We are settled in our Kelowna abode for a few weeks and I am going to the local markets each day searching for beautiful produce to prepare at home. These market forays are special and I venture with anticipation to see what’s new, what’s fabulous and what’s going to make it home with me to be prepared for lunch or dinner. Spring and summer vegetables are one of the most exciting things for a foodie like me (told ya, I live a sheltered life). A wonderful variety is awaiting at the market and I inevitably return home with too many vegetables and fruits to stuff into an already full fridge. What would I find today?
As it was, summer squash was the star at the markets today. I returned home with the usual elongated summer squash in green and yellow, and also found the round bulb-like yellow and green squashes and that got me all excited. In my mind I was already composing a salad featuring these lovely summer treats. Spring and summer vegetables are so tender and sweet that they can be served raw and hardly need any cooking if at all.
For lunch today with my girls on the patio (“Mom, I am going to need to eat when you get back”) I wanted something special yet light and satisfying. I had a large bag of beautiful green peas in the pods and there was no room in the fridge for it so I had to shell them and either cook or refrigerate them, shelled, for a couple of days. I decided to toss the peas into a spring risotto with lemon (see recipe here) and serve with grated parmesan. To go along with this entree I settled on a ribbon vegetables salad. I didn’t want the usual green leaf salad that we make all year. These gorgeous vegetables certainly deserved to be the star of the show. I decided to julienne a bunch of them and toss with a fruity vinaigrette. That’s it.
So what made it into the salad? See the image above. A round specimen of yellow and green squash, an apple, red bell pepper and a white Belgian endive, plump and crisp, to pull it all together. I sliced the squashes on a mandolin into thin slices, then stacked them and cut with a knife into ribbons. Same with the apple, minus the core. The bell pepper was halved, seeded and cut into thin strips. The endive was cut in half lengthwise and then shredded into long ribbons. I tossed all the vegetable ribbons together in a bowl to mix the colours and textures and piled them in a serving plate without the dressing. I served the dressing on the side, to be drizzled over the salad once it’s on the plate. We all enjoyed it. I hope you do as well. More variations of this to come.
1 round yellow summer squash (or substitute regular summer squash)
1 round green summer squash (see above)
1 red bell pepper
1 red skinned apple + 1 tablespoon lemons juice
1 Belgian endive
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
Slice the squashes, unpeeled, into thin slices on a mandolin. stack them loosely and cut into ribbons with a sharp knife. Place in a bowl.
Cut the red pepper in half, remove seeds and pith and cut into thin ribbons. Add to squashes in the bowl.
Cut the apple into thin slices, stack them and cut into ribbons with a sharp knife. Toss with the lemon juice and add to the squashes.
Cut the endive in half, then begin cutting into ribbons lengthwise. Add to vegetables.
Toss all the vegetables together lightly. Pile ribbon salad in a serving bowl and serve with the dressing on the side, to be drizzled on the salad at the last minute.
1/4 cup raspberry or cider vinegar
1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup
1/2 cup olive or good Canola oil
1/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
Combine all ingredients, mix with an immersion blender.
Drizzle over salad and garnish with fresh raspberries if you wish
For additional salad dressing ideas check here.