Looking for a simple, flavor-packed summer dinner that doesn’t heat up the kitchen? These toasts are your ticket. Here’s the idea: Shave long, thin ribbons of summer squash and marinate them in lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil, along with some crushed pistachios. Smash some feta with a fork, then mix in sour cream and lots of black pepper. From there, it’s all about toast assembly. Generously smear the smashed feta on each toast, pile big mounds of arugula on top, and crown with the lemony squash and pistachios. Eat right away. Marvel at the combo of crunchy toast with creamy feta, leafy greens, and tender, silky squash—as well as the effort-to-reward ratio.
A few tips and notes: Pretty much everything about the toasts is customizable. Have a bumper crop of zucchini? Use it in place of the summer squash, or do a mix. Don’t have any lemons? Try limes, or a mild-flavored vinegar, such as red wine or champagne. The same easygoing spirit applies to the nuts, cheese, and leafy greens. —EmilyC
- Prep time 10 minutes
- Makes 4 big toasts
summer squash (about 1 pound in total)
plus 2 teaspoons lemon zest, divided (plus more to taste)
plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
shelled, roasted pistachios, roughly chopped or smashed with a knife
fine sea salt, plus more to taste
freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
feta (a block packed in brine preferred)
full-fat sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
large slices from a loaf of crusty bread (such as ciabatta or sourdough), about 1/2-inch thick
baby arugula (or watercress or a mix of leafy herbs)
- Trim the ends of the squash. Shave lengthwise into paper-thin ribbons with a mandoline, vegetable peeler, or chef’s knife.
- In a bowl, toss the shaved squash with 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and the crushed pistachios until evenly coated. (Note: marinating the pistachios makes them a more cohesive part of the dish, both flavor and texture wise.) Season with sea salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Set aside while preparing the remaining ingredients. (Tip: taste a small piece of the squash before assembling toasts in Step 4, adding more salt or lemon juice to taste.)
- Smash feta with the back of a fork (on a plate or cutting board) to form small yet irregularly sized chunks. In a small bowl, combine the feta with 2 teaspoons lemon zest, 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, and sour cream. Season to taste with sea salt and lots of black pepper.
- Toast bread in your preferred way. To assemble, smear each piece of toast with smashed feta, top with a layer of arugula, then pile on squash and pistachios. (Tip: use your hands or a slotted spoon to drain off any excess marinade from the squash; and top the toasts with any pistachios that have fallen to the bottom of the bowl.) Eat right away.