I first came across a raw Zucchini Salad in Gourmet Magazine in August 2004. At that time, the zucchini was tenderized in a salt bath. Today I blanche it quickly which has the added effect of sealing in the color. Unlike lettuce-based salads, this light and colorful salad holds its freshness and appeal on a buffet table for several hours. Enjoy it with some grilled chicken for a simple summer meal. —Lynda Marren
kosher salt, divided
medium straight-neck yellow squashes
lemons, zested and juiced
chopped mint, plus more for garnish
basil, chiffonaded, plus more for garnish
crumbled feta cheese or shredded Parmesan cheese
Toast pine nuts in a dry saute pan on medium heat until golden, about 4 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Place 2 medium pots of water over high heat to boil. Add 2 tablespoons kosher salt to each pot. Set two bowls of ice water near the stove.
Slice the zucchini on the bias, lengthwise into thin ribbons. A mandolin works well for this if you have one. Slice the yellow squash in the same way.
When the water boils, transfer the zucchini to one pot and the squash to the other pot. Boil each for just 2 minutes. Drain and transfer to the ice baths to cool. Drain once again and pay dry with paper towels.
Once cooled and dry, transfer squash together to a large bowl. Now that the squash and zucchini were individually blanched, it can be mixed together without blending colors. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Mix the lemon zest, olive oil, shallots, parsley, salt, pepper, mint and basil in a small bowl.
Pour lemon juice over the squash.
Combine the dressing with the squash and mix well. Add the cheese.
Garnish with pine nuts and fresh herbs. Serve at room temperature.