Tag: summer

Zucchini Mascarpone Galette

I’ve never been a huge ricotta fan. I know it’s supposed to be bland, since it serves as a base for other flavors, but it usually leaves me wanting something with a little more oomph. So when I realized how much I liked Smitten Kitchen’s Zucchini and Ricotta Galette, I figured I could make one I liked even better if I replaced some of the ricotta with a slightly more flavorful cheese. Enter: mascarpone. A little creamier and with a more pronounced cheesy flavor, it fit the bill perfectly.

Zucchini Mascarpone Galette

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Serves 6
Hands-On Time: 45 min
Total Time: 1hr 30 min


Ingredients

Crust:
1 1/4 cups flour, chilled in freezer for 30 min
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup very cold water

Filling:
1 lb zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 TBS olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
2/3 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tsp water


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Make dough: Whisk together flour and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle butter pieces over flour and use your hands to combine until the pieces of butter are no larger than small peas. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, lemon juice and water and add to the butter-flour mixture. With your hands, combine until large lumps form. Gently pat the lumps into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for no longer than 20 minutes (remove to the fridge if you need more time to work).

Make filling: Spread the zucchini over two layers of paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt. Let sit 30 min, and then blot the zucchini to remove water on the surface. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil and minced garlic together – set aside. In a separate bowl, combine ricotta, mascarpone, parmesan, mozzarella, and 1 tsp of olive oil mixture and add salt to taste.

Flour a large flat work surface (I like to lay down parchment paper and then flour to contain mess). Roll out the chilled dough into a 12-inch round.

On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.. Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Arrange the zucchini, with slices slightly overlapping, in concentric circles from the outside edge of the cheese mixture to the center. Evenly drizzle the remaining olive oil and garlic mixture over the zucchini. Gently fold the plain edge dough over the very edge of the zucchini circles, pleating to keep together as needed. Brush the exposed dough with the egg yolk/water mixture.

Bake the galette about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the cheese has puffed up a little and the zucchini are slightly translucent. Remove from the oven, let cool for about 5 minutes, and then transfer carefully to a serving plate. Serve in wedges.


What I Cooked Last Week – August 12

Yet another short week of cooking – took off for Salt Lake City on Wednesday for a work trip. Kept it (mostly) light in anticipation of the eating and drinking associated with conferences. Tuesday includes another zucchini recipe to add to your repertoire, and a perfect no-cook one at that for the hottest days of summer (and smokiest, if you’re in pretty much any of the PNW).

Sunday

Baked my Gâteau aux Pommes again to get some updated blog pictures. I always forget how good this cake is, and how surprisingly easy it is to throw together. Don’t let the French name scare you away! Also, leftovers make great breakfast – it has apples, so it’s fine, right?

Ended up making the Mushroom and Chive Fettuccine Alfredo that I’d originally planned to make last Saturday before life happened. It was still a bit cooler than it has been outside, so it was the perfect comfort food. I’ll have a recipe up for that in the near future!

mushroom alfredo.jpg

Monday

I got a pound of purple carrots in the CSA this week, and felt inspired to make a recipe that I’ve been eyeing for a while – Smitten Kitchen’s Roasted Carrots with Avocado and Yogurt. It’s simple to prepare with a complex flavor payoff, and won’t make you feel guilty if you follow it up with some ice cream. This one is pictured as the title image for the post.

Tuesday

Had to pack for my work trip so I scheduled the most hands-off meal for Tuesday – a sous-vide sirloin steak (throw in the sous vide and wait) and a simple Zucchini Carpaccio Salad to make use of some more delicious CSA summer squash. I actually wrote most of this blog post while I was waiting for the food to mostly prepare itself!

