Summer Squash with Lemon Curd and Citron Vinaigrette


Miami chef Brad Kilgore of Alter restaurant makes this incredibly beautiful and inspired dish in summer, when zucchini and summer squash are in abundance. The brilliance lies in the multiple layers of flavor and texture. Slideshow:  More Summer Squash Recipes 

Summer Squash with Lemon Curd and Citron Vinaigrette
Photo: © Con Poulos
Active Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs



  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 3 large eggs

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced lemongrass, tender inner bulb only

  • 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons and at room temperature

  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


  • 1 medium yellow squash (8 ounces)—quartered lengthwise, seeded and cut into 3-inch pieces

  • 1 small zucchini (5 ounces)—quartered lengthwise, seeded and cut into 3-inch pieces

  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves

  • 1/2 cup packed parsley leaves

  • 1/2 cup packed dill

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt


  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar, preferably Chardonnay

  • 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon

  • 1/4 teaspoon honey

  • 1/4 cup grapeseed or canola oil

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt

  • 4 ounces marinated goat- or sheep-milk cheese, cut into chunks, for serving

  • Small tarragon, dill or watercress sprigs, thinly sliced chiles and puffed rice, for garnish


Make the lemon curd

  1. In a blender, blend the lemon juice, eggs, sugar, lemongrass and ginger until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve set over a heatproof medium bowl, pressing on the solids.

  2. Place the bowl over—not in—a medium saucepan of barely simmering water and cook the curd over low heat, whisking, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the butter until incorporated, then whisk in the olive oil. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours.

Meanwhile, make the zucchini-herb puree

  1. In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the squash and zucchini for 30 seconds; using a slotted spoon, transfer to an ice bath to cool completely. Blanch the herbs just until wilted, about 30 seconds. Drain and transfer to the ice bath to cool. Drain the squash, zucchini and herbs; pat the squash and zucchini dry and squeeze out all the excess water from the herbs. Reserve the squash in a small bowl. In a blender, puree the zucchini with the herbs and 1/2 cup of water until smooth. With the machine on, gradually blend in the oil. Season the puree with salt.

Make the vinaigrette

  1. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, vinegar, tarragon and honey. Gradually whisk in both of the oils until emulsified. Season the vinaigrette with salt.

  2. Spread a thin layer of the zucchini puree on each of 4 plates. Dollop a few small teaspoons of the lemon curd on the puree. Toss the squash with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and season with salt (reserve the remaining vinaigrette for another use). Arrange 3 pieces on each plate. Arrange the marinated cheese on the plates and garnish with herb sprigs, sliced chiles and puffed rice.

Make Ahead

The zucchini puree can be refrigerated overnight. The lemon curd and vinaigrette can be refrigerated separately for up to 3 days.

Suggested Pairing

Fruit-forward sparkling.

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