Summer Squash Salad with Mustard Mint Aioli

By aargersi
May 26, 2011
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Author Notes: The name of this is fun to say, right? We just got back from New Orleans where, among other things - we had a fantastic lunch at Cochon (Melissav we finally made it there!). I had a squash salad that I knew right away I was going to have to riff of of ... turns out to be a perfect match for aioli week! 3 notes:
1) Mint - I grow spearmint which is milder than peppermint. If you are not sure what kind you have, taste and adjust accordingly. What you want is a nice undertone, not a minty sock in the nose
2) Feta - similar to the mint, I got a really nice mild creamy local goat feta. If your is assertive or very salty, you may want to pull back a bit on the amount.
3) Prep - unless you have mad knife skills the mandoline is the way to go here. I set Jaws on 1/8" slices and they were just perfect for this salad. - aargersi

Food52 Review: On a sweltering New York afternoon, we came home from work and were incredibly grateful that aargersi's no-cook Summer Squash Salad with Mustard Mint Aioli was going to be the evening repast. After eating we immediately vowed to make it as often as possible. Even in winter. Spring. Fall. Anyway, with the written-in cheerleading in the directions, whisking together the aioli was very do-able, and assembling the ingredients for the salad part could not have been easier. Even more importantly, the juxtaposition of flavors -- the pecan, the mint, the feta cheese and the sweet onion -- jacked up the zucchini (which, let's face it, can be kind of dull), to an amazing level of Yum. The proportions for the mustard and mint worked beautifully for us, but there is certainly some wiggle room. Two extremely enthusiastic thumbs up!! - wssmom

Serves: 4-6

Mustard Mint Aioli

  • 1 large egg yolk at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • salt
  • 1 cup pecan oil
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh mint
  • 1 very small mashed and minced clove of garlic
  1. Put the egg yolk and vinegar in a bowl you can comfortably whisk in. Add the garlic and start whisking. When it is blended and a bit frothy add a few drops of the oil. Keep whisking. Be strong. Add a pinch of salt and the lemon.
  2. You are still whisking. Once the aioli starts to come together, add the oil in a steady stream and keep whisking. You can do this thing.
  3. Once the oil is all added and you have a nice creamy aioli, slowly whisk in the mustard and mint, taste and decide if you want a pinch more salt. This makes a slightly looser, creamy aioli. Stick it in the fridge.

Salad Part

  • 4 cups sliced summer squash - I combined yellow and zucchini
  • 1 cup sliced sweet onion - I used Texas 1015 but vidalia or walla walla or the like would work fine.
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped and toasted pecans
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • a small handful of Italian parsley, gently torn
  • an even smaller handful - maybe 6-8 leaves - mint, also gently torn
  • ground pepper
  1. Toss the squash and onion together in a large bowl - separate the squash slices as much as possible. Now toss them with half the aioli. You have made extra for another use - handy, right?
  2. Put the bowl in the fridge for a half hour so and let everything settle in together.
  3. When you are ready to serve, gently toss in the herbs, feta and pecans, and grind in a bit of pepper. Taste a slice of squash and decide if you need more salt.
  4. Enjoy summer!

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