Zucchini cut into thin tagliatelle, lightly sautéed, and folded into a pile of baby spinach is more than just a beautiful green feast for the eyes. It’s the taste of summer and winter merged on a plate. The soft flesh of the jade-colored summer squash brings a distinct fruity note. It’s sweet and mild, but against all odds, it can stand up to the comparatively hearty spinach. Baby spinach is not as bitter as the thicker winter leaves; it’s rather tender, but you can still taste a hint of soil. Slightly earthy, the leaves are a welcome contrast to the juicy zucchini.
Colorful cherry tomatoes and toasted pine nuts hint at a late summer dish and the fresh oregano sprinkled on top makes it very clear that we’re not yet into the cold season. Oregano can be replaced with milder marjoram, which is less pungent and more pleasant if you find oregano too harsh. I like both and tend to follow my mood—and the state of my plants.
The vinaigrette is light and citrusy. Using lime instead of lemon introduces a more flowery aroma, and the fruit’s juice and zest, mixed with white balsamic vinegar, adds the right sour touch to round out this colorful salad.