A “throw together” summer squash salad with avocado, toasted pine nuts, ricotta salata cheese, and fresh garden chives. Tossed simply with lemon and olive oil. It’s a super refreshing side dish that I’m thinking will be perfect throughout the month of August.
If you’ve been reading along all summer, you know I have been LOVING the farmers market for inspiration. Seeing and picking out beautiful, unique produce that you don’t find at the grocery store always leaves me excited to cook.
I’ve shared a lot of tomato recipes, as well as corn, so today we’re focusing on another staple: summer squash! There are so many varieties out there right now. I’ve gotten lovely large zucchinis of all different colors, an interesting variety of patty pan squash, and really sweet baby summer squash from my market this year.
This summer squash salad uses up the baby squash, and it’s incredibly delicious.
I like the baby summer squash for this because when you slice them into rounds, they’re instantly the perfect bite-size pieces for the salad. If you only have larger squash, just slice them on the mandolin in the same way as instructed in the recipe, and then I’d say cut the slices in half.
The other elements are really simple, but it all turns out to be a mouthwatering combination – creamy chunks of avocado, slightly salty ricotta salata cheese, buttery toasted pine nuts, fresh chives, and lots of fresh lemon juice. A blend of crisp and creamy, and all around good.
Since it’s such a simple salad, the main note I have is to use a really good quality olive oil. You’ll notice the difference right away. Also make sure to season well with some flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper (if you haven’t noticed, these are my two go-to ingredients in the kitchen).
A good seasoning goes a very long way!Print
Summer Squash Salad with Avocado & Pine Nuts
a simple summer squash salad with avocado, toasted pine nuts, ricotta salata cheese, and fresh chives
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1 ¼ lbs baby summer squash (zucchini, yellow sqash, etc.)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large lemon, juiced
- 2 small avocados
- 1 small block ricotta salata cheese
- fresh chives
- flaky sea salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
- In a small sauté pan, add the pine nuts over low heat. Toast until golden and fragrant, stirring often (watch closely so they don’t burn). Transfer the pine nuts to a plate and let cool.
- Slice the ends off the baby squash. Using a mandolin, slice the squash into very thin rounds (adjust the settings until you get a piece of squash that is almost paper thin, but still holds it shape and has a nice bite). You want about 1 pound of sliced squash total.
- Combine the squash, olive oil, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Toss well and let sit for 10 minutes to marinate. Cut the avocados into chunks, add them to the bowl, and gently toss to combine.
- Spoon half of the salad out onto a large plate or platter. Season well with flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Spoon out the rest of the salad.
- Crumble the ricotta salata into small chunks and sprinkle over top. Cut the chives into ½” pieces (if thin) or chop the chives (if thick). Sprinkle the chives over top, along with the pine nuts.
- Drizzle more olive oil. Season again with flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.