A Southern Grace: yellow bellied

July 7, 2016

yellow bellied


It's incredible how quickly a wee, 2-inch squash can grow into the size of my foot!

While those evil squash vine borers have certainly taken their toll, our remaining summer squash plants are still churning out the goods! This salad has been my favorite way to consume them so far, though simply frying them up will probably always remain near the top of the list (note to self: update that post!). What it lacks in color it more than makes up for in flavor, texture, and nutrition!

Let's analyze the abundance of yellow, shall we? The major player in this dish is summer squash, though it doesn't have to be. I upped the amount because we have SO much. It actually gets a little chewy as it's sauteed, and it also supplies some subtle flavor and moisture. While we had the grill going the other night, I had my husband throw on an ear of corn because grilled corn is THE BEST. The lemon is so key; please don't exclude it. Its presence (with an assist from the lovely mint) brightens up the whole salad and gives it some zing! The chickpeas (though admittedly more beige than yellow, but close enough) are nutty and toothy and so good for you. You don't have to use hazelnuts (though they're perfect in this!), but I would suggest including a nut of some sort--that crunch is awesome!

So while this may seem a little bit like a rag-tag combination of ingredients, they all team up really nicely and I'm absolutely delighted with this salad!

The Most Yellow Salad Ever
(printable recipe)
Serves 3-4
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1-2 summer squashes
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen, grilled or raw
  • 1 cup chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Rinse the quinoa. In a pot, combine the quinoa and season with salt.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa is tender, 18 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, on a sheet pan, spread the hazelnuts in an even layer. Toast in the oven until lightly browned and fragrant, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. With the side of a knife, lightly crush them.
Cut the summer squash in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons.
Pick and coarsely chop the mint leaves; discard the stems.
Zest and juice the lemon.
In a pan over medium heat, warm oil until hot but not smoking. Add the squash, season with salt, and cook, stirring a few times, until just tender and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the corn, chickpeas, and sugar and cook until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes.
Scrape the squash mixture into a bowl. Add the quinoa, mint, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and toss to combine. Season to taste generously with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with the chopped hazelnuts and serve.


Kate @ Framed Cooks said...

You and I are sisters in squash - I've got the zucchini covered, and you have the yellow squash covered! Looks scrumptious!

Angie Schneider said...

I wish I could say the same about my zucchini plants...the salad looks super!

Tammy said...

This looks so good and has everything I love in it. Yum. Love your blog! I'm a southern girl too living by the Grace of God!!

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

This is the perfect summer salad Grace, love all the ingredients you used here. How lucky you can grow squash.

Katerina said...

So packed with flavors and delicious! I love salads during summer!

Adina said...

Lovely list of ingredients, I love every item on it! I will keep the salad in mind for the next zucchini I get, I think that is close enough to squash, we don't have the squash around here.

lisa is cooking said...

How great to have an abundance of squash in your garden! And what a great use. Love the colors and flavors.

Velva said...

I always joke that summer garden squash was the gift that kept on giving! Followed by the knock and run. You fill a bag with squash run to your neighbors house, and place the bag on the doorstep, knock and run! Seriously, this beautiful. Glad you are finding creative uses for summer squash because its delicious.
Hope you are enjoying your summer.


Food Gal said...

Now, that's a sunshine-y dish. Perfect as a side to anything. Or even as a light lunch all on its own.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I love salads like this that have a nice crunch factor to them. I'd definitely use hazelnuts as per your recipe! :D

Barbara said...

It it squash time already? I used to beg my friends and neighbors to take some from my garden! Easy to grow and they get enormous. Your salad looks yummy, Grace. Saw a recipe on Facebook, but didn't link to it: a lovely yellow squash casserole topped with crushed ritz crackers. I figured I'd eat the top first and work down. Better not to make it. :)

Pam Thurow said...

I always have liked yellow and this looks like one great salad, lemon and all. We haven't tried grilling corn in husks in years and since you mentioned it and I've read other posts about it, it's a must try!

Pam said...

Yum! I love every ingredient in this salad.

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

What a great summer salad! I am jealous, we ran into another problem so haven't enjoyed a single squash yet.
Intrigued over hazelnuts, I have never cooked with them. Will have to give this a try!

Erin said...

I had to stop planting squash because I was overwhelmed every single year! This year, my cukes are out of control. Pickles, anyone?? ;-) This salad looks gorgeous! Love the ingredient combo!

Toaster Oven Love said...

Glad you have fought back those nasty squash monsters :) so you could make this delicious looking salad. Love the veggies, quinoa and those toasty hazelnuts great recipe Grace!

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

I may have to try this--buried in squash from the CSAs. I think I'd only grow it for the blossoms now!