Summer Squash & Caramelized Onion Frittata

summer-squash-frittataToday is the day after CSA day. A kind of day where I’m still getting down from that high of checking out all the amazing farm-fresh goodness that came from my weekly share. If you follow along on Facebook or instagram, you know all about my weekly CSA share posts. So you may already know about the abundance of summer squash I’ve been getting the past few weeks. It’s amazing. I love supporting a local farm through the CSA and also love knowing that all the vegetables and eggs that I’m eating came from less than an hour away from  me.

So back to the summer squash. What’s not to love about it? It’s a mild-tasting and very versatile vegetable. Like a zucchini, you can do a lot with it. Add it to salad, chop it up and stir-fry it. The list goes on.

I love the way summer squash looks and I love highlighting the yellow skin when possible. I thought a frittata would be a great way to give this vegetable a lead role. Pairing it with some caramelized onions and some freshly picked basil leaves is a great way to let the summer squash shine.

I sliced up some onions and let them caramelize with some garlic. I then added most of the squash abd let them soften a bit. I poured in some beaten eggs and then added some basil, goat cheese, salt and pepper. I added some more thinly sliced summer squash on top.

I then placed in the oven until set.

The combination of all the flavors is perfect. Knowing that every item came from the farm makes the meal that much tastier. Well the basil didn’t come from the farm. I grew that on my fire escape. Do I get bonus points for that kind of commitment?



Summer Squash & Caramelized Onion Frittata
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 summer squash, sliced in thin rounds
  • 10 cage-free large eggs
  • 8 basil leaves, chiffonade slice
  • ½ cup goat cheese, crumbled (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. Heat oil in a large oven-safe pan.
  3. Add onions and garlic to pan and saute on medium low until the onions begin to caramelize. This should take about 20 minutes.
  4. Add salt, pepper and most of the squash rounds to the pan. Leave a handful of the squash to the side for later.
  5. Turn the heat to medium high and let the squash cook for about 5-7 minutes.
  6. Beat the eggs in a bowl and add them to the pan.
  7. Chiffonade cut the basil leaves and add them to the pan.
  8. Place the squash rounds and crumbled goat cheese over the eggs.
  9. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake in the oven until the eggs are set. Should take around 15-20 minutes.
  10. Cool a few minutes before slicing and eating.
  11. Enjoy!

summer-squash-long

 

 

Spinach and Beet Salad with Goat Cheese

http://www.salutbaramericain.com/

I never used to be a salad person. I would eat it and enjoy it, but I never really sought it out or really appreciated it. It wasn’t until I couldn’t eat salad that I started to crave it and get more creative with salad. Crohn’s has kept me away from raw vegetables on and off at different spurts in my life. So here I am now, Crohn’s free, and taking full advantage of this lull in my life. Summer has come on with full force and with that, we have some beautiful veggies showing up in the markets. Baby spinach is one of my favorite greens. You may have noticed that it shows up in some of my favorite dishes.

Since it’s summer time, I like to eat more fresh dishes that don’t require heating up the house.

I think it was my sister that introduced me to this Spinach and Beet Salad with Chèvre and Walnuts. I ate it on one of my visits back home to Minneapolis. Since then, I order this salad on whatever menu I see it on. I decided to make it myself. I had recently received some beautiful beets in the CSA and I had everything else in the fridge.

The spinach I used in this salad was prewashed and ready to go. I roasted some beets and I toasted some walnuts in the oven.

I served the salad with a red wine, basil  and shallot vinaigrette that I quickly whipped up in my Cuisinart Mini-Prep processor.

red-wine-vinaigrette


Spinach and Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 small bunch of beets (about 4-5 small beets)
  • 1 bag of pre-washed baby spinach
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • goat cheese (Chèvre)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Trim off the ends of the beets and place in foil. Sprinkle olive oil over the beets and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap in the foil.
  3. Roast the beets in the oven for about 40 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and cool.
  5. While the beets cool, place the walnuts on some foil and toast in the oven for about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and cool.
  7. When cooled down, slice the beets thinly.
  8. Layer the salad - first the spinach, then the beets, then the onions and walnuts, then the goat cheese.
  9. Sprinkle on a dressing of your choice. I would recommend a red wine vinaigrette.

