Summer Squash Pasta with Green Goddess Dressing

summer squash pasta with green goddess dressing


If you asked me right now, I’d say Munro and Nabokov are my favorite writers. I would have said Nabokov a few years ago, because I’d only discovered Munro just before she won the prize. That means that I’ve only been reading her work for a year. When I read that first story, I’d never read anything like it, and it still felt familiar. As though I’ve been reading her work all my life. Part of that is that I recognize and identify with one of her most common character types: the poor girl who wants to escape her place in the world. Mostly though, it’s a sort of pure delight to read something so beautifully written. Munro writes short stories, but her stories have the satisfying depth and character development of the very best novels. The Bear Came Over the Mountain is her most respected story, I think, but my favorite is Free Radicals. I could tell you the basic plot, but the plot is secondary, or tertiary maybe, to sparse, beautiful prose, structure, and organization.

These nights, to relax my mind so I can sleep, I’ll re-read a bit of her, or Nabokov’s, work. Those works are familiar and comforting. But then again, Lolita, how I can find something new each and every time I read of you? The characters are more real to me than friends. It makes feel desperate; I want to climb into their work, to tear it apart from within, to somehow be inside of them. Is this how crushes feel? I’ve never been much of a fan girl, but I totally completely like love them. I haven’t got posters, but I have quotes all over my walls.

I forget to look at those quotes these days. Instead, I do the usual: stare at really boring books for twelve hours, with ab-so-lu-tely­ nothing – like seriously, NOTHING, I’m more burnt  than toast – sticking in my head. I go to the farmer’s market once a week, because it keeps me sane. I buy pounds of zucchini. And a few weeks ago, I got to meet Kimberley H. of The Year in Food. I have a copy of her gorgeous book, Vibrant Food. There’s a reason the whole food blogosphere’s been all a buzz about it for the last few weeks. Highly recommend. This recipe from it, and I’ve made and eaten it about 6 times in two weeks. It’s that nice.

Herbs for Green Goddess Dressing

Zucchini at Castro market 2

Summer Squash “Pasta” with Green Goddess Dressing
Vegetarianized from Vibrant Food

2 pounds summer squash,
1 tsp fine salt, plus more for serving
1/2 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Italian basil, chopped
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons chives, chopped
2 tablespoons tarragone
1 large garlic clove / 2 small, minced
1 tablespoon capers (salted preferably), rinsed
1/3 cup Parmesan, grated
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Pepper and small basil leaves

Cut the squash into very thin strips (“noodles”) with a mandoline or julienne slicer. Sprinkle the squash with the salt, toss gently, and place in colander over a bowl for 20 minutes, allowing the excess liquid to drain. Carefully squeeze the squash over the colander. Pat with clean kitchen towel to dry.

Combine the yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, basil, parsley, chives, tarragon, garlic, and capers in a food process. Blend until smooth, creamy, and pale, speckled green.

Using your hand, gently toss the squash with about ¾ of the dressing. Add the Parmesan and put nuts and toss again. If needed, add remaining dressing. Store remaining dressing in refrigerator, or spoon on the extra if you’re like me.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish with small leaves of the basil. The dish is best served immediately.

p.s. Today is Alice Munro’s 83rd birthday.
Also, the underlined areas in my posts (and throughout the rest of this site) are links – if you click on the links above, you can read Munro’s stories online, if you’re so inclined.

  1. Emma,

    So fresh and full of flavour, this; the colours just jump off the page and I love the addition of pine nuts. Vibrant Food looks particularly wonderful (and there are a lot of great cookbooks out there now!).

    Lolita’s a beautifully written novel, I’ve only read it once quite a few years ago, I should read it again. Also I recently saw Away from Her which was adapted for the screen from Alice Munro’s novel (it was excellent).

    Oh and have added Free Radicals to my ever growing Book Depository wish list, thanks for the mention!

    • Joyti,

      You can read ‘Free Radicals’ on the New Yorker’s website (for free!).

      I like the Book Depository too. It’s great, I like that their site’s so nice and clean.

      • Emma,

        Thanks Joyti, will check it out!

  2. Same here, farmer’s market keeps me sane as well. There is something about it that makes everything better. Can’t wait to try this recipe, sounds simply perfect right now! Have a great one, lovely. xo

  3. lena,

    I’m a big Nabokov fan, so I’m thrilled to give Munro a read knowing that I’ll likely adore her writing!

  4. Nandita,

    Loved this recipe Joyti!! And the photographs are to die for!! I loved that marble background :)

  5. cynthia,

    I am so loving all the inspiration that Vibrant Food is bringing forth in the blog community these days! It is such a gift. This is gorgeous! (And, I know I just said this literally 3 minutes ago, but GOOD LUCK!)

  6. Kimberley,

    This is so sweet (and so lovely to read), thank you! I love Alice Munro.

  7. This is a beautifully written post. I have thought before about my favorite books and how I wish that I could be a word on one of the pages. Thank you for sharing your lovely words, photos and recipe!

  8. mjskit,

    Looks at all of the wonderful herbs in this recipe! All I need to do is walk out the back door and get the majority of these ingredients from the garden. perfect time for this recipe! Awesome!

