Summer Squash Toasts With Smashed Feta

August 26, 2020
3 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Makes 4 big toasts
Author Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 2 summer squash (about 1 pound in total)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons lemon zest, divided (plus more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup shelled, roasted pistachios, roughly chopped or smashed with a knife
  • 1 pinch fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 5 ounces feta (a block packed in brine preferred)
  • 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
  • 4 large slices from a loaf of crusty bread (such as ciabatta or sourdough), about 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 cup baby arugula (or watercress or a mix of leafy herbs)
  1. Trim the ends of the squash. Shave lengthwise into paper-thin ribbons with a mandoline, vegetable peeler, or chef’s knife.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • EmilyC
  • kauffw
  • jenhabitat

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

3 Reviews

kauffw August 21, 2022
Great! The flavor is very light and refreshing for those warm summer days.
jenhabitat August 30, 2020
This is such a fresh summer treat! I highly recommend giving it a try;
EmilyC August 31, 2020
Thank you -- so glad you liked it!