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Marinated summer squash salad

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The Runaway Spoon

(Read caption) A fresh and simple salad of summer squash with the added crunch of celery and onion with a light vinaigrette dressing.

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Squash season is starting, and everyone I know is always looking for new ways to use the bounty. Everything old is new again though, so I pulled out this recipe. In recent years, I have seen an explosion of fancy squash salads on restaurant menus and on Pinterest. The trend seems to be thinly slicing the squash lengthwise to create long ribbons.

It does make for a pretty salad. But in the back of my mind, I knew I had made a squash salad from an old community cookbook in my collection. I’ve been combing through the volumes for a couple of squash seasons now looking for the recipe, and I finally found it. The book is from a small town in Mississippi and was published in the 1990s, putting it slightly ahead of the trend. I jazzed it up with a little marjoram in the dressing

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I like to slice everything on a mandolin slicer to create whisper thin strands that soak up the simple dressing. Slicing the squash paper thin is essential, but if you don’t have a mandolin, you can use a vegetable peeler to make thin slices, and you can dice the other vegetables into small pieces. And I suppose you can create those photogenic long squash ribbons, but to be honest, I think it’s easier to eat this as round slices.

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This makes for a wonderful summer cook-out dish. You can make it up to a day ahead, and the tangy pickled bite of the fresh squash is a real taste of summer.

Marinated Summer Squash Salad
Serves 6

1 pound yellow summer squash
1/2 of a yellow onion
3 stalks of celery
1 green bell pepper
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon chopped marjoram
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

1. Thinly slice the squash on a mandolin and place in a large, wide bowl. Cut the onion half in half again, and slice each piece on the mandolin and add to the bowl. Carefully slice the celery on the mandolin and add to the mix. Cut out the seeds from the pepper and cut it into quarters. Slice the pieces on the mandolin and add to the bowl. Use your hands to toss the ingredients together, separating the squash slices.

2. Put the vinegar, sugar, marjoram, salt, and pepper in a large jar with a tight lid and shake to combine. Add the oil, screw on the lid and shake until well combined. You can also whisk everything together in a bowl. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to combine. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 24. Give everything a good stir when you think about it.

3. Drain the salad through a colander, then spread the vegetables on a serving platter. Taste and add a little salt if you like. Serve chilled.

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Related post on The Runaway Spoon: Summer squash casserole


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