Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fire 'n Ice Marinated Squash Salad

A marinated squash salad using summer vegetables, including squash, zucchini, vidalia onion, sweet bell pepper and jalapenos and dressed in a horseradish infused, sweet and sour "Fire and Ice" vinaigrette.
A marinated squash salad using summer vegetables, including squash, zucchini, vidalia onion, sweet bell pepper and jalapenos and dressed in a horseradish infused, sweet and sour "Fire and Ice" vinaigrette.

Fire 'n Ice Marinated Squash Salad

I have mentioned many times here, that like most other Southerners, I am a huge fan of the flavor of sweet and sour, most especially when it comes to salads. To that, however, I also like a little heat added too, so from pickles, to coleslaw, to one of my favorite cucumber and tomato salads, I love the "Fire 'n Ice" versions that bring in a bit of fire.

Marinated squash salads are popular here in the summer, so I thought why not bring those fire and ice elements in there too?

I used both yellow and zucchini squash, a great combination together, and though you may certainly just slice rounds, I decided to slice my squash in thin ribbons this time, because I was already slicing some thicker slices to grill. I love the way the ribbons look and it gives a slightly different texture. I also love using my new mandolin!

Y'all know when I find a product that I love, I always share it with you. I have found that with cooking, having the right kinds of tools certainly makes the process of cooking much easier, and certainly that increases the pleasure of cooking for certain.

When I see someone using a dull knife to slice things on a glass dinner plate my teeth literally cringe and I want to run out and buy that person one good knife and a wooden cutting board! Having those two common kitchen tools not only makes the job easier, but it's also much safer.

One of the tools that I highly recommend having, is a mandolin of some kind.

Doesn't have to be super expensive, but it sure makes an easy job of slicing fruits and vegetables, like rounds or long strips of veggies such as cucumbers, and especially things like eggplant, zucchini and squash to use in layered casseroles like lasagnas or for grilling.

It makes a breeze out of the slicing process for those dishes that really need perfectly even slices for proper cooking - like say with a potatoes au gratin or scalloped potatoes, and for marinated vegetables such as "coins" for copper pennies salad, thin slices of cucumbers for creamed cucumbers, or even for things like homemade potato chips, where uniformity is absolutely key.

I recently purchased a new mandolin that has a built-in blade in the form of an adjustable feed plate, so there's no need to change out or keep up with insertable blades. You just simply turn the dial to adjust for thickness for basic cuts like thin to thick rounds, but it also does strips for fries and julienne vegetables.

I'm an all day snacker, so I like to keep a veggie tray in my fridge to keep me out of the crackers and chips. This mandolin is a fantastic tool to quickly prep things like cucumbers and squash, but it also has a hopper that you can pile up with things like cherry tomatoes or radishes and slice through them in literally no time for salads. Ever tried to hand slice a bunch of cherry tomatoes? This slicer zips through them like nobody's business.

Anyway, like the Ninja Kitchen System and the Genie bra (but that's a topic for elsewhere I suppose), both of which I also own and love, it's one of those rare "As Seen on TV" products that actually does what it says. I love it!

You can, of course, also make this salad with good old fashioned hand slicing!

Not only is this salad a tasty combination of vegetables, but it's also so colorful that it makes a pretty striking presentation on the table too. Talk about a great way to dress up summer squash!

Here's how to make it.

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Posted by on July 3, 2013
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