I am in veggie heaven with these roasted vegetable stacks and in one recipe I get the daily recommended servings of vegetables; my kind of dish. Although the end of Summer means goodbye to warmer days (sigh), its departure signals the bounty of the harvest (yay!). It’s the perfect time of the year to grab all the locally grown goodies from markets and farmers roadside stands. Continue Reading →
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The farmers’ markets these days are showing off the bounty of the harvest. It’s a favourite time of the year for me and for all who enjoy eating locally produced food. The market is a perfect way to re-engage with the farmers, to ask questions about their produce, meat or fish and leave with a sense of being part of the community. These farmers love to talk about the food they help put on your table. Continue Reading →
Summer squash is available all year round which sounds a bit confusing. The name refers to a squash harvested when it’s not fully mature. The skin is soft and thin while the flesh is a softer texture. Some of the most popular and familiar varieties are: zucchini, pattypan squash, cousa squash, crookneck squash. Summer squash is perfect roasted, grilled, sautéed, or stuffed. This recipe is inspired by my mother in-law’s mom, Angelina Bocarisa, but I only knew of her as mama nini which was what all her grandchildren called her. Continue Reading →
Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms…sounds so heavenly. Summer squash which includes zucchini, is now available in local markets and food shops – they are for me, one of the highlights of the season. They’re delicate, come in different varieties, tender, juicy, and sweet. But before the summer squash is formed, the plant produces blossoms. If you’re lucky to find zucchini blossoms, grab them! They’re a delight to eat. The flower, though delicate, is wonderful stuffed with ricotta or goat cheese, dipped in a tempura-like batter, and deep-fried. Continue Reading →
Years ago I bought a book to hold all my scraps of paper that I scribbled recipes on or ones I cut from magazines and newspapers. I remember, after the last recipe was glued down, how triumphant it felt to see my collection in one place. The other day I went through one I started back in 2005. I had forgotten these recipes. The baked vegetable custard is one I made once before, most probably in 2005, and it’s a pity I forgot about it as it’s darn delicious and relatively easy to make. As much as I like to view recipes online, I still enjoy the tactile nature of paper. Continue Reading →
I love pasta and could eat tons of it and not gain an ounce when I was younger – attributed to a high metabolism and being very active. However, this menopausal woman isn’t able to boast that statement any longer without increasing my waistline. Sooo, I cook it when I am craving it leaving me to think of ways for a pasta substitute. Continue Reading →
I had pizza on the brain the other day but wasn’t in the mood to make the dough and prep the toppings. While I was at the grocery store trying to figure out how I could satisfy my pizza craving without doing too much work, I spotted a lovely display of zucchinis. And there was the answer! It occurred to me that I could use the zucchini as a base. Inspiration for cooking comes from the most interesting or the least expected places. What inspires you? These zucchini tomato pizzas are a cinch to make. I ended up making these as an appetizer followed by grilled veggies and a quinoa salad. Zucchini is part of the summer squash family and is full of nutrients and vitamins. It helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and is anti-inflammatory.
zucchini, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
oven roasted cherry or plum tomatoes
dried basil or oregano
Preheat oven to 375f (190c).
Arrange zucchini slices on a greased baking tray. Lightly sprinkle dried basil over the slices.
Add a pinch of Parmesan to each zucchini round and top with roasted tomato.
Bake in the oven 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese has melted.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Allow the zucchini pizzas to cool slightly before serving. Use sliced fresh cherry tomatoes if you don’t have roasted and for added flavor, try a small sprinkling of truffle sea salt on top of the tomato. Enjoy!
It’s been a scorcher the last two weeks but that hasn’t stopped us from being outdoors. Summer for us automatically means using the barbeque more – and we grill anything! Of course we grill the usual suspects such as meat, chicken, fish and veggies. But we also love grilled bread, pizza, artichokes, onions, romaine lettuce, radicchio, Belgium endive, peaches, pineapple, corn on the cob, flatbread, lemons, halloumi cheese…phew! and that’s only the beginning. Just about anything you cook inside can be taken outdoors. For dessert think outside the kitchen box and try grilling pound cake slices, banana nutella s’mores, banana split, watermelon etc. All stone fruits work well on the grill and they end up with a sweeter taste.
Serves 4 as a side
1 cup Greek feta cheese, crumbled
zest of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
yellow summer squash, sliced
Combine feta, lemon zest, garlic, and olives in a small bowl. Add enough olive oil to moisten the feta mixture; stir to combine. Preheat bbq to 350f. Lightly brush olive oil on the veggies, season and grill both sides until cooked – about 5 minutes depending on how thick the slices are. Remove from heat. To serve, place an eggplant slice on a plate followed by a spoonful of feta salsa, slice of zucchini, another spoonful of feta salsa and topped with summer squash slice. Top the summer squash with a small spoonful of the feta salsa. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.
Farmers’ markets always provide interesting selections of fruits and vegetables and most vendors are happy to share their knowledge of their produce. I spotted these round zucchinis at the Ridge Hill Yonkers’ Down to Earth Farmers’ Market – aren’t they adorable?
4 round zucchinis
1 garlic clove, minced
3 or 4 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 anchovy fillets, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 350f. Cut the tops off the zucchini and set aside. Using a teaspoon, scoop out flesh but not too close to the skin. Roughly chop the zucchini flesh. Rub olive oil all over the zucchini rounds. In a large sauté pan, add one tablespoon of olive oil and place over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, and anchovies and sauté until onion is soft. Then add zucchini flesh and cook until soft. Remove from heat; add sun dried tomatoes, feta, and parsley. Stir to combine and then stuff zucchini. Place zucchini tops on top. Add a splash of olive oil in a baking dish and add zucchini rounds. Bake for 30 minutes or until zucchini looks soft. Serve immediately.
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