The hot, lazy days of summer bring out the best in a squash plant. They flower, then fruit, and who can keep up with their prolific squash production? Unpicked, zucchinis and yellow squash quickly grow from a delightful food choice to major league baseball bats. This recipe can help save them while they are still suitable for food!
Summer Squash Salad Recipe
6 cups of mixed summer squash, cut into small cubes (I used yellow, zucchini, and variegated patty pan squashes.)
1 cup of onion shreds (I used Vidalia onions. Texas Sweets also work well.)
2 tablespoons of canola oil
¼ cup muffaletta olive salad from The Pickle Guy (Pack it into a ¼ cup dry measure.)
2/3 cup grape tomato halves
14 gram package of charred tomato crispy bell peppers (Optional. These come with the Cobb Salad at Chik-Fil-A.)
For the dressing:
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (I use the Kirkland brand.)
¼ - ½ cup Lawry's Mediterranean Herb and White Wine Marinade (I used ½ cup.)
1 tablespoon of agave nectar (You may use a teaspoon of sugar or a tablespoon of honey.)
salt and pepper (optional)
Cube the squash. I made the pieces about as big as the end of my finger. Which finger? Well, all of them! My cubes were not exactly the same size, but they were pretty small. Place the squash in a microwavable dish, pour in a tablespoon of water, cover the dish, and then microwave those squash for 5 minutes. Let them stand, covered while you make the rest of the recipe.
To cut the onion shreds, peel and cut the onion in half around the equator. Cut one onion half into 2 parts and thinly slice the onion vertically. In a heavy pan, heat the canola oil over a medium heat, then cook the onions until they are dark brown. This takes about 10 minutes. When they first start to cook, you can just look at them and stir once in a while. After they start to brown, stir them constantly. The edges should be almost black. The pieces will be a little crispy.
Drain the squash, and then, drain it again. There will be a lot more water than you put in to cook it. Any leftover water will dilute your dressing. You don't want watery dressing! Put the browned onions and muffaletta on top of the drained squash.
Stir the dressing ingredients together, and add them to the onion pan to get the last bit of flavor. Toss the pieces of squash, onions, and muffaletta olive salad with the dressing. Add the tomatoes and the crispy pepper packet (if desired.) Toss again. Chill thoroughly for at least 4 hours. Adjust the salt and pepper, if necessary before serving.
Filled with flavor, this colorful Summer Squash Salad pairs well with any hoagie-type sandwich. It is also delightful with Italian Beef Burgers or Italian Steak Sandwiches. Take it to a summer potluck, or make it in the winter to remember the heat of the summer sun and the lazy days of summer squash.
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