Sitting with Summer…and a Recipe for Roasted Summer Squash Salad

Jul 08, 2020

All photographs by Christine Moss

Indulge in a summer experience that delights the soul and allows us to quietly reset, plus a fresh, light recipe for patios or picnics


Nothing quite feels the same — and it probably isn’t the summer you expected, right? We’ve all been stressed in our own ways. But I invite you to come sit with me for a moment — to shed your worries and share some down time — to breathe and reconnect. Come.

Imagine it is early evening as the light begins to shift, the warm sun is setting — sunbeams shimmer peeking out between trees. Take your shoes off and let your hair loose. Exhale. The ice in your drink gently melts. Drops of cold water condense on the outside of the glass and slither down into circular puddles on the table.

It is time to slow down, to look around, to take in the glory of summer.

Fragrant sweet mango, peeled and sliced is served in a turquoise bowl.

A breeze picks up for a moment carrying the scent of fresh water and stone.

The leaves overhead rustle as the branches dance and then become still.

The hummingbird comes to the feeder and then flies up into the sky.

There is one cloud, she is taking her sweet time floating in the raspberry light.

The moon rises, almost full before the sun disappears.

I take a sip and eat a slice of mango. You do the same. Let’s share in this moment.

The first firefly appears. Golden flicker dances across the patio and into the tall grass. Soon more fireflies appear across the field and up into the trees like fairy lights.

Earlier today there were errands and a laundry list of supposed to’s. But now it's the cicadas’ turn to sing and we are their audience. It is time to restore, to bask in summer’s beauty, to quiet ourselves, to delight in Mother Nature’s magnificence. Oh summer, thank you. I needed that…even more than I knew. 


Roasted Summer Squash Salad


  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2 medium yellow squash
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 bunch parsley (flat or curly)
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme and/or oregano
  • 3-4 basil leaves
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • Salad greens of your choice, such as spinach or arugula


Preheat the oven to 400F

  1. Wash and cut the unpeeled zucchini and yellow squash into ½ inch chunks. Remove the seeds from the bell pepper and slice into thin strips.
  2. Toss the squash and peppers with 2 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle on the thyme, oregano, black pepper and salt.
  3. Spread out evenly onto a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 13-15 minutes or until the chunks are lightly tender and the edges are a little crispy.
  4. While the squash is roasting, peel and thinly slice the red onion. Wash the carrot and grate it on the largest hole of a box grater.
  5. Mix the onion and carrot into a bowl with the red wine vinegar, a pinch of salt and the maple syrup. Thinly slice the basil leaves, and remove the oregano and thyme leaves from their stems. Add the fresh herbs to the carrot and onion. Set aside.
  6. Remove the squash from the oven when ready and transfer it, oil, spices and all from the pan, into the bowl with the carrots and onions while still hot. Mix the vegetables together and cover with a lid or some plastic wrap and let it cool to room temperature.
  7. Toss with salad greens of your choice and serve immediately.


The salad without the added leafy greens will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Substitute patty pan or other farmers market varieties of summer squash.

—Christine Moss, Chef, The Garden Café Woodstock


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