An easy low carb summer side dish, perfect for grilling or cook-outs featuring cauliflower rice with summer squash, herbs, lemon, and toasted hazelnuts.
Few things provide as much reward in life as growing your own vegetables. I’ve been watching my little 12×7 garden plot start to fill up with greenery as the little plants begin to take-off with all the spring rain we have had. Last year, my zucchini plants got root rot, so I’m excited to be able to enjoy more of my harvest this year. Pending I’ve solved the root rot problem, of course. If you’ve ever planted your own zucchini, you know that the summer months ensure you’re eating zucchini with nearly every meal. I’m always reminded of that scene in Forest Gump when Bubba lists all the things you can make with shrimp. We will be on zucchini overload soon enough.
Summer Squash Cauliflower Rice salad celebrates the summer harvest: zucchini and yellow squash get to shine with fresh herbs from the garden. What I love about this salad is that is transports well and can easily be enjoyed warm, room temperature, or even chilled. It’s light and pairs with any number of grilled meats. We recently had it alongside a nice rib-eye steak with chimmichurri. Low carb side dishes are not always easy to come by at a cook-out, but this salad is one that no one will think twice about having second or third servings. This recipe is keto-friendly, paleo, and Whole 30 compliant. Not only is it flexible for many diets, it’s also incredibly simple to make.
How to make Summer Squash Cauliflower Rice Salad
Cut your squash into bite sized pieces. There’s nothing like a giant chunk to ruin your ability to go knife-free at a party. Plus, everything will cook consistently and the resulting presentation will be much more attractive. I recommend a 1/4 inch dice.
Toast your nuts. Without toasting, hazelnuts are not exactly tasty unless they show up in your favorite gelato or Nutella. If you haven’t toasted your own nuts, it’s super simple. Heat a small skillet on medium, add nuts and toss until slightly toasted. Hazelnuts burn fairly quickly, so I make sure to keep an eye on the pan and stir frequently. You’re basically throwing away money if you burn these. Don’t wander off and start another task during this process. Once the nuts are toasted, pour into a small bowl; don’t let these sit in the hot pan or the toasting process will just continue. Once cool, I’ll often put the nuts in a plastic sandwich bag and give them a few wacks with whatever flat object I find lying around. Hazelnuts are a bit large, so you’ll want nice small pieces to scatter throughout the salad.
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An easy summer side dish, perfect for grilling or cook-outs. Cauliflower rice with summer squash, herbs, lemon, and toasted hazelnuts.
- 4 cups cauliflower rice
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter or olive oil (if dairy free)
- 1 clove garlic, pressed/minced
- 1 large shallot (about 2 tbsp), finely diced
- 1 medium zucchini (about 1 1/2 cups), diced into 1/4 inch cubes/wedges
- 1 medium yellow squash (about 1 1/2 cups), diced into 1/4 inch cubes/wedges
- 1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh basil, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- sea salt
- fresh black pepper
- Heat butter over medium heat in a large heavy skillet. Add shallots and garlic, saute until light golden brown and fragrant; about 3-5 minutes. Add zucchini and yellow squash and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 3-5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Next, add cauliflower rice. Mix to combine, salt and pepper again, and saute for about 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Stir in herbs, nuts, zest, and lemon zest. Stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.