Squash Ribbon Salad with Goat Cheese and Toasted Pine Nuts

Gluten-Free, Meatless, Salad / Friday, June 11th, 2010

When Jeff has to work overtime, I like to make the best of the situation by catching up on some writing, watching some junky TV ( like “Losing It with Jillian” and “Ruby”) and eating vegetables that Jeff wouldn’t touch with Andy Dick’s tongue.

This week’s lucky vegetables? Squash and zucchini! I ate two of each in two days via this Squash Ribbon Salad with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts, and the experience was squash-a-licious.


It’s good. Really good. And if you’re looking for a new summer side dish, this could be the one.

The “ribbons” of squash and zucchini look complicated, but all they require is a knife and a little patience. First, you boil the squash and zucchini for 90 seconds, let them cool until you can handle them, and slice them lengthwise – the thinner, the better. Since the squash is boiled for just a short time, it stays firm, so the ribbons have an almost pasta-like bite.

A mandoline is the tool of choice for quickly and consistently slicing these ribbons, but I don’t have a mandoline (for shame!), so I can testify that a sharp knife will do. (If you have trouble slicing through the entire length of the squash (or zucchini) and keeping the slices thin, cut the vegetables in half horizontally and then go lengthwise.)

While the ribbons cooled, I toasted the pine nuts in a skillet on the stove, whisked together the vinaigrette and chopped the basil and chives. Mint would be good, too.

Squash is much too mild to be known as a flavor powerhouse, but cutting it into ribbons gives this salad an addictive texture. Besides, you get plenty of flavor from the peppery vinaigrette, fresh herbs, tangy goat cheese and toasted pine nuts. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself stealing an extra bite or two before you put the salad away.

Jillian and Ruby would love it. Maybe even Andy Dick.

Squash Ribbon Salad with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts

To toast the pine nuts, place them in a skillet over medium-low heat, and shake the skillet to ensure even browning. When the pine nuts are browned and you can smell them, they’re ready.

Adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s “Emeril at the Grill”

Makes 8 servings

  • 1 1/2 pounds small zucchini
  • 1 1/2 pounds small yellow squash
  • 6 tablespoons white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup julienned fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup julienned fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 6 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add zucchini and squash, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Drain. Set aside to cool.
  2. When the squash are cool enough to handle, slice them very thin lengthwise, using a mandoline or a sharp knife. Transfer the squash ribbons to a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. When the squash has cooled completely, add the vinaigrette and herbs. Toss gently. Crumble the goat cheese over the top, and sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve immediately.

Weight Watchers PP+ = 7

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38 thoughts on “Squash Ribbon Salad with Goat Cheese and Toasted Pine Nuts

  1. This looks delicious and healthy! I'm bookmarking the recipe for when my boyfriend is out of town :)

  2. Looks really good! Of course, I'd have ribbons of thumb in there if I tried to slice it that thinly with a knife. You know it. I have a jar full of pine nuts and am scare to use them. Crazy, huh? I might get brave and try them in this soon.

  3. andy dick is so eewwww…and I am pretty sure that I wouldn't want to eat anything that his tongue touched…double eewww..
    with that said, this pasta looks incredible as long as andy d. stays far far away :)

  4. This looks perfect for a month from now when NY will be INUNDATED with squash and every supermarket is selling them for five cents a pound or some ridiculously low price. I love the sound of the tart flavors against the sweet zucchini!

  5. We've got zucchini and yellow crooked-neck squash growin' out back right now – when they're ready for the takin'… I'm ready for the makin'! Can't wait! [K]

  6. Ruby would be so esssscited over this recipe. I love that darn show, she's a hoot and I can't stop saying excited with an S now. I try not to do it in public, but it's sort of a habit now and goes with my southern drawl. I get strange looks up here in CT anyway, might as well add to it! :)

    This looks gorgeous and I can't wait to try it!

  7. This looks delicious! The ribbons really add to the presentation. I love baking when my husband works late…I'm the only one around to eat the batter! It seems like you have a bit of a healthier habit :) I really like your blog!

  8. This looks lovely and perfect for summer. Its so funny, when my boyfriend isn't here I get the chance to eat the veggies that he hates like zucchini, aubergine and mushrooms – not all at once though!

  9. Love, love, love it! I'm making this tomorrow! My co-worker brings me bags full of squash and zucchini all summer long and it's sometimes hard to come up with creative new ways to enjoy it, so thanks for giving me a new idea!

  10. Assuming the squash/zucchini is cooked whole. Wondering if it needs to be cooked at all. thoughts?

  11. I made this for dinner tonight and I did not have mint or pine nuts but still thought it was fantastic. It makes enough dressing for double the amount of squash/zucchini though.

  12. Oh my gosh, your squash ribbons look so perfect and perfectly delectable! And I just got some fresh mint in my CSA this week, so I may have to make this immediately. I'm not a huge fan of pine nuts though… I wonder how it would be with almonds?

  13. When your husband works late, you take sharp knives to phallic-shaped vegetables?
    You're joking, right?

  14. Andy Dick's tongue? Good Lord. I've got some great Andy Dick stories for you. They are not, however, fit for your comment section.

    We knew each other when I was in college. I'd be happy to tell you about them privately or even at BlogHer Food '10, if you're coming (please say yes!).

    These stories are good. They're really, really good.


  15. Jillian would insist on organic zucchini and demand FAR less olive oil. But this looks excellent, and will udoubtedly be on a menu near me very soon. Thanks for sharing.

  16. this was A-mazing!! definitely one I will add to the frequent menu choices. i am not a fan of goat cheese so i used farmer's cheese which i think went just fine. i just love trying a recipe that turns out great!!! thank you Rebecca!!!

  17. Hi Rebecca, Just thinking a light steaming while doing rest of prep. would also work for this instead of boiling… (Lock in nutrients while getting rid of excess moisture at the same time.)
    I would also be going the vegetable peeler route for squash ribbons, for lack of a mandolin. Going to have to wait till next year for this, but can't wait!! Thanks, D.

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