What I Cooked Last Week – August 5

Last week’s lineup includes two small dinner party menus, some leftover suggestions, and a bit of unexpected comfort food in mid-August. Without further ado…

Sunday

Dinner party one of two. Wanted to bake something with cream cheese (I had, and still have, a bunch in my fridge), and Smitten Kitchen’s berry filled Cheesecake Galette seemed to fit the bill, especially with the galette kick I’ve been on the past few weeks. Hers calls for blackberries and lime, but raspberries were cheaper, so I used them and lemon instead (lemon complements raspberries a bit better than lime, in my opinion). It turned out great – can’t wait until it’s full-on blackberry season and I can try the recipe as written!

cheesecake galette

For the main course, I made lamb koftë sandwiches with grilled zucchini and tzatziki. I’ll have a recipe up for that later this week! They turned out really well and worked as a great summer dinner party item – I could hang outside at the grill and talk to my friends while I worked. They also gave me a starting point for a bunch of good leftovers-based lunches later in the week.

meat patties.jpg

Monday

Lunch was leftovers round one – two of the lamb patties on a pile of spring greens mix, drizzled with tzatziki. Satisfying yet light.

This was the evening of dinner party round two. I decided on the fish sandwiches from Cravings by Chrissy Teigan. They’re… awesome. The tartar sauce the sandwiches call for is amazing, but I was feeling a second round of the sauce from Mike’s Fish Tacos. It was a great substitute. I paired them with the zucchini fries from her books, like she suggests. You can find a link to a write-up of that recipe in my Zucchini Remix roundup.

Didn’t make dessert on Monday, but my friend brought along some loganberry ice cream her mom had made and it was the perfect meal-ender.

Tuesday

I’d planned on just making a bunch of sautéed vegetables on Tuesday night as a fridge clear-out, but then, as per usual, I got a little carried away and ended up with a massive frittata instead. It was delicious and fit the bill perfectly – used up a bunch of amazing produce and eggs from our Spoonfull Farm CSA. I hate letting any of that stuff go to waste, so using up a whole dozen (!!!!) eggs in one swoop along with a large zucchini, a head of kale, and some beautiful red scallions felt great. I topped it with a dill-chive sour cream.

frittata

For Wednesday lunch, I topped a wedge of the frittata with a crumbled lamb patty and yet another drizzle of tzatziki. Yum!

Saturday

The weather interlude gave me the opportunity to take a bit of a break from summer produce (will I regret this when I’m eating exclusively root vegetables in a few months? maybe) and get cozy with mushroom and chive fettuccine alfredo. Recipe to come for that one, and I’m also planning on writing a post about the _whys_ behind a couple of pasta-water techniques, namely salting the water and reserving some for tossing with sauce before serving.

Have a great week everyone!

Summer Fridge Frittata

We’ve been so lucky this summer to have a ton of beautiful produce from our Spoonfull Farm CSA, but we’ve also been so busy that sometimes, cooking doesn’t end up happening. That means that some weeks we find ourselves with a whole mountain of produce on our hands that we would hate to see go to waste. Enter: the summer fridge frittata, so named because it’ll clean your fridge right out if you play your cards right. This is really what frittatas are made for – making leftovers new again (and getting great use out of our beautiful farm-fresh eggs in the process)!

Summer Fridge Frittata

Serves 6
Hands-On Time: 30 min
Total Time: 45 min


Ingredients

12 large eggs
2 TBS half and half
1 cup + 1 TBS sour cream
1 head kale, any variety, roughly chopped
1 large zucchini, thinly sliced (I use a mandoline, see note below)
1 cup shredded/grated cheese (I used half parmesan and half mozzarella because I had them on hand)
1 bunch scallions, white/light green parts thinly sliced
1/2 TBS red pepper flakes
1 TBS garlic powder
Juice from one lemon
2 tsp salt, divided, plus more to taste
1 TBS minced chives + more for garnish
1 TBS minced fresh dill + more for garnish
Olive oil


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Whisk eggs until yolks and whites are well combined. Add 1 TBS sour cream, half and half, and cheese, and whisk together. Add at least 1 tsp salt, whisk to combine, and set aside.

