Tuesday, October 07, 2008


First the purple potatoes, then these green beans (which I haven’t posted about yet, but they’re quite good), and now yellow squash—I’m starting to think any vegetable can be elevated to world-rocking deliciousness with just a little shallot and lemon.

On Saturday night, the stars aligned: I had a spare, purposeless yellow squash getting old in my fridge; an elderly shallot in the cupboard; some leftover thyme; this Everyday Food recipe languishing on my Delicious list; and a rainy evening alone—A was at play rehearsal, so there was no one except me to be disappointed if this recipe failed. Reader, it did not fail.

This recipe is one of those gems that manages to be both ridiculously simple and still far more than the sum of its parts. I’m not usually a fan of uncooked squash, but after a few minutes marinating in the acidic dressing, the thin slices of squash were intriguingly transformed, losing their hard rawness while still remaining refreshingly crisp. I had been suspicious the salad would be bland, but the seasonings were perfect, the flavors bright and clean. I soon became extra-glad A wasn’t there, because I had made a half-recipe and I devoured the entire thing myself—ostensibly two servings’ worth. And I wish I had some more right now.

As an added bonus, this might be one of the easiest, quickest recipes I have. No cooking, only one bowl, just a tiny bit of whisking and slicing, five minutes to marinate—you can literally be done in 15 minutes. Magical.

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 medium yellow squashes (8 ounces each), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise into half-moons
1 shallot, thinly sliced crosswise
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice and oil. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Add squash, shallot, and thyme. Toss to combine. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.

Serves: 4 as a side dish
Time: 15 minutes
Leftover potential: Unknown!

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