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Summer Squash and Rice Salad

1/2 cup olive oil
5 assorted small summer squashes, such as zucchini, yellow crookneck or straightneck, or pattypan, in any combination, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch dice
salt and ground black pepper
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp distilled white or cider vinegar
2 cups cooked rice, at room temperature
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
shredded lettuce leaves

In a frying pan over high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add one-third of the squash and season to taste with salt and pepper. Saute, stirring often, until lightly browned and slightly soft, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Cook the remaining squash, in 2 batches, in the same way, using 2 tablespoons oil with each batch. Let the mixture cool.

In the same frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until lightly golden, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for a few seconds. Add the cumin, reduce the heat to low, and sauté for about 2 minutes longer. Add to the bowl holding the squashes.

Add the vinegar, rice, and parsley and toss to mix well.

Taste and adjust the seasonings. (At this point, the salad can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

To serve, line individual plates with lettuce and spoon the salad on top. Serve at once.

Serves 4-6

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