parsleychopped
  • 3tbspolive oil

Instructions

  1. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the squashes into paper-thin ribbons, starting on one side and making quarter turns until you reach the seedy core.

  2. Spread the squash ribbons on a cutting board, sprinkle liberally with salt, and let them sit for 20 minutes.

  3. In a small skillet over medium-low heat, toast the nuts until they are turning golden and fragrant, stirring frequently.

  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest and juice, garlic, thyme, mint, and parsley. While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing is well blended. Set aside until ready to serve.

  5. Rinse the squash and gently pat dry with a clean tea towel or paper towels. Place in a serving bowl.

  6. Right before serving, whisk the citronette one last time. Toss the squash with the feta, pine nuts and citronette. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 386.98kcal
  • Fat: 25.03g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.66g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 10.79g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.65g
  • Carbohydrates: 34.15g
  • Fiber: 6.34g
  • Sugar: 1.96g
  • Protein: 14.58g
  • Cholesterol: 33.38mg
  • Sodium: 1199.84mg
  • Calcium: 314.33mg
  • Potassium: 1916.34mg
  • Iron: 4.29mg
  • Vitamin A: 147.25µg
  • Vitamin C: 105.34mg

Mastering the Art of Lemon Citronette Dressing

When toasting pine nuts, it's important to keep a close eye on them as they can burn quickly due to their high oil content. Stir them frequently and remove them from the heat as soon as they start to turn golden. This will ensure they have a nice, toasted flavor without being overcooked or burnt.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Summer Squash Salad

Prep ahead: Wash and slice the squash a day in advance to save time on the day of making the salad.

Use a mandoline: A mandoline slicer can help you quickly and uniformly slice the squash into thin ribbons.

Multi-task: While the squash is sitting with salt, you can prepare the citronette and toast the pine nuts to save time.

Quality ingredients: Using high-quality feta cheese and fresh herbs can elevate the flavors, reducing the need for additional seasoning and saving time.

Double the recipe: Make a larger batch and store the leftovers in an airtight container for a quick and delicious meal the next day.

Organize your workspace: Having all your ingredients and tools ready and organized can streamline the cooking process and save time.

Substitute Ingredients For Summer Squash Salad with Lemon Citronette Recipe

  • pine nuts - Substitute with sliced almonds: Sliced almonds can provide a similar nutty flavor and crunch to the salad.

  • baby zucchini and yellow squash - Substitute with asparagus and bell peppers: Asparagus and bell peppers can add a similar crunch and freshness to the salad, while providing a pop of color and flavor.

  • feta cheese - Substitute with goat cheese: Goat cheese offers a tangy and creamy alternative to feta, adding a similar richness to the salad.

  • lemon zest - Substitute with orange zest: Orange zest can provide a citrusy zing similar to lemon zest, while adding a hint of sweetness to the citronette.

  • lemon juice - Substitute with white wine vinegar: White wine vinegar can offer a tangy acidity similar to lemon juice, enhancing the flavor of the citronette.

  • garlic clove - Substitute with shallot: Shallots can provide a milder, sweet onion flavor similar to garlic, without overpowering the citronette.

  • thyme - Substitute with oregano: Oregano can offer a similar earthy and slightly floral flavor to the citronette, complementing the other herbs and ingredients.

  • mint - Substitute with basil: Basil can provide a fresh and slightly sweet flavor similar to mint, adding a delightful herbaceous note to the citronette.

  • italian flat-leaf parsley - Substitute with cilantro: Cilantro can offer a similar fresh and bright flavor to the citronette, enhancing its overall herbaceous profile.

  • olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil can provide a similar richness and smooth texture to the citronette, while offering a subtle, buttery flavor.

Presentation Tips for a Stunning Summer Squash Salad

  1. Elevate the squash ribbons: Gently arrange the shaved squash ribbons on the plate in a circular motion, creating a visually appealing base for the salad.

  2. Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts: Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts over the squash ribbons, ensuring an even distribution for a delightful crunch in every bite.

  3. Crumble the feta: Artfully crumble the quality feta cheese over the salad, adding a creamy and tangy element to the dish.

  4. Drizzle the citronette: With precision, drizzle the lemon citronette over the salad, ensuring each ribbon of squash is lightly coated with the zesty dressing.

  5. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle a few fresh thyme and mint leaves over the salad, adding a pop of color and a burst of herbal aroma to the dish.

  6. Final touch: Before presenting, ensure the plate is clean and free of any spills, presenting a visually stunning and appetizing summer squash salad.

Essential Tools for Making Summer Squash Salad with Lemon Citronette

  • Vegetable peeler: A tool used to peel the skin off vegetables, such as squash, to create thin ribbons or slices.
  • Cutting board: A flat surface used for cutting, slicing, and preparing ingredients.
  • Small skillet: A small, shallow pan with a long handle, used for toasting nuts and other small cooking tasks.
  • Small bowl: A container used for whisking together ingredients and preparing dressings or sauces.
  • Whisk: A kitchen utensil used for blending and mixing ingredients together, often used for creating emulsions in dressings.
  • Serving bowl: A bowl used for presenting and serving salads or other dishes.
  • Tea towel or paper towels: Used for drying the squash ribbons after rinsing and for patting them dry before serving.
  • Clean tea towel or paper towels: Used for drying the squash ribbons after rinsing and for patting them dry before serving.

Interesting Trivia About Summer Squash Salad with Lemon Citronette

Summer squash is a great source of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber and antioxidants. This makes it a healthy and nutritious addition to your diet.

Is Making Summer Squash Salad at Home Cost-Effective?

