Grilled Summer Squash and Pepper Salad


  • 2 yellow squashes
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander, toasted and coarsely ground
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds, toasted and coarsely ground
  • Dressing to taste, recipe follows
  • 1⁄2 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 cup piquillo peppers, sliced
  • Preserved celery, recipe follows
  • 1⁄2 cup toasted pecans for garnish
  • 1⁄2 cup celery leaves for garnish


Trim squashes so they lie flat on each side to form a rectangle. Brush with oil and grill; cut into chunks and toss with seasonings, dressing and peppers. Place a spoonful of goat cheese mousse on the bottom of each plate and place salad on top. Garnish with pickled celery, pecans and celery leaves. Makes 4 servings. 

To make preserved celery, combine 1 cup water, 1⁄2 cup rice wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon grated ginger, 1⁄2 seeded and chopped jalapeno and bring to a boil. Pour over 2 stalks of peeled and sliced bite-sized pieces of celery and allow to marinate for 24 hours. 

To make dressing, combine 1⁄2 cup red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard, 11⁄2 tablespoons honey and 1 clove garlic in a food processor. With motor running, slowly add 3⁄4 cup canola oil and 1⁄2 cup olive oil and season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper. Makes about 2 cups. 

To make goat cheese mousse, whisk together 3⁄4 cup goat cheese with 1⁄2 cup water and salt and pepper to taste. Makes 11⁄4 cups.

Grilled Summer Squash and Pepper SaladChef-owner Steve McHugh, Cured, San Antonio, Texas