Raw Summer Salad

Being further north, Maryland is a little slower getting into the swing of things for summer (especially after the hard winter we had) but we are definitely getting some good produce as we get further into the season!

Every year I find new and different varieties that I’ve never seen before which is always incredibly exciting.

I mean LOOK at this pattypan squash!  It looks like an adorable little alien or a jellyfish!  I’ve never seen ones shaped like this but here they are at our local market!  Nature really is incredible and you’ll never see these sorts of things sold in the grocery stores that’s for sure!  With mass production there just isn’t an appreciation for quirky foods and imperfections which is a shame because those are the most fun.

We’ve been quite fortunate the last few weekends with the weather- there’s been a lot of rain during the week and then simply gorgeous weather on the weekends.  My mom and I had planned on seeing a movie this past Saturday but decided it would really be a waste to spend several hours in a dark theater and instead decided to travel around to some of the local farms, thrift shops and nurseries.  Being all locally grown, most of the veggies I found were similar to the ones we sell at work but these beauties did catch my eye.  Such a colorful heirloom variety for these little cherry tomatoes- they couldn’t be passed up!

We didn’t get home until late in the afternoon but I knew I wanted to try making something light and refreshing with them.  While this recipe is technically a “pasta” because I’m using zucchini noodles I really consider it more of a hearty, chilled salad.

1 Medium Zucchini – Serves 1-2

8 Cherry Tomatoes

1 TBSP Cold Pressed Olive Oil

1/2 tsp Za’atar

1/4 tsp Chili Flakes

1 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice

4 Leaves of Fresh Lemon Basil

Using a spirooli slicer, spiralize your zucchini into noodles.  If you don’t have this then use a knife and slice the zucchini into thin noodles.  Cut the tomatoes into quarters.  Whisk together olive oil, za’atar, chili flakes and lemon juice in a small bowl.  Combine noodles, tomatoes and olive oil mix and top with julienned basil.

*Note: if you want this to be a little heartier, toss in some cooked chickpeas

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