Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Spinach, heirloom tomato, and squash salad

As we were leaving the Greenmarket with our lamb and garlic scapes, we popped into one last stall in search of bok choy to go with them. Jon found a few happy heads of it set among the spinach and arugula, but my eye wandered (as it tends to do) to a small crate full of even smaller squash: inch-long zucchini and yellow squash, green and golden patty pan, and even a few blob-like specimens with gorgeous squash blossoms still attached.

I picked out a choice few, and (as often happens) they waited patiently for a few days in our produce bin before I had a chance to call them up for duty. Our friend Lily came over for dinner one night, while James was still staying with us, and I needed a salad to accompany Jon's reprise of his now-famous scallop curry, this time with butternut squash. I figured that there's no such thing as too much squash, so I sautéed all the little buggers with a bit of olive oil and garlic and tossed them into a salad of spinach, spring onions, and gorgeous heirloom tomatoes. Few things go together as well as zucchini and mint, so I tied it all together with a mint vinaigrette from the copy of Mediterranean Fresh, by Joyce Goldstein, that my friend Margaret had given us.


Time: 15 minutes active, 10 minutes inactive

1/4 lb assorted baby squash
1/2 lb spinach
4 spring onions, sliced
2 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
pecorino romano (for grating)

1. Slice the squash thinly, and sauté it with garlic and olive oil until slightly soft.
2. Combine squash with spinach, spring onions, and tomatoes. Toss with mint vinaigrette (see below) to coat, and top with grated hard cheese like pecorino.

For mint vinaigrette:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/4 cups olive oil

1. Boil the lemon juice and chopped mint to create an infusion. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and let steep for about 10 minutes.
2. Strain into a mixing bowl, then add all other ingredients and whisk together.
Note: I don't ever really measure things out when I cook, but these are basically the amounts given in the original recipe. I swapped in apple cider vinegar for the recommended red wine vinegar, because we had it and I like it.

Yield: 4 servings


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