Monday, June 18, 2012

Stacked summer salad

I have friends that love to come help me test recipes and share wine.  We had a wonderful evening tasting all kinds of new foods and I found an easy, do-ahead recipe that I want to share with you.  It's full of flavor and fresh ingredients, it's really pretty on the plate and it's a really ingenious idea.  We all thought it was a great salad and I can't wait to make it again.

I didn't have an oblong or square dish as called for, so I used an oval one.

I found this recipe in the July 2012 issue of Better Homes and Gardens.  Technically, it's a layered salad, but without all the gooey-ness of the typical layered salad.  You basically cut it and serve it like lasagna.  Although I could have made it exactly as the recipe directed I decided to do my own thing and tweaked the recipe a bit.  I just can't leave things alone sometimes.

Stacked Summer Salad

You can make this salad up to 12 hours ahead, but I've found that it's still crispy and delicious 24 hours later.  It got rave reviews.  Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens July 2012 issue.

3 medium green or yellow summer squash
kosher salt
6 radishes 
1 cup shredded carrots
1 small red, orange or yellow bell pepper
1/2 of a red onion
2 cups torn leaf lettuce 
4 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 Tbs. EVOO
2 Tbs. freshly snipped dill, divided
a generous pinch of garlic powder
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup crumbled queso fresco
3 scallions, sliced thinly
1 small avocado

1.  Using a mandoline or a sharp vegetable peeler, shave squash into long, thin strips. 
2.  Sprinkle squash strips lightly with kosher salt, then transfer to a colander to drain for 15 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
3.  Slice radishes, bell pepper and onion very thinly with mandoline or a very sharp knife.
4.  Rinse squash and allow to drain.
5.  Mix lemon juice, EVOO and 1 Tbs. dill together; season to taste with garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Set aside.
6.  Using a 2 quart square or oblong glass casserole dish, assemble salad by layering one third of the squash, radishes, carrots, bell pepper, onion and lettuce.  
7.  Drizzle with one third of the lemon juice and oil mixture.
8.  Repeat with remaining vegetables and dressing.
9.  Sprinkle with queso fresco and scallions.
10.  Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to 12 hours.
11.  To serve, cut salad into rectangles with a sharp knife and lift onto serving plates with a spatula.  
12.  Cut avocado into long, thin slices and lay some atop each serving.
13.  Sprinkle each serving with a finishing salt (such as Maldon sea salt) and more freshly ground black pepper and the remaining dill.  Serves 6 to 8.

May your tastebuds dance in an air conditioned room!


  1. I clipped the recipe from the Better Homes and Garden my Mom gave me and tried it out at a dinner party on Sunday. It was a smash hit! I want to adapt it too... Cucumber, mint, red onion, Calamata olives, drizzled with lemon juice, minced anchovy and olive oil.

    1. Oh, yum! That sounds wonderful. It truly is a versatile and delicious salad. Thanks for reading and commenting!