Summer Salad Recipes: Delicious Vegan Squash and Zucchini Ribbon Salad
It’s that time of year. The squash crop is arriving full force. If the squash plants in your home garden have managed to survive squash bugs and squash vine borers, you now have an abundance of squash. You have used all of your favorite squash and zucchini recipes such as fried squash, squash fritters, zucchini soup, and zucchini bread. You may be roaming the neighborhood at night in search of unlocked cars where you can dump a few extra squash on unsuspecting neighbors. Perhaps, you do not garden and a bag of vegetables has mysteriously appeared on your doorstep. Here is one more recipe, new and different, to reduce the number of squash and/or zucchini on your kitchen counter and in your fridge.
This squash ribbon salad is both a squash recipe and a zucchini recipe. It also uses cucumbers and carrots. You can also add it to your list of raw vegan recipes. A combination of yellow squash and zucchini, or possibly different varieties of each, works nicely to provide variations of flavor and texture.
While it can serve as the focus of a vegan dinner recipe or menu, it also goes quite well with burgers from the grill or any selection of dishes for a summer picnic. Use it when you are wondering what to serve vegan guests, but beware, it may become one of your favorite summer recipes.
Step 1: Use a vegetable peeler to produce long “ribbons” of squash, working your way around the squash like you would if peeling a carrot. Work toward creating a pile of ribbons approximately ¼” - ½” wide and 2” - 6” long. If you have good knife skills and can slice very thin slices, that is an option instead of the peeler. (If you have one, a mandoline slicer also works. Cut thin slices and then cut those lengthwise with a knife or use a wide julienne setting.) Depending on the extent and size of seeds in your squash, you may or may not want to use the core of your veggies. Two to three small or medium squash should be enough.
Step 2: Follow the the same process with one carrot and ½ - 1 cucumber. You will now have a pile of multi-color ribbons, off-white, green, yellow, and orange. (A peeler is still the best way to produce carrot ribbons, rather than the options mentioned above.)
Step 3: Place all of the ribbons in a large bowl and hand toss with 1 clove of minced garlic, about ¼ cup of olive oil, the juice from ½ lemon, salt and pepper. Also toss in about ¼ cup of chopped fresh basil or cilantro. The salad should be lightly dressed. Start with a little less oil than you think is needed and then add more in small amounts after tasting.
Though you can serve this right away, it's even better after a few hours of refrigeration. You'll find it's one of the best vegan recipes for a simple summer salad! As a bonus, it is also gluten free.
2 - 3 small to medium squash and/or zucchini (variety is good!)
½ - 1 cucumber, depending upon size
1 clove garlic
¼ cup olive oil (approximate)
½ lemon, juiced
¼ cup fresh cilantro (or basil)
salt and pepper to taste
© 2012 chet thomas
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