In a 10-12 inch ovensafe skillet (cast iron is best!), heat a thin layer of olive oil over medium heat. Add scallions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about a minute. Add zucchini slices and toss with oil and scallions. Add 1 tsp salt, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice, and toss to coat. Cook until slices start to become translucent and soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add chopped kale and allow to wilt and cook down, tossing with the zucchini and scallions, about 5 more minutes.

Pour the egg mixture evenly over the vegetables and gently stir to distribute egg and vegetables. Once edges of the eggs have set, about one minute, carefully transfer the skillet to the preheated oven. Allow to bake anywhere from 7-14 minutes – the eggs should be set, and the top should be slightly puffed and golden.

While the eggs are baking, combine the remaining cup of sour cream with the chives and dill in a small bowl, and set aside.

Once the frittata has finished baking, remove from oven and let cool at least 5 minutes on a cooling rack in the pan. When ready to serve, slice into wedges, garnish with reserved chives and dill, and top each wedge with the herbed sour cream mixture. Serve with toast, a light green salad, or both.

Note: I use my mandoline slicer at least twice per week, if not more, so I can’t recommend them enough. HOWEVER. You have to be extremely careful when using them, and never use a mandoline without a protective hand guard. I use this mandoline from OXO, which includes a protective guard.


Lemon Basil Vodka Spritz

It feels more special to make a cocktail in the evening in the summer, instead of just pouring myself a glass of wine. Winter calls for red wine most nights, but this bright lemon basil spritz will hit the spot after a long day in (let’s be real) an overly air-conditioned office. If you don’t have or can’t find lemon basil, this would also be delicious with regular basil.

Lemon Basil Vodka Spritz

Makes One Drink
Hands-On Time: 5 min
Total Time: 5 min


Ingredients

1 cup loosely packed lemon basil leaves
1 TBS agave syrup
1.5 oz vodka
Juice of half a lemon
Can of soda water or seltzer water
Ice


Muddle together the basil leaves and agave at the bottom of a glass. Add lemon juice and vodka. Add ice. Fill the rest of the glass with seltzer. Garnish with additional basil leaves and lemon slices.


Mike’s Fish Tacos

Kyle’s Dad makes these amazing fish tacos. Now you can, too. The secret, in my opinion, is the sauce – I’d happily sub it in nearly any fish dish that calls for tartar sauce (and I love tartar sauce). Use any whitefish you’d like – I’ve used tilapia and cod and they’ve both worked well, but halibut would be tasty too.

I am, sadly, a cilantro-tastes-like-soap person, so you’ll notice this recipe calls for none. Feel free to use it liberally in both the sauce and as a garnish if you have more cooperative taste buds!

Mike’s Fish Tacos

Serves 4-6
Hands-On Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1hr 30 min


Ingredients

Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried coriander
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp minced capers
1 jalapeño, ribbed and seeded and finely minced
Juice from 1/2 a lime

Seasoning
1 TBSP sweet paprika
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne
3/4 tsp white pepper
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves

Assembly
2 lbs Tilapia or other white fish
2 cups shredded cabbage
Corn or flour tortillas


Make the sauce: Whisk together the sour cream and mayo until combined. Add the lime juice and whisk until fully incorporated. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Let sit in the fridge for at least one hour.

Make the blackening rub: Whisk together all of the seasoning ingredients.

Rub the fish with the seasoning mixture. If you have leftover seasoning, store in an airtight container. Grill the fish for 5-7 minutes each side or roast in a 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Break into bite-sized pieces.

Assemble tacos with tortillas, fish, shredded cabbage, and sauce. Add a spritz of lime, if you’re feeling fancy. Enjoy!

Note: If you’re a mayo-hater (who hurt you?), you can definitely use all sour cream, or even greek yogurt. It won’t be quite as rich, but it’ll do the job.


Zucchini Remix

I’m of the firm opinion that you can never have “too much” zucchini, because I love cooking with it. But it’s true that the sheer volume of zucchini and summer squash in general can get a little overwhelming for even the most ardent zucchini-lover this time of year. I’ve thrown together a list of some of my favorite recipes involving zucchini and summer squash to help you make the most of summer’s abundance – and if you’re a Spoonfull Farm fan or CSA member, this should get you even more excited about what’s on tap, produce-wise. Summer squash/zucchini are more or less interchangeable for all of these recipes – my fave is a combo so that you get all the nice yellows and greens together.

