Baby Summer Squash, Tomatoes and Blue Cheese Salad
This time of the year, when the local produce is hitting the supermarkets and farmer’s markets, I try to eat my vegetables in their raw form because they taste amazingly good. Of course, if the vegetables are from your backyard, they are super fresh and cooking them is probably squandering away some of their vitamins and definitely their taste. I got these yellow squash/summer squash from my backyard and in order to get some of the fruits of my labor before the rabbits got their grubby little paws on them, I had to harvest them when they were still very little. Of course, the result was that they were really soft, sweet and yummy! Also I didn’t want to lose their crunch by cooking them so I made a salad by combining the baby squash, fresh homegrown grape and cherry tomatoes and Maytag Blue Cheese. I dressed the salad up with a simple Balsamic Vinaigrette and some sun flowers seeds for additional crunch. Some fresh mint and Basil leaves gave it great flavor and I was in veggie heaven! I loved this salad so much that I made it for lunch two days in a row. Its perfect for these hot and humid summer days – the salad is cooling, nutritious and keeps one feeling satiated!
1. 3-4 small and fresh summer squash
2. 15-20 fresh and ripe cherry or grape tomatoes
3. 2-3 ounces of good quality Maytag (or any other variety) Blue Cheese
4. 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
5. 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
6. 2 tablespoons of honey
7. a pinch of salt
8. ¼ teaspoon of freshly grated black pepper
9. A few sprigs of fresh Basil
10. A few leaves of fresh mint leaves
11. 3 tablespoons of shelled sunflower seeds
1. Make the vinaigrette by combining the balsamic vinegar, honey and olive oil in a small bowl and whisking all the ingredients until they get emulsified.
2. Wash and chop the squash in bite sized pieces and place in a serving bowl.
3. Wash the tomatoes and with a sharp serrated knife, half the tomatoes and place the chopped tomatoes in the serving bowl.
4. With a knife crumble the blue cheese (or you can buy crumbled cheese) and place the crumbles in the serving bowl.
5. Wash the mint and basil leaves and then chiffonade (slice thinly) all the leaves and place them in the serving bowl.
6. Add the sunflower seeds, salt and pepper to the serving bowl.
7. Pour the vinaigrette over the contents of the bowl and gently toss the salad.
8. Serve immediately (otherwise the herb leaves start to wilt and the vegetables and sunflower seeds get soggy).