Spinach Salad with Shaved Squash and Feta Dressing

It is hot, hot, hot in Knoxville, just like much of the States right now, it seems we’re in a perpetual heat wave. No matter–it gives us a chance to check out Tennessee swimming holes this weekend. In the meantime, salads seem to fit the bill in terms of most of our meals.

Again, I was digging through the bountiful produce from my Aunt and Uncle’s garden that they passed along, including a large bag of yellow squash. I rarely get inspired by recipes on Pinterest (seems like an awful lot of people are in love with chocolate concoctions and casseroles on there…), but this salad, featuring shaved squash, caught my eye.

Using what we had around–spinach, feta, sprouts, tomato, walnuts, and of course, squash–I threw together this salad for lunch. I will definitely make it again. We also ate it with homemade pickled beets from Holly and Jon, which were incredibly delicious (thanks you two!). Just make sure that you use smallish squash–otherwise they’ll be full of seeds and not as appealing. And it goes without saying that you should toss in whatever veggies and substitute in any nuts that you have on hand. Also, the feta dressing would be great on many salads, so I’ll be experimenting with it as well. All measurements are approximate, so adjust accordingly to make the dressing to your taste!

Spinach Salad with Shaved Squash and Feta Dressing

  • 4-5 C. baby spinach
  • 2 baby yellow squash
  • 1/2 C. crunchy sprouts
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 C. walnuts
  • 1/4 C. feta
  • 1 Tb. Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 Tb. lemon juice, rice vinegar, or cider vinegar
  • 1 Tb. roughly chopped parsley
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. dried dill
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. dried mint
  • healthy glug of olive oil
  • water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Add the spinach to your salad bowl, and after you trim the ends off of the squash, shave it with a vegetable peeler into the bowl. You can simply eat/discard/save for later the seedy middle parts once it gets difficult to shave any further. Toss in the sprouts and tomato. In the meantime, toast the walnuts in a pan over medium-high heat until fragrant and slightly toasted on the outside. While the nuts are toasting (be sure not to let them burn by shaking the pan frequently), you can make the dressing.

Add the feta, yogurt, and lemon juice or vinegar to your food processor or blender and mix thoroughly. With the motor running, add in a generous glug of olive oil and whiz together. Add the herbs and mix completely. If the dressing needs to be thinned, you can add 1 tsp. of water at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. Toss the dressing with the greens and serve immediately with plenty of salt and pepper. For you meat eaters, grilled chicken or salmon would be a nice way to make this a complete meal.

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