 

Red Wine, Basil and Shallot Vinaigrette
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
Ingredients
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 15 basil leaves
  • 5 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place everything except for the olive oil in to the food processor.
  2. Start blending the mixture.
  3. Slowly pour in the olive oil and let the mixture emulsify.
  4. Transfer dressing to a container.
  5. Enjoy on your favorite salad.

spinach-and-beet-salad

 

Chilled Pea and Basil Soup

chilled-pea-soup

This month’s Kosher Connection link-up features chilled soups.  It’s June, and the weather is heating up. Always happy to have a cool treat.

I love challenges like this. I never really make cold soup. I do love a good gazpacho every so often, but chilled soups don’t really happen in this kitchen. If I made hot chicken soup every week in the summer, nobody would complain. We’re just a warm soup kind of family and a little heat doesn’t usually stop me. Myself excluded that is. I’m not in to warm soups on a hot day.

This challenge got me thinking about different flavors that I love. I wasn’t going to do a gazpacho. That’s been done. I have several friends that love chilled fruit soups, but that’s just not me.  I thought about the various herbs that I have growing on my deck and then looked to the beautiful early summer veggies I’ve been seeing at the farmer’s markets. I knew I had to focus on some seasonal vegetables and herbs. At the market today, I came upon some beautiful peas. Yum! These English peas were amazing and so sweet. I then turned to my favorite herb  – my basil plant. I had to turn these two in to soup.

I began by sauteeing up some shallots and garlic in a bit of butter and olive oil. I then added the peas and the chopped basil. After they cook for a few minutes, I added in some vegetable broth and let the soup cook a bit.

peasoupbroth

Once the peas were sufficiently cooked, I pureed the soup with my immersion blender and added some Greek yogurt to the soup.

peasoup-immersion-blender

I removed the soup from the heat and then began to cool it down. If you’d like, you can transfer the soup to a bowl and then sit it over a larger bowl of ice for a quick chill down.

I served the soup chilled with some additional Greek yogurt stirred in. Love the flavor. The sweetness of the peas combined with the basil really work well together. Will definitely make this again.

chilled-pea-soup

Chilled Pea and Basil Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Summer Soups
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • ¾ pound English peas (or use frozen petite peas)
  • 1 cup chopped basil
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp. Greek yogurt or sour cream (plus extra for garnishing)
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat up the butter and olive oil in a medium-size pot.
  2. Add in the garlic and shallot and saute until soft.
  3. Stir in the salt and pepper.
  4. Stir in the peas and the basil. Saute or a minute or two.
  5. Add in the vegetable broth.
  6. Let the mixture come to a boil. Cover the pot and turn down the heat.
  7. Cook for about 7 minutes.
  8. After about 7 minutes, the peas should be cooked enough.
  9. Use a standard blender or an immersion blender to puree the soup.
  10. Stir in some Greek yogurt.
  11. Taste the soup a bit. Add additional salt and pepper as needed.
  12. Serve the soup garnished with additional basil and yogurt.
  13. Enjoy!

 

Don’t forget to check out some of the other great cold soups as part of the Kosher Connection link-up!

 


Caprese Salad

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I was so happy when I found out that Matan and Ali of AliBabka, a fellow blogger, were getting married. The Kosher Connection group of bloggers is hosting a virtual sheva brachot to celebrate with them. The Sheva Brachot are the seven blessings said at a Jewish wedding and it is customary to hold special meals for the new couple for the days following the wedding. We call these meals Sheva Brachot.

