About this time of the summer, there is always a great abundance of squash. There are also some oppressively hot evenings. Therefore, what could be more welcome on your dinner table than a chilled vegetarian dish with a great punch of flavor? No need to turn on the oven or slave for hours over a hot stove and no animal products or gluten here either.

Chilled Summer Squash and Sesame “Noodles”

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

photo from Tasting Table

  • 2 medium yellow summer squash, ends trimmed
  • 2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
  • Ice
  • 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (use the edge of a teaspoon to scrape off the skin)
  • ¼ teaspoon chile oil or ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper  

Directions:

  1. Place one of the summer squash on a cutting board. Cut a thin lengthwise slice off one side, then turn the squash so the cut-side faces down (this helps balance the squash so it doesn’t roll). Slice the squash lengthwise into ¼-to-1/8-inch planks. Lay the planks flat on the cutting board and slice lengthwise into ¼-t0-1/8-inch thick strips. Place in a medium bowl and repeat with the remaining squash.
  2. Fill a bowl with ice and water and set aside. Fill a saucepan with water, add 1 tablespoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the squash in strips and cook until limp, 1 to 1½ minutes. Use tongs to transfer the squash to the ice-water bath (save 2 tablespoons of cooking water and discard the rest). Once the squash is cool, drain in a colander and shake off any excess liquid, then turn the strips onto a kitchen-towel-lined plate and chill in the refrigerator.
  3. In a small skillet set over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds, shaking the pan often, until they are golden and fragrant, about 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a small plate and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini, the reserved cooking liquid from the squash, lemon juice, sesame oil, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, chile oil or cayenne pepper, and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt.
  5. Remove the squash from the refrigerator and place in a medium bowl. Pour the sesame sauce over the squash and use tongs to gently toss to coat. Serve sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. Serves 4.

For more scintillating squash surprises, click on the links below and enjoy the versatility and vibrance of zucchini and yellow squash for summer dishes to savor.

Raw Corn and Zucchini Salada great alternative to potato salad!

Fried Zucchini Sticksjust in time for the State Fair!

Stuffed Zucchini with Tomatillo Salsa and Poached Eggsperfect for breakfast!

Pickled Zucchini Ribbonsa tangy accompaniment for a burger!

Summer Squash and Leek Pureesmooth and elegant!

Marinated Zucchini and Summer Squashgrill them right along with your meat!

Pasta with Summer Squash, Herbs, and Honeysweet, savory, amazing!

Photos, right and left from marthastewart.com; center from Williams Sonoma Agrarian.