Raw Summer Squash Salad

 This salad is a celebration of one of summer's most abundant veggies.

It's inspired by the farmer's market and I hope it gives you ideas for some of the more unusual things you find.

You know how sometimes you see something cool (or strange) at the farmer's market (or even at the grocery store) and you're like, "What the hell can I do with this?" 

The answer is nothing.

Just give up. 

Jk. Jk.

Just hit me up in the comments section and I'll try to come up with something for you.

To begin, make the dressing.

It's a simple dressing with lots of flavor and it's a great one to have on hand.

Grate a clove of garlic in a bowl:

(P.S. If raw garlic isn't your thing, try grating some onion or shallot into the dressing.)

Then add lemon juice, olive oil, black pepper and a bit of grated parmesan.

 Taste, add salt or more cheese if needed.

Whisk till combined and then set aside while you prepare the salad.

I prefer different colors of the pattypans because it's prettier but you don't have to do that, obviously.

 Using a mandoline (preferably, I use this one from Amazon for $20 and it's amazing, plus all the big time chefs use it too) slice them into pretty little slices with scalloped edges.

How pretty are they?

Even hubby was intrigued and he's like the pickiest eater I've ever known and will ever know.

Set those aside while you slice the little zucchini attached to the squash blossoms.

If your squash blossom didn't come with a little zucchini, I feel bad for you son.

I got 99 problems but a tiny zucchini not attached to my squash blossom ain't one.

You can use the regular kind, just pick out the smallest ones.

Set those aside and shave some breakfast radishes. 

Or regular radishes.

Or any other veggie you happen to have in you fridge that's almost about to spoil.

Next, cut up a green onion on a bias thusly:

 Finally, you want to get some of your favorite cheese and cut some of that too.

I'm currently obsessed with Cowgirl Creamery. It's this really great cheese company that has some pretty bad-ass creamy cheeses, if that's your thing.

I love the Mt. Tam flavor but they have other amazing ones like Red Hawk and I also found one called St. Pat which was covered with nettles and it was kind of orange-y inside. 

It was kind of like a creamy cheddar.

Needless to say, the reason that one isn't in the pic below is because it's in my belly.

*say it like Fat Bastard*

*if you're too young to know who that is don't mind me, I'll just sit here drowning in my tears*

Now that you have all your ingredients ready, it's time to assemble.

Watch, and learn:

Add the green onions.

Now that all the veggies are on the plate, it's time for the good stuff.

Sometimes I feel like salads are just a vessel for cheese.

Amirite?

Drizzle on as much of the dressing as you like and then add the star of the show, the squash blossoms:

So gorgeous.

Next time I get them I'm gonna fill them with cheese and stuff.

Since that's so played out, I felt like using them in a more authentic way this time.

Anyway, tear the blossom into petals and place them randomly on the salad.

I used a whole blossom in the center because why the hell not?

I chose to garnish with parsley leaves and edible flowers.

 What I love about this salad is that allows you to enjoy eating these veggies raw.

The dressing and the cheese make it so much more palatable and even though cheese may not be the best thing for you, you still have to enjoy life.

Like the wise man of the village once said, "A salad without cheese, is like a hug without a squeeze."

Or maybe it was the drunk guy at the drive thru.

Either way, it's true.

 

For Dressing

3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 T parmesan cheese, grated
1 garlic clove, grated
S&P, to taste

For Salad

3-4 pattypan/sunburst squash, sliced
2-3 squash blossoms
1-2 small zucchini, sliced
3-4 breakfast radishes, sliced
few slices of creamy cheese, I used Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam
few leaves of flat leaf parsley
few petals of edible flowers (optional)

For Dressing

Combine all the ingredients together and whisk till emulsified.

Set aside while you assemble the salad.

For Salad

Using a mandoline, slice the pattypan squash into thin flower-like slices.

Also using a mandoline, slice the small squash and breakfast radishes into thin slices lengthwise.

Slice the cheese, and tear the squash blossoms into individual petals, make sure to leave one blossom whole.

Arrange the pattypan slices on a plate, however you like.

Twist the zucchini slices and place them on top of the pattypan slices trying to give them some height, don't just lay them flat.

Arrange the breakfast radishes in a similar way to the zucchini.

Place the cheese on top, then garnish with parsley and edible flowers.

Finish the salad with the petals of squash blossom and you can place a whole one in the center, just open it up like it's blooming.

Finally, dress the salad with as much dressing as you like.

Enjoy!