  • Ratatouille – I still need to write up my own recipe for this classic French dish, but this one is reasonably similar. If you can start with a base of homemade pasta sauce or home-seasoned tomato purée, that’s ideal, but store-bought will work in a pinch. Serve over polenta, with crusty French bread, with rice – lots of options to keep this one feeling fresh.
  • Summer Fridge Frittata – A multi-veggie whammy – use up Kale, Zucchini, and scallions, and a whole dozen eggs if you’re also blessed with farm fresh eggs this time of year.

frittata

  • Zucchini Carpaccio Salad – It’s easy to use up a whole bundle of zucchini when you make them the star of a salad! Zucchini ribbons with a little arugula, a lemon-y vinaigrette, and some parmesan make a perfect side or hot-weather entree.
  • Grilled Zucchini Ribbons with Pesto and White Beans – I made this last week and already desperately want to make it again. So simple and quick, and delicious with a side of grilled bread. This would also definitely work with any type of pesto – I used a garlic scape one the last time around, but next time will likely use a basil-based or carrot greens variety. Did you know pesto freezes pretty well too, for up to a month or two? Just something to think about.

zucchini ribbons.jpg

  • Zucchini Bread – On the sweeter side of things, there’s always the go-to of zucchini bread. Loaves freeze well, so you can make a bunch now and be enjoying it way after peak zucchini season. I’d recommend topping your loaf with some cinnamon sugar for an extra-crunchy lid.
  • Zucchini and Ricotta Galette – Don’t be intimidated by pastry dough. It’s not out to get you, and people are really impressed when you make something with it. I’m very pro-galette, and this summery one has already been on my table this month. A fun variation on this might be swapping half of the ricotta called for with plain or herbed goat cheese, especially if you aren’t a huge ricotta fan – I’m definitely doing that next time I serve this up. (I ended up making a modified version of this with mascarpone, which I personally much prefer – check it out!)

ricotta galette.jpg

  • Herbed Summer Squash Pasta Bake – I add lots of lemon to this, more than called for, and love love love it. Usually on heavy rotation through the summer months. Also freezes quite well.
  • Burst Tomato and Zucchini Spaghetti with Avocado Sauce – If you have a spiralizer lurking in a kitchen cabinet somewhere, this is a great way to get some use out of it. I’m not big on swapping veggies for pasta, but in this recipe it works great and is a fantastic way to eat an entire bowl of vegetables for dinner if you’ve been feeling like your diet mostly consists of rosé and grilled pizza these days (not that I’m familiar with that feeling, ahem).
  • Baked Zucchini Parmesan – You can follow the linked recipe, or just use zucchini in place of eggplant in your favorite eggplant parmesan preparation. Or even a zucchini parmesan sub sandwich. Mmmmmm. Welp, guess I know one thing I’m making next week.
  • Herbed Summer Squash and Potato Torte – Incredibly easy and hands-off. Just slice up the potatoes and squash (sooo easy with a mandoline!) and bake for a long time. I recommend the cast-iron pan method, which seems even less fussy than the normal preparation. This would be great with a blanket of shredded cheddar between the layers during the colder months.
  • Zucchini Fritters – These come together really quickly, and are great after a long day when you don’t really know what you want to eat, and don’t really want to cook, but you would rather avoid takeout. These could also make a great appetizer for a dinner party if you made them a tiny bit smaller.
  • Crispy Baked Zucchini Fries – I’ve made these fries from Chrissy Teigen’s book, Cravings (which deserves a whole post of its own one of these days, maybe in honor of her second book release), and they’re amazing. I’ve served them alongside her fried halibut sandwiches, but they’re a great sub for fries with any dish. I’m partial to dipping them in ranch.