For today’s meal, I decided to contribute one of my favorite salads. The caprese salad is a simple dish, but always looks elegant and is the perfect salad starter for a dairy or vegetarian meal. Remember to always use a good olive oil and balsamic vinegar and the freshest mozzarella you can find when making this dish. It truly makes a difference.




Caprese Salad
Ingredients:

1 pound fresh mozzarella
2 medium-sized vine ripened tomatoes
Fresh basil leaves  – a handful
Olive Oil for drizzling
Balsmic Vinegar for drizzling
sea salt
fresh ground pepper

Directions:

Slice up your tomatoes and mozzarella in to 1/4-1/8 inch slices and wash and stem your basil leaves.

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Lay out the tomato, mozzarella and basil in alternating layers on a serving dish.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Drizzle with about a tablespoon or two of olive oil and vinegar.
Serve and enjoy!
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Gnocchi with Basil Cream Sauce

I came across some gnocchi the other day, and I decided that I must have them…I just needed to make them for a dinner. I have eaten gnocchi maybe twice in my life. When made the right way, it is really good. When made wrong, it can me a heavy, lumpy, pasty mess. Gnocchi are essentially potato/wheat dumplings. They are a heavy meal, so you don’t need much to fill you up. I am determined to make my own one day. I fondly remember one Saturday afternoon with my dad in Minneapolis, watching Lidia Bastianich and her family making gnocchi. They make it look so simple. Lovely Lidia had her miniscule grandchildren working hard on the gnocchi. I wonder if I can get that sort of child labor into my kitchen. They can even pronounce gnocchi properly!

Anyhow, I decided to make the gnocchi with a basil cream sauce. I chose the basil cream sauce mainly because I scored some beautiful fresh basil at the store when I was picking up the gnocchi. The spouse is not as fond as pesto as I am…so basil cream sauce is some sort of middle ground. One day I will share the great pesto story.

Basil Cream Sauce
Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
salt
pepper
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
1/4 cup grated parmesean
1/2 cup baby peas
1/3 cup pesto (I whipped some up in the food processor for this, you could use store-bought)

In a sauce pan, melt the butter. Add in the olive oil. Add in the garlic and onion and saute a few minutes. Add in some salt and pepper. Stir. Stir in the flour. Whisk in the milk and cream. Keep whisking. Add in the parmsesean. Do not stop whisking! Add in the pesto and the peas. Stir, stir, stir. Turn the heat to low. Let’s move on to the dumplings.

Gnocchi cooks up very quick. Do not cook until you are ready to serve. For a pound of gnocchi, heat up 4 quarts of salted water until boiling. Throw the gnocchi into the hot water. When the gnocchi floats to the top, it means they are done. Drain the gnocchi.

Plate up your dinner. Garnish with some pine nuts, basil leaves, and a good healthy dose of parmesean cheese.

Enjoy!

Pasta with Pesto

The kid must have read my mind when I asked her what she wanted for dinner on the ride home from school. I was overjoyed when her response was “green noodles.” This is 6-year-old speak for pasta with pesto. Next to pasta aglio e olio, pesto is my favorite pasta pair-up. As luck would have it, I had just bought a nice bunch of basil during my lunchtime trek through Chelsea Market.It was extra special to have two miniature assistants to help with the dinner cook-up. Pesto is super easy to make with your food processor. A plate of pasta and a nice salad on the side and you are good for the night.

Pesto
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup basil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup of parmesean (I leave mine out usually to make a pareve pesto, then add parmesean as necessary on a per meal basis) Do not use the powdered processed stuff in a can
  • 1/2 cup of good quality olive oil
  • a sprinkle of salt to taste

Directions:

Wash and sort your basil. Basil is often dirty and sandy.

Combine the dry ingredients in the food processor, then slowly add the olive oil. Dip finger in and taste. Add salt if necessary.

Pesto freezes well. I like to freeze in 1/2 cup increments.

 

Spoon pesto over and mix into pasta. I add a sprinkle of pine nuts and shredded parmesean. Enjoy with a side salad. Bon Appetit!

 

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