Summer Squash Caesar Salad

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Ordinary greens and summer vegetables come to life with the help of chef Josh Elliott. They get tossed with an addictively creamy Caesar dressing and sprinkled with homemade croutons and freshly grated cheese. Elliott recommends using a mandolin for slicing the squash (and if you don’t have one, he says run out and get one – it’s a good tool to have in your arsenal). Serve this salad as a side dish, or top with grilled chicken to make it a main meal.


Servings: 4


  • 4 summer squash (yellow squash, zucchini, patty pan squash or any variety)
  • 2 heads Little Gem lettuce
  • Half a loaf of day-old bread, crust removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 5 white anchovies
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, or Parmigiano


  1. Shave zucchini or squash on a mandolin — if this isn’t a tool you have, get one. They are available at Asian markets and will make your summer salad game sing. Start slowly, and be very, very careful.
  2. Tear lettuce and rinse in a bowl of ice water, this will help the lettuce keep crisp once dressed. Pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Tear day old bread into rough 1-inch sized pieces. Bread should be on the drier side, and can be stale.
  4. Lightly pan fry the pieces in olive oil until crispy. Transfer to paper towels to drain off the oil. Toss with sumac. Salt to taste.
  5. For the dressing, blend together anchovies, lemon juice, mustard and garlic in a blender. Pour the oils in slowly while the blender is running. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Combine the squash and lettuce in a bowl and toss with dressing until coated but not drowning. Freshly grate the cheese over the top. Sprinkle the croutons and freshly ground pepper over the top and serve.

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