Thursday, July 05, 2012

Raw Summer Squash Salad Recipe with Arugula, Feta, and Herbs (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

Raw Summer Squash Salad with Arugula, Feta, and Herbs
(This recipe is dedicated to the memory of Barbara Harris, who died June 30, 2012)

On June 30 the food blogging world lost our beloved and courageous Barbara from Winos and Foodies.  Barbara was a beautiful person who touched many lives through her blog and her thoughtful comments and e-mails.  She started blogging in 2005 as a way to stay connected to the world while undergoing chemotherapy, and since that time she has been engaged in a valiant fight against the cancer that finally took her life.  Through all her trials Barbara never complained; in fact she was a constant support for others and brought a little cheer into every life she touched. 

Barbara organized yearly events around the theme of yellow foods to raise money for cancer research, and when I posted this recipe for A Taste of Yellow in 2009 her cancer was in remission and we were hoping she had beaten it.  Now with the sad news of her death, I am dedicating this recipe to her memory.  Rest in peace Barbara; your lovely spirit will be greatly missed.

I've been experimenting with new ways to use squash, something I have fun with every summer. After I was wowed by the Zucchini Carpaccio, I started wondering about a variation of that salad with yellow squash, and this combination with arugula and herbs is the happy result. I actually used The Flavor Bible (great book!) for ideas of what herbs would pair with arugula and ended up going with basil, but I think fresh mint or parsley would also be heavenly in this.

This lovely yellow salad is my entry for A Taste of Yellow, the event created by Barbara from Winos and Foodies to support the Lance Armstrong Foundation and publicize the need for cancer research. I've been so inspired by Barbara's courage in her own fight against cancer (which hopefully she has licked for good this time!) and she's definitely on my list of Top Ten Food Bloggers I'd Love to Meet. Livestrong day is moved to October 2 this year, to coincide with the day Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with cancer ten years ago. To make a donation to support cancer research, visit

Start by zesting all the skin from one lemon, then whisk together with 3 T lemon juice and 4 T good quality olive oil.

I used two yellow squash for plenty of yellow color, but any combination of yellow and green summer squash could be used. (I'd definitely go for a mix of yellow and green if you have them though!)

Cut the ends off the squash, wash and dry the skin, cut the squash in half lengthwise, then slice into thin half-moon shapes. I used my mandoline on 1.5 mm thickness (see a photo of that in the recipe for Zucchini carpaccio if you missed it) but you could definitely cut thin slives with a chef's knife too. Arrange the slices in a flat dish and drizzle over about 2/3 of the dressing mixture, along with some salt and fresh ground black pepper. I'd let that marinate 15-30 minutes if you have time.

While the squash is marinating, wash and dry the baby arugula. I usually pinch off the larger stems, but you don't have to do that unless you're taking a photo of the salad!

This is a mini salad spinner, but I used a generous amount of basil leaves for the salad. I'd aim for at least 1/2 cup sliced or chopped fresh herbs, no matter which herb you're using.

I used a cutting technique called chiffonade, where you pile up the basil leaves in a tower and then cut into thin strips. If I used mint or parsley, I'd just go for a coarse chop.

After the squash has marinated, put the arugula and herbs into a bowl, then gently mix in the marinated squash pieces. Check to see if you want more dressing, and add as desired. (I like my salads rather wet, so I used most of the dressing.) Arrange salad on individual serving plates and sprinkle about 1 T crumbled feta over each. Enjoy!

Raw Summer Squash Salad with Arugula, Feta, and Herbs
(Makes 4 salads, recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from Zucchini Carpaccio and Pam's Carpaccio of Raw Zucchini.)

