There are two things you can count on in a New York summer: it'll be damn hot, and there will be summer squash. Truckloads of it. At first, you'll be thrilled. Eventually, your creativity will be tested, and, inevitably, you'll just get sick of the stuff and start lusting after fall vegetables.
Luckily, I'm still in the first phase of that cycle. Summer squash and zucchini are out in full effect, and I'm psyched.
A couple of weeks ago, Louisa told me about a salad she'd made from a Patricia Wells recipe: zucchini with avocado, lemon thyme and pistachios. So when I found myself with a plethora of ripe avocados and a couple of teeny summer squash in the fridge, I decided to put a spin on the idea.
I ribbonned the squash using a vegetable peeler and marinated it in Wells' recommended combination of lemon juice and good olive oil (and salt, of course). After I'd let it bathe for an hour or so, I topped the ribbons with avocado slices, sea salt and a generous sprinkling of regular old thyme.
It was so good, you guys. In addition to being incredibly pretty (which, along with how easy it is, makes it a perfect dinner party starter), it was so tasty. The squash ribbons retained a slight crunch and were delightfully bright and sweet. The avocado was, of course, creamy and rich, and the thyme's woodsy perfume goes so well with squash. It's almost always my go-to when it comes to zucchini.
And now you have another way to use up the mountains of squash heading your way. Brace yourselves.
Summer Squash with Avocado and Thyme
Adapted from Patricia Wells
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. olive oil
2 small summer squash or zucchini
Leaves from 2 generous sprigs thyme
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and a pinch of salt.
Using a vegetable peeler or a mandoline, slice the squash lengthwise into ribbons. Arrange them in one or two layers on a platter, then pour the lemon dressing over them. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes to an hour.
When the squash is ready, divide the ribbons in half and arrange on two plates. Peel, pit and thinly slice the avocado, then arrange it on top of the squash. Top with a smattering of sea salt and the thyme, and serve immediately.