You can find an earlier version of this recipe here from back when I first started this blog. I thought about just updating that post but didn’t want to wipe out the memory of our early garden completely. This year we’re in a new house and our garden isn’t quite ready to give us tasty zucchini. However this no cook meal was just right to celebrate the first day of summer.
Marinated Zucchini Salad
- 1 zucchini, sliced thinly
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Fresh, crumbly cheese of your choice
- Fresh herbs
- Optional prosciutto or pine nuts
Layer thin slices of zucchini with salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice. It’s key to let the salad sit for about an hour before eating to let the lemon juice tenderize the zucchini so that it doesn’t taste raw.
Experiment with your favorite crumbly cheese and fresh herbs. Today’s version featured fresh cotija cheese and basil. I’ve made this before with feta, ricotta salata, and goat cheese. If you want to make a heartier salad, proscuitto and toasted pine nuts are a great addition. I’d love to hear about your favorites.
Fava beans are in season! I don’t know why I love these so much as they are a bit of a pain to deal with. But the end result is so worth it. So fresh and creamy, tastes just like spring should.
We have tried to grow fava beans in our garden, but have only had one successful season. This year we have ONE bean pod growing so far…
Thankfully these were in my CSA box this past week.
First you peel off the tough outer pods, and get big beans inside. Boil these for about 7-10 minutes, depending on if you are planning on cooking them additionally later, and how soft you want them to be. For me, 8 minutes was long enough to soften them up, but they still had a nice al dente bite to them. Let them cool, and peel away the waxy light green covering.
You end up with this beautiful bowl of favas. I like to keep things simple so that you can still taste them.
I tossed these with a lemon olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, fresh mint, and salt and pepper. At this point you can eat them as is, mash them up a bit to spread on toast, toss with pasta, you name it!
I added some cooked farro, and mixed the whole thing together for a satisfying side dish. This dish is good warm or cold.
Fava Bean and Farro Salad
1 bunch fava beans, approximately 16 pods
2 Tb lemon olive oil, or regular extra virgin olive oil will work well too
Zest of one lemon
Juice of half a lemon
1 cup cooked farro
2 Tb chopped mint
Salt and pepper
Peel all of the fava beans out of their pods. Boil the beans for 7-10 minutes, let cool, and peel off the waxy coating. Toss shelled fava beans with olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, mint and farro. Serve warm or cold.
Our garden is very happy lately. A little bit of rain, a little bit of sunshine… We ended up with a ton of radishes that needed to be pulled right before heading out of town. We figured the best way to keep them fresh was to pickle them. Pickled radishes are so good on salads, tacos, sauteed cabbage…and so much more.
Super easy: slice the radishes thinly and fill a mason jar.
Add desired seasonings.
Bring water, vinegar, salt and sugar to a boil, and pour over radishes.
Let cool, cover and store in your fridge. You could use this bring with a variety of thinly sliced vegetables (I’m thinking carrots, cauliflower) and experiment with the spices to see what you like best.
1 large bunch of radishes, thinly sliced
1 pinches of red pepper flakes
1 tsp mustard seed
4 garlic cloves, sliced
6 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 c white vinegar
1 1/2 c water
4 tsp salt
Combine radishes and seasonings in a jar. Bring vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a boil and pour over radishes. Let cool before storing in your fridge. These should last about a month in your fridge (if you can keep from eating them all before then!).
I love potatoes. Who doesn’t love potatoes? And what I really love are sweet potatoes. The bright orange delicious ones.I was inspired by Gina of So…Let’s Hang Out and these Turmeric Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Parsley Tahini Sauce. Sadly, when I was meal planning I did NOT check the weather, and it was way too hot to turn on the oven the day I decided to make these. So, I improvised and went with big slices of potato that could be cooked on the grill. Also, I only have whole cloves in my pantry and was feeling a bit too lazy to grind them up (on a Tuesday, forgive me!). So I tossed slices of yams with coconut oil, ginger, turmeric, salt and pepper, and threw them on the grill with some asparagus and fish. So delicious! Honestly might be my new favorite way to cook potatoes. Such a great combination of sweet, salty and earthy. Thanks Gina for the inspiration! One note: if your potatoes are cold out of the fridge, the coconut oil will harden as you toss it with the cold potatoes. Nothing wrong with this, but it does make it harder to evenly distribute the oil and spices.Of course, if it is not 80 degrees at 8 pm at your house, feel free to cube the potatoes and roast them in a 400 degree oven.I did make the Parsley Tahini Sauce, but honestly I didn’t think the potatoes needed it. They were just so good on their own. However, it was a nice addition to the salmon and asparagus, so all in all a good endeavor.
