Posts Tagged ‘zucchini’

by Caitlin Saniga

I served this hearty and fresh bean salad over arugula for lunch. Delicious!

  • 1 cup frozen lima beans, blanched
  • 1 cup drained canned chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/2 small red onion, halved and thinly chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, plus small sprigs for garnish
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • Coarse salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine the lima beans, chickpeas, zucchini, onion, romaine, Parmesan, and chopped basil.In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, red-pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss to combine. Garnish with basil sprigs.

Serve immediately, or store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from: MarthaStewart.com.

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by Caitlin Saniga

I love the idea of taking a familiar summer ingredient like zucchini and basically reinventing by simply slicing it in a new way. If you like zucchini ribbons in this dish, you might like it in a throwback dish: Zucchini ribbons with Parmesan, pine nuts and basil.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 pounds medium zucchini
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
  • salt and pepper

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper

Trim the ends of the zucchini. With a vegetable peeler, shave lengthwise into long, wide strips about 1/16 inch thick. When you get to the center of the zucchini, turn it over and slice from the other side until you get to the center again.

Place the zucchini ribbons in a large bowl, add the chopped mint and olives. Toss with the vinaigrette to lightly coat.

Top with crumbled feta and pine nuts, and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Gourmande in the Kitchen

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by Sarah Steimer

I’m starting to realize the genius of deconstructing meals. It’s just a faster, easier way to get all the same flavors in place, really.

  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch coins
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch coins
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (I used plain panko crumbs and added some seasoning)
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 2/3 cup pasta sauce

Toss the zucchini and tomato slices in olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook on a grill over medium heat, flipping when grill marks appear. The

This is a prettier version of zucchini Parmesan – and probably healthier because the zucchinis were grilled instead of fried.

tomato slices may not want to stay together and will get a little sloppy, you can go ahead and take those off the grill if this happens. The important part was getting enhancing the flavor.

While the vegetables are cooking, heat olive oil in a small sauté pan. Add the breadcrumbs, stirring often until the crumbs have browned. Remove from heat and mix in the Parmesan. Set aside.

Arrange the zucchini, tomato and mozzarella slices on three plates. Distribute half of the breadcrumbs over the three plates, then top with the pasta sauce. Finish with the rest of the bread crumbs. To garnish, add a basil leaf (totally optional, of course).

Makes three servings.

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by Caitlin Saniga

We made these pizzas the first day of my visit to Aunt Kay’s in New York. We used what she had in her fridge: little bits of produce, some bacon, spices and cheese. It was a delicious combination. So forage in your fridge. This is a great recipe to use for leftovers and scraps.

  • 4 6-inch flour tortillas
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked for 2 minutes in the microwave
  • 1 red pepper, roasted, skin removed and julienned
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced into thin rings
  • 1 small zucchini, shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 3/4 cup shaved mozzarella cheese
  • cayenne pepper, to taste

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place 2 tortillas on each baking sheet. Brush the tortillas with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Use paper towels to soak any extra grease from the bacon, and cut the bacon into 1-inch lengths. Divide the bacon among the tortillas. Do the same with the red pepper strips, onion, zucchini, capers and mozzarella. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper.

Place the baking trays on separate racks in the oven. Cook about 7 minutes, then rotate the trays, checking for doneness. Cook 5-7 minutes longer, allowing the tortillas and bacon to crisp and the cheese to melt and begin to bubble. Serve immediately.

Makes 4.

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by Caitlin Saniga

Another day, another way. The star of this minestrone soup is chicken. As a base, minestrone typically consists of a soup with carrots, zucchini, beans and pasta. Some of today’s extras include olive oil and, of course, chicken.

Even with the chicken, this soup remains fairly light. This pasta is best served right away because the pasta is cooked with the rest of the soup. If you want to serve it later, cook and store the pasta separate from the soup, and add it in later.

  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 14-ounce cans chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 15-ounce can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8-10 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 ounces fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup dried radiatore pasta
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

In a large soup pot, cook the carrots, celery and onion in hot oil over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add broth, water, kidney beans, chicken, green beans and pepper. Bring to a boil; add pasta. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Stir in zucchini. Return to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes more or until pasta is tender and green beans are crisp-tender. Stir in the undrained tomatoes; heat through.

Makes 8 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Better Homes and Gardens

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by Caitlin Saniga

As a major fan of minestrone soup, I’m happy to share with you my favorite renditions of the classic. As far as I’m concernned, minestrone typically has a base of onions, carrots, zucchini, beans and pasta. Extras are just that! So in the next three days, I’ll be showing you my three favorite ways to prepare the soup. You’ll see that each has its own personality. Here’s my recipe for day one: a hearty vegetable version.

I scored some mini zucchinis at Fresh Market and snuck in lots of extra vegetables in this soup. Can you spot the onion, celery and carrot?

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 2 big cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3/4 cup frozen Italian cut green beans
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (I used the low-sodium version of this.)
  • 3/4 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) can low-sodium diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup carrots, shredded (I ran mine through the food processor.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup mini rotini pasta
  • shredded Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.

Saute the onion, celery, garlic and green beans in the oil for 5 minutes or until onions begin to turn translucent.

Add the vegetable broth to the pot, plus the zucchini, beans, tomatoes, carrots, oregano, basil, salt, pepper