Photo of Pan-seared summer squash with spiced lemon vinaigrette by WW

Pan-seared summer squash with spiced lemon vinaigrette

Points® value
Total Time
25 min
18 min
7 min
This recipe is one of our favourite ways to use up lots of summer squash. Pan-searing the squash gives them a delightfully tender texture and takes just 5 minutes to cook. The dressing also comes together quickly—mix lemon zest and juice, olive oil, garlic, harissa, and cumin in a small bowl or jar and you're done. You should also keep in mind that different harissa brands vary in spiciness, so you may want to add a little bit, give the dressing a taste, and go from there. You can always add more, but you can't take any away! Finish this beautiful dish off with a colourful topping of chopped fresh parsley.


Yellow summer squash

1 pound(s), small variety


1 pound(s), small variety

Lemon zest

1 tbsp(s), (zest of 1 lemon)

Fresh lemon juice

1½ tbsp(s), (juice of 1/2 lemon)

Extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp(s)


3 clove(s), large, mashed to a paste with a pinch of salt

Harissa paste

1 tsp(s), or chile paste (or to taste)

Ground cumin

¼ tsp(s)

Kosher salt

½ tsp(s), (or to taste)

Black pepper

tsp(s), freshly ground (or to taste)

Fresh parsley

2 tbsp(s), chopped


  1. Trim squash; use a chef ’s knife to quarter each one lengthwise. Using tip of your knife, trim away seeds (the seeds can make the dish watery). Cut squash into 1-in pieces.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Without crowding, add squash to dry skillet; cook, stirring often, until lightly blistered on both sides and tender to the point of a knife, 5-7 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl or jar with a lid, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, garlic, harissa and cumin to make dressing. Stir or shake to combine; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place squash in a large bowl and drizzle some dressing over top; toss to coat and combine, and add more as needed. Sprinkle with parsley; serve.
  5. Serving size: rounded ¾ cup


This recipe by Virginia Willis, originally published in Secrets of the Southern Table, has been modified for WW with permission.