Squash Leaf Emulsion

The squash leaf emulsion is one of the mother sauces at the Culinary Vegetable Institute when in season. This sauce serves as a base for salads, seafood courses, and hot grains or warm vegetable appetizers. It’s an outlet for nontraditional vegetation.

Yields 1 cup

  • 4 ounces squash leaves, blanched
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 ounces cold water
  • 8 ounces sunflower oil
  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 lemon, juiced

In a pot of boiling salted water, blanch leaves for about 20 seconds until effectively wilted and tender. Transfer to an ice bath and cool. Remove from ice bath, squeeze out all possible excess water and roughly chop. Transfer chopped, blanched leaves to a blender. Add Dijon and ice water. Blend on high until smooth. Scrape the sides of the pitcher. Blend again until smooth. Make sure the leaf purée doesn’t get hot. Slowly add oil in the blender on medium until completely emulsified. If the vortex slows or stops, turn up the blender a few degrees to bring it back. Finish with salt and fresh-squeezed lemon. Through a fine chinois strainer, strain the emulsion into a deli container or sealable storage container. Store refrigerated, for up to one week.