  9. Goodness, I have to try that dressing. Capers are a good thing to have around!

    ela h,

  10. Deb,

    Where have I been? I have not read Munro but will begin this weekend!I am always excited to find great new reading and cookbooks. The recipe’s Green Goddess Dressing is lyrical with summer flavors and your recommendation is irresistible!

  11. Cailee,

    YUM!! this looks amazing!! so healthy and fresh! :) love it!!

  12. Nabakov is a brilliant writer! I only discovered Munro a few years ago but immediately fell in love with her style and like you her characters. I’m the same – I read my favourite author and books when I need to relax and just centre my mind. Murakami is probably my favourite writer at the moment :) By the way this zucchini pasta looks delicious! I’d been daydreaming about the perfect topping for zucchini noodles and green goddess dressing sounds like the perfect solution!

    • Joyti,

      I went through a Murakami phase last summer. His style is very interesting and unique.

  13. natasha,

    This looks so delicious, I may have to pick up a copy of her book. It’s nice to ‘meet’ someone who is also a ‘re-reader’ – my friends can’t understand how I can read a book over and over again and still enjoy it, like you do Lolita. I have a few who are a real comfort to me who I turn to and re-read in times of stress.

  14. Joyti, I love this recipe. It’s my kind of food and I’m going to get that book. Pinning now.

  15. Ohh now I know what to do with the rest of my spaghetti squash! I love the flavors here :)

  16. Love your herbs that you used! Summer squash is so delicious, and I enjoy eating with pasta too!

  17. Sissi,

    I like the idea of transforming squash into pasta. So light and summery!
    Thank you so much for recommendations. I haven’t read Munro yet and I don’t know the blog you mention (not to mention the book).

    • Joyti,

      Sissi, both the blog and the book are beautiful, and the recipes are great :)

  18. yum.. this looks divine. definitely a recipe i will be saving to recreate this week. thanks for sharing another awesome recipe and for providing ample inspiration!

  19. i always love book chat, coupled with good food and gorgeous pics, it works for me!

  20. Joanne,

    They are two of my favorite authors as well! I haven’t read Munro in a while, but maybe it’s time to dig her own or download some of her newer works to my iPad. Along with Vibrant Food, because, whoa. What a beauty.

  21. What a delightful combination of flavours, I am not surprised you have made it so often :)

  22. This is so summery and green and pretty. I am on a salad kick lately and this dressing is a sure try.
    I will check out all the writers you have mentioned, I guess I only know Lolita.

  23. Joyti, I didn’t realize that you’re a local! I love that!

    And thanks for the good reminder about both Nakobov and Munro – I craving good books to read and I’ve been in a rut!

    And I adore Kimberley’s book as well. I need to try her squash noodles!


  24. Dear Joyti,
    This recipe looks very yummy! I remember when Green Goddess dressing was so popular in the 70’s and it’s good to see a recipe to make it homemade!

    Thank you so much for your very kind comments on my blog post!! I’m very grateful! And thank you, as well, for your video recommendations! I had not yet seen them and I can see how the look of them is similar to my work in some ways, especially “Thirty Three”.

    Love reading how enraptured you are about your favorite writers! I feel the same way about Colette and Saki.

    Wishing you a great evening,

  25. MyKabulKitchen,

    This salad looks light and refreshing, and ofcourse how could you go wrong with a dressing you have titled “Green Goddess” thanks so much for sharing :-)

  26. This is such a gorgeous recipe! And um, how are you eating so well while studying I remember subsisting on a diet of Doritos and chocolate. But that may be because I really like Doritos. In any case, I’m going to give this whole summer squash pasta a try soon in hopes Little Man finally gets some veggies in him :)

    • Joyti,

      Ha! Well, in all honesty, I don’t think I’ll pass. California’s pass rate is so low, and I’m so scattered-brained.

  27. Your photos are just beautiful! What a wonderful summer dish!

  28. Hi Joyti, I am woefully behind on reading my friends’ posts–Vibrant Food is indeed a gorgeous cookbook, and this recipe captures the true essence of”Green Goddess” before it got co-opted by companies like Kraft and Seven Seas and turned into a strange creamy salad dressing in a bottle.

    I love Alice Munro’s writing. The art of short stories has been underrated, but it is a favorite of mine. I also enjoy Annie Proulx, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Lorrie Moore.

  29. Wow, this is trully healty and tasty veggies “pasta”
    great job my friend…

  30. gloria,

    Joyti I love yours pics always are awesome!!
    and this look awesomw!

  31. Munro, I heard about her for the first time when the Nobel Prize winner was announced. My mother bought the book immediately and loved her work. I, however, have yet to find the time and mood to dig into her books, but I can’t wait.
    This dish looks wonderful, Joyti! Kimberley’s book has been all over the blogosphere for the last couple of weeks, and I’ve loved to see how much people have loved her recipes and her masterpiece of a book. So much goodness, so much inspiration.

  32. Alice Munro IS my favourite writer – being Canadian, I sort of grew up on her, although I had to be old enough and to have suffered, to really appreciate her. I was so elated when she won the Nobel. My favourites of her stories are “Walker’s Brother Cowboy” – an old classic – and “Amundsen” (available on the New Yorker).

    The farmer’s market is also one of my necessary weekly excursions.

    As for the green goddess, since everything’s turning red and yellow and I’m craving stews rather than salads now, it’s bookmarked for next year. :)

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