This summer squash salad with lemon citronette recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The ingredients, such as zucchini, yellow squash, feta cheese, pine nuts, and lemon, are relatively affordable and readily available. The use of seasonal produce also contributes to its cost-effectiveness. As a culinary chef, I would rate this recipe an 8/10 for its simplicity, fresh flavors, and nutritional value. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $15-$20, making it a budget-friendly and delicious option for a summer meal.

Is Summer Squash Salad with Lemon Citronette Healthy?

This summer squash salad with lemon citronette recipe is a healthy and refreshing dish. Here's why:

  • The main ingredients, zucchini and yellow squash, are low in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and fiber.
  • The pine nuts provide healthy fats and protein, which can help keep you feeling full and satisfied.
  • The lemon citronette dressing is made with olive oil, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, and fresh herbs, which add flavor without excessive calories or sodium.
  • Feta cheese, while relatively high in fat and sodium, is used in moderation and provides calcium and protein.

To make this recipe even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Reduce the amount of feta cheese or opt for a lower-fat variety to decrease the overall fat and sodium content.
  • Add more variety of vegetables to the salad, such as cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, or carrots, to increase the nutrient density and fiber content.
  • Use a mix of different herbs in the citronette, such as basil or oregano, to boost the antioxidant profile and add more depth to the flavor profile.
  • Experiment with different types of nuts or seeds, like almonds or pumpkin seeds, to provide a wider range of nutrients and healthy fats.
  • Serve the salad alongside lean proteins, such as grilled chicken or fish, to create a well-rounded and balanced meal.

Editor's Take on This Refreshing Summer Squash Salad Recipe

The summer squash salad with lemon citronette recipe is a delightful blend of flavors and textures. The use of baby zucchini and yellow squash, along with the addition of quality feta cheese and toasted pine nuts, creates a harmonious balance. The citronette dressing, infused with lemon zest, garlic, and fresh herbs, elevates the dish with its bright and refreshing notes. The technique of shaving the squash into paper-thin ribbons adds a visually appealing element. This salad is a perfect representation of summer on a plate, showcasing the vibrant colors and fresh flavors of the season.

Enhance Your Summer Squash Salad with Lemon Citronette Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Grilled Asparagus with Balsamic Glaze: Try grilling some asparagus and drizzling it with a balsamic glaze for a tangy and savory side dish that pairs perfectly with the summer squash salad.
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Whip up some creamy roasted garlic mashed potatoes to serve alongside the summer squash salad for a comforting and hearty addition to your meal.
Honey Glazed Carrots: Create a sweet and sticky honey glaze to coat some tender carrots, adding a touch of natural sweetness to complement the flavors of the summer squash salad.
Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Fries: Transform zucchini into crispy parmesan-coated fries for a fun and flavorful side dish that adds a crunchy element to your meal.

Delightful Alternatives to Summer Squash Salad

Grilled Vegetable Platter: Create a colorful and flavorful grilled vegetable platter with a variety of seasonal vegetables, such as bell peppers, eggplant, and asparagus. Serve with a balsamic glaze for a delicious and healthy appetizer or side dish.
Mango Salsa Chicken: Prepare a zesty and tropical mango salsa to top grilled chicken breasts. The combination of sweet mango, spicy jalapeno, and tangy lime juice creates a refreshing and satisfying dish that's perfect for summer gatherings.
Butternut Squash Soup: Whip up a creamy and comforting butternut squash soup using roasted butternut squash, onions, and a hint of nutmeg. This hearty soup is a great way to warm up on a chilly evening and pairs well with a crusty bread or salad.

Perfect Main Courses and Desserts to Pair with Summer Squash Salad

Main Courses:
Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa: Grilled salmon topped with a refreshing mango salsa, perfect for a light and flavorful main course. The juicy sweetness of the mango complements the smoky flavor of the grilled salmon, creating a delightful combination of textures and flavors.
Stuffed Bell Peppers: Colorful bell peppers stuffed with a savory mixture of ground meat, rice, and aromatic spices, then baked to perfection. The tender peppers are filled with a hearty and satisfying filling, making it a delicious and wholesome main course option.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and intense chocolate flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Berry Parfait: Layered with fresh berries, creamy yogurt, and crunchy granola, this berry parfait is a delightful combination of flavors and textures. It's a light and refreshing dessert that's perfect for a summer treat.

Why trust this Summer Squash Salad with Lemon Citronette Recipe:

This recipe guarantees freshness and flavor with mixed baby zucchini and yellow squash. The citronette dressing, made with lemon juice and olive oil, adds a zesty and aromatic touch. The use of quality feta cheese and toasted pine nuts elevates the dish, promising a delightful blend of textures and tastes. The inclusion of fresh herbs such as thyme, mint, and Italian flat-leaf parsley ensures a burst of vibrant, herbaceous notes. Trust in the combination of these high-quality ingredients to deliver a memorable and satisfying culinary experience.

Share your thoughts and experiences with this Summer Squash Salad with Lemon Citronette Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section.
FAQ:
What can I use as a substitute for pine nuts in this recipe?
You can substitute pine nuts with chopped almonds, walnuts, or even sunflower seeds for a similar nutty crunch in the salad.
Can I make this salad ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the squash ribbons and the citronette dressing ahead of time. However, it's best to toss the salad with the dressing and feta just before serving to maintain the freshness and texture of the ingredients.
Can I use regular zucchini instead of baby zucchini?
Absolutely! Regular zucchini can be used instead of baby zucchini. You may want to remove the seeds if they are large and tough, but otherwise, they will work well in this salad.
How long can I store the leftover salad?
The salad is best enjoyed fresh, but if you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days. Keep in mind that the texture of the squash may soften slightly after being dressed.
Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh ones in the citronette?
While fresh herbs provide the best flavor, you can use dried herbs as a substitute. Keep in mind that the flavor intensity of dried herbs is stronger, so you may want to use a smaller amount to avoid overpowering the dressing.

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