Grilled Turmeric and Ginger Sweet Potatoes
- Approximately 3 sweet potatoes or yams sliced about 1/4 inch thick
- 3 Tbs. coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
Toss all of the ingredients together, and lay out on a perforated pan for your grill. Cook the potatoes for approximately 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
The message that I hope to convey to you with this post is to be inspired, and never feel held back by the circumstances of your kitchen. Don’t have a spice or an herb? Substitute another! Too hot to cook something you were dying to try? Take it outside! Don’t have a grill? See if you can pan sear or broil whatever it is that inspires you.
I’d love to hear about how you make substitutions in a pinch.
Happy Friday! And happy spring! I recieved my monthly box of fruits and veggies from my local CSA today. It’s always fun to start with a box of ingredients, and work my meal planning for the week around those. I’m signed up with Farm Fresh to You. I love that you can go online the week before and customize your box. This was the big selling point for me since I do have a small vegetable garden, and didn’t want to be receiving duplicates from a monthly CSA box of exactly what I was already harvesting.
This week I recieved:
- Purple fingerling potatoes
- Red beets
- Gold beets
- Baby broccoli
- French breakfast radishes
- Lacinto kale
I see a light frisée salad in my future for tonight’s dinner, perhaps with some oranges and avocado wedges and some shaved fennel, an appetizer of radishes with butter and salt (something I discovered I loved in Paris), and maybe some garlicky broccoli.
If you’re local to San Diego and interested in trying out a CSA box, I highly recommend Farm Fresh to You. You can sign up for a box with my referral code: SHAN1223 and get $10 off of your first box.
I hope you all enjoy some fresh spring veggies this week.
This week there has been an abundance of eggplant and green beans! I was a little bit at a loss for what to do with the eggplant other than Eggplant Parmesan, but Randy recalled some sweet, salty eggplant he had originally in Beijing. That made me think of this recipe that I had seen recently on the Big Girls Small Kitchen blog for Sesame Sugar Snaps. I played with the recipe for the sauce a little bit, using a little bit less sugar and adding garlic. Of course adding garlic!
Sweet Sesame Sauce
- about 4 cups diced eggplant, trimmed green beans, or other veggies
- 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
Toast sesame seeds, and pulse everything into a food processor. Toss with the veggies after quickly sauteeing or blanching them. This was fabulous tossed with barely cooked eggplant, green beans, and snap peas. I think it could also be delicious paired with most veggies.
I had some friends come over for dinner after work today, so I was looking for something simple to make that I could prep ahead of time and then throw in the oven. Debating between lasagna and enchiladas, I decided to go Italian to use up some of the fresh ricotta in my fridge, basil and zucchini from my garden. I was quite satisfied, and most of my friends went back for seconds. Counts for success in my book! I look forward to making this again later in the summer when I can use garden grown zucchinis and tomatoes. Also would like to experiment with a low carb option: using the thin slices of squash in place of noodles, with chunks of sausage or a bolognese sauce.
Eggplant, Zucchini and Ricotta Lasagna
Adapted from The Silver Spoon
- 1 large eggplant, thinly sliced
- 1 medium or 1/2 large zucchini, thinly sliced
- olive oil
- 12 sheets lasagna noodles
- 1/2 c pine nuts
- 2/3 c ricotta cheese
- 1/2 c tomato sauce
- 12-15 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 4 tablespoons of parmesan, pecorino, or romano cheese grated
Place the eggplant and zucchini slices in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and let drain while prepping everything else. Cook the lasagna sheets in a large pot of salted water until al dente, about 6-7 minutes and then separate. Grease a casserole dish with olive oil. Lay 4 lasagna sheets on the bottom of the dish. Layer half of the sliced veggies, ricotta cheese, pine nuts, tomato sauce, and basil. Start another round with 4 more lasagna sheets and repeat the layers. Finish with a layer of lasagne sheets, ricotta cheese, tomato sauce, and the grated parmesan cheese. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. If you like the top extra crispy, finish it off with an additional 2 minutes under the broiler. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!