Summer Squash Carpaccio

Is it horribly annoying to tell you that the best version of this dish can only be achieved if the squash comes straight from your garden? Because it’s true. The next best thing is to go to the farmers market. “Cook only with ingredients that are in season,” “Stick to local,”—we’ve been hearing these things for years, mostly in an attempt to save our suffering planet. But flavor. FLAVOR. We’ve lost it.In an attempt to have access to everything year-round, produce has lost its magic. Supermarket cherry tomatoes do serve a purpose, but the flavor is vastly different than those from your own garden. Same for broccoli and snap peas. My kids won’t eat them unless they come from our vegetable patch; it’s annoying, but I’m proud of them! The reason vegetables aren’t popular with kids and many adults is because they’re missing a lot of the sweetness and texture provided by Mother Nature—their flavor is diluted by our mass-market food production process. Dishes like this summer squash carpaccio really stand out when you have access to gorgeous fresh vegetables from the farmers market or, God willing, your own garden. Should that stop you from preparing this with supermarket summer squash? Never! But I want to inspire you to look for local, seasonal, and sustainable food sources. It’s good for the planet, and great for your palate.When summer squash is freshly picked, all it needs is a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and maybe a hit of lemon juice. Here, I’ve taken it to next-level magic by adding sweet dates, fresh mint, and toasted pepitas spiced with Tajín seasoning to the thinly sliced summer squash. For a gathering with friends in the garden or a light lunch, this has become a favorite of mine. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Besos familia!

Summer Squash Carpaccio
Photo: Jen Causey
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 3 small yellow squash 

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)

  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot

  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil

  • 1/4 cup pepitas

  • 1/2 teaspoon chile-lime salt (such as Tajín Clásico Seasoning)

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pitted dates

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint

  • 1 tablespoon chile oil, or to taste

  • Pinch of flaky sea salt


  1. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, thinly slice squash into 1/16-inch-thick rounds. Arrange on a platter and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.

  2. Whisk together olive oil, lime juice, shallot, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl until combined. Season with pepper and remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.

  3. Heat canola oil in a small skillet over medium. Add pepitas, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Stir in chile-lime salt.

  4. Drizzle 1/3 cup vinaigrette on squash. (Save remaining dressing for another use.) Top squash with pepitas, dates, and mint. Drizzle with chile oil. Sprinkle with a pinchof flaky salt. Refrigerate for about 1 hour before serving.

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