3 T fresh squeezed lemon juice (or a bit less)
4 T good quality extra virgin olive oil
zested skin from one whole lemon (or a bit less)
2-3 medium sized yellow or green summer squash (about 3-4 cups sliced squash)
4-6 oz. baby arugula leaves (3-4 handfuls)
1/2 cup sliced or chopped fresh herbs (basil, mint, or parsley would be my choice)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Zest the lemon and place the zest in a bowl or glass measuring cup. Squeeze the juice from the zested lemon, then add more juice as needed to make 3 T lemon juice. (I'm a big lemon fan, so if you're not that crazy about lemon 2 T might be enough for you.) Add lemon juice to the zest, then whisk in the olive oil.

Cut off the ends of squash, then wash and dry. Cut lengthwise, then use a mandoline or chef's knife to cut into very thin slices. (I used the 1.5 mm blade on the mandoline.) Layer the sliced squash into a flat dish and pour over about 2/3 of the dressing and season with a generous amount of salt and fresh ground black pepper. Let squash marinate 15-30 minutes while you prep other ingredients.

Wash baby arugula leaves and spin dry or dry with paper towels. (I pinch off the big stems, but this is optional unless you're taking photos!) Wash herbs of your choice and spin dry or dry with paper towels, then either slice or coarsely chop herbs.

Combine arugula and herbs in bowl large enough to hold all the salad. Add marinated squash slices, toss to combine, and taste to see if you want to add more dressing, salt, or fresh ground black pepper. (I added a bit more dressing.) Arrange salad on individual salad plates, sprinkle each with 1 T crumbled feta cheese, and serve.

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South Beach / Low-Carb Suggestions:
Everything about this salad is perfect for any phase of the South Beach Diet or any other type of low-glycemic or low-carb eating plan. I'm serving this salad at a dinner I'm having on Wednesday, along with Greek-Seasoned Grilled Pork Chops, Summer Red and Yellow Tomato Salad, and Georgette's Really Lemony Greek Pilafi.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Yellow Food for A Taste of Yellow:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

LiveSTRONG With A Taste Of Yellow Round Up 2008 Part 1

LiveSTRONG With A Taste Of Yellow 2008 - Round Up Part 2

Chipotle-Lime Deviled Eggs from Kalyn's Kitchen

Spiced Vegetable Dal from Andrea Meyers

Chess Pie from Homesick Texan

Cornish Saffron Cake and Happiness Soup from Confessions of a Cardamom Addict

Spicy Fresh Corn Salad from Sunday Nite Dinner

Yellow Rice with Corn from The Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz

Lemon Petit Fours Glaces from Use Real Butter

Dorie's Great Grain Muffins from What Geeks Eat

(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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More to Chew On:


  1. Salad's really are one of the most versatile meals available and I love getting more and more salad recipes and ideas, thank you.

  2. I'm so envious of all your zucchini. We lost our zucchini and cucumber vines to garden pests this summer. I also like zucchini raw in salads and often use it in place of cucumber. Delicious!

  3. What a beautiful salad!! I was just thinking of adding some raw zucchini to a salad today...was so excited when I saw this! Looks delicious and so healthy!

  4. This really is a pretty dish and so easy. The combination of zucchini, arulula and basil is perfect and topped with the feta...yum!

  5. I hadn't heard of A Taste of Yellow - great idea, great cause. Great salad! I actually have two precious yellow zucchini in the garden I want to do something special with, to celebrate their yellowness... bingo!

  6. This combination of flavors sounds great...the peppery arugula paired with the tart feta and the semi-sweet summer squash. Perfect to celebrate the end of summer! I remember seeing this event last year before I was a blogger...I will have to look into entering something!

  7. Made this salad again and I didn't have arugula so I just mixed it with romaine, parsley, and mint, and it was also great with that variation. Glad people are liking the sound of it.

  8. I love this salad. Despite the fact that it's raining, I would love to have this when the weather gets warm again in the next few days. But hard to find some yellow zucchinis here though. It doesn't matter. It would still be delicious.

  9. What a beautiful salad, Kalyn! I love the colors, and can just imagine the fresh flavor of this. Sorry to say, every single one of my squashes grew a few inches, then turned brown . Thank heavens, there's always the farmer's market!

  10. Beautiful, simple dish - and for a great cause!

  11. A wonderful salad Kalyn. I've never made it this way. I usualy grill my squash. I will try your version son. Thank you for you lovely words. I'd love to meet you someday.

  12. Listen here, my dear. Promise me you will try growing pattypan squash next summer. They are so sweet and sturdy, less foamy than zukes or crooknecks.
    Your dish is delish.

  13. Beautiful looking salad Kalyn with all my favorite ingredients! Great choice for LiveStrong cancer campaign! Cheers!

  14. Do you think spinach leaves also works with this salad?

  15. I usually prefer to roast my yellow squash and zucchini, and, if I happen to eat them raw, they are usually drenched in ranch dressing! So, this is a great alternative.

    I like that the vegetables marinate in the dressing. I'd probably have them in there for the thirty minutes, so the vegetables get nice and soft!

    I'm having a pool party this weekend. I'll be firing up the grill and serving cold side dishes. This would be a great compliment.

  16. I do think spinach would be great in this! Great adaptation.

  17. Delicious Kalyn! I am on the same wavelength as yopu with fresh salads..I will sell my first birthright for a fresh salad..aah non, I can't, I don't have one, but the point is made.

  18. I am usually immediately attracted to anything with "feta" in the name, but in this case it was the summer squash that drew me in. I've just recently discovered how tasty raw squash is. Thanks for the great flavor combo!

  19. That salad is looking nice and healthy and good. I have been enjoying using raw summer squash in salads this summer.

  20. My mom used to include sliced raw summer squash on her summer crudite plates, but I always cook it. Thanks for the reminder of how much I used to enjoy it raw. Feta is a favorite, too. And you know I'm always looking for new ways to enjoy the arugula I love so much!

  21. Susan I really loved this salad. This year I made something similar with the little Flying Saucer Squash and I thought they were especially good raw.

  22. I hadn't heard, Kalyn. It's so sad to be wrapped up in my own simple life and then be smacked into reality with news like this. I remember participating in A Taste of Yellow years ago when we all had just begun blogging. Lovely salad for a lovely person. :(

  23. Kelly, I was just so sad when I heard the news. She probably has no idea how much she touched all our lives.

  24. With Barbara's passing, it feels as though someone has pulled the rug out from under the food blog community. Hers was one of the first blogs I discovered when I began blogging, and it was an honor to participate in A Taste of Yellow with her. How lovely to revisit this recipe in her memory.

  25. Thanks Lydia, and I agree that it feels like such a tremendous loss.

  26. Sorry the loss of a lovely foodie! I have discovered the deliciousness of raw squash in the last few years - your recipe looks so bright and refreshing. Cheers!

  27. I didn't know Barbara well at all, but I was definitely saddened when I heard of her passing. What a sweet thing to post in tribute to her!

  28. This looks great!! Love all the fresh veggies!

  29. Barbara was truly a beautiful person, and I think she would have liked this salad.

  30. A beautiful tribute and a wonderfully colourful, summery recipe Kalyn. I love raw zucchini salads...

  31. Barbara must surely be up in heaven reading all of our blog posts about her and how wonderful and generous a person she was. She will be missed but not forgotten. Wonderful salad.

  32. Jeanne and Jamie, I surely hope she has some idea of how much she meant to us all!

  33. A wonderful tribute. I think Barbara knew just how loved she was. It is a great loss indeed to the blogging world and to her lovely family. She was a wonderfully warm spirited and strong woman and meant so much to so many. This is a fab salad to honour her memory Kalyn. xx

  34. I was just updating an old post - a submission to A Taste of Yellow - when I heard the news of Barbara. This is such a great tribute to her memory.

  35. Thanks Deborah. I think she would like it that all those Taste of Yellow posts around the web make us think of her and inspire people to support cancer research.

  36. Beautiful post Kalyn! I was actually toying with the idea to make something with yellow zucchini too but couldn't find it... Glad that you did!


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