Pea Shoot and Squash Salad with Sweet Parsley Dressing



Pea shoots and squash are in perfect harmony in this summer salad. photo by Nancy Duran

I fully recognize that some time in the next few weeks, squash and zucchini fatigue will begin to set in. But for now, I’m feeling super inspired by all they have to offer. I especially love baby yellow squash. Because it’s a wonderful flavor absorber, I find tossing it in a blend of dried spices is the way to go. For this salad, I tossed the squash in a Middle Eastern-style blend of sumac and cumin. Then I pan-fried it in a little olive oil just until it was lightly browned and tender, but still snappy. The parsley dressing is sweetened with a good quality white balsamic, which softens the strong taste of the pea shoots. All in all, this is a simple and lovely summer salad that makes use of ingredients that are at their absolute peak right now.

Dressing makes about 1/2 cup / Salad serves 4

Sweet Parsley Dressing
1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
1 small garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Pea Shoot and Squash Salad
4 baby yellow squash (about 1 pound), trimmed and sliced into rounds
1 teaspoon sumac
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups pea shoots

  1. First, make the Sweet Parsley Dressing: Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth.
  2. To make the Pea Shoot and Squash Salad: In a medium bowl, toss the squash with the sumac, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  3. In a medium frying pan, heat the oil over medium-low heat. When hot, add the squash and cook, stirring and flipping occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes depending on how thick or thin you sliced the squash. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the pea shoots with the squash. Drizzle with the Sweet Parsley Dressing and pass any extra dressing around at the table.

Nutritional analysis for dressing based on 4 servings (does not include salt and pepper to taste)
Calories 172, Fat 18g, Sodium 11mg, Carbohydrate 3g, Fiber 1g, Sugar 1g, Protein 1g

Nutritional analysis for salad based on 4 servings:
Calories 68, Fat 5g, Sodium 306mg, Carbohydrate 6g, Fiber 1g, Sugar 2g, Protein 3g

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