This pizza is about all things summer. I had a similar one from Rosso Pizzeria at a Tuesday night concert in the Healdsburg Plaza and knew instantly I wanted to reproduce it for NOURISH.
I pulled this pasta together one night when I had leftover sausage and summer squash in the fridge and a daughter eager to help out in the kitchen–the pesto came as much as an activity as an element of the dish. We went to the garden together to pick the basil and Noemi pounded the pesto together in our mortar and pestle. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, use a blender and add warm water by the tablespoon as needed to blend.
Ratatouille is a Provencal specialty that’s a classic way to use a garden’s summer bounty of eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini and bell pepper. In culinary school, I was taught to saute each vegetable separately, and then simmer them all together. That’s too much work. In this ratatouille recipe, everything is tossed together in one pan and roasted until the vegetables are tender and slightly caramelized. Serve the ratatouille hot, at room temperature or cold as a side dish, tossed with pasta, atop pizza or grilled bread, or even tucked into a quesadilla.
This wheat berries recipe sort of sums up everything NOURISH Evolution stands for. The zucchini comes fresh from our garden (if you don’t have one of your own, you’ll likely be able to find zucchini that someone else has grown this time of year). The wheat berries are a relatively new whole grain discovery for me, full of flavor and hearty texture that’s so good for me my whole body goes ‘mmmm.’ The shrimp are caught wild or farmed sustainably here in the U.S. This is truly a dish to nourish body, soul, and planet.
This pasta salad was a hit when Alison and I made up a giant batch of it to serve at the Taste of Sonoma event a few years ago. I first made this for a potluck picnic at church and no less than five people came up to me and said, “Did you by chance make that quinoa salad? It was de-LICOUS!” (when pondering what to name it, Sierra even recommended Really Yummy Pasta Salad). And here I was afraid the quinoa would freak people out. Truth is, there’s a lot to love about this salad: a healthy dose of whole grains in the form of quinoa and whole grain penne, a break from basil with chives and parsley, and a lip-smacking tart-sweet balance from the corn and lime juice combo. This pasta salad is a potluck winner, whether you’re making it for a backyard barbecue or a high-end event. And, yep, you can make this pasta salad a day in advance — in fact it tastes even better when you do because the flavors have time to develop.
When vegetables are at their peak they’re cheap, scrumptious and abundant, which means that now is a great time to get creative about adding more veggies to your plate.
Here are a few ideas to get you started, along with a recipe for knock-out Zucchini Fritters:
Zucchini and Summer Squash
- Slow cook slices of zucchini in olive oil with garlic, chile flakes, lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon at the end for a sort of zucchini jam that’s great on crostini, or tucked into chicken breasts.
- Stir a few cups of grated zucchini into a soup or sauce as a flavorful thickener.
- Slice a variety of squashes lengthwise on a mandolin, arrange on a platter, drizzle with vinaigrette and sprinkle with herbs and shaved pecorino.
- Roast whole Italian eggplant and use the flesh in a dip, as the base for a pasta sauce, or even as a stuffing for ravioli.
- Slow-cook chopped Asian eggplant with garlic, ginger, spices and sugar for an Indian-style marmalade.
- Grill slices to keep in the fridge for using on sandwiches or adding to salads.
- Slow roast plum tomatoes, then freeze in a single layer and transfer to a freezer bag for what I call “tomato candy” all winter long.
- Chop a variety of heirloom tomatoes and cook over medium heat with onions, garlic, oregano and a drizzle of olive oil for a simple, flavorful (and thinner-than-usual) pasta sauce. Can for keeping if you like.
- Try taking your favorite tomato dishes into new realms—tuck a Greek salad into pita for a sandwich, or transform your BLT into a main-dish salad.
Sure, we all want to eat more veggies, and there’s no better time than now. This week, expand your boundaries and take advantage of the bumper bounty in new ways.
These Greek-inspired zucchini fritters make great hors d’oeuvres or a light vegetarian dinner served with a green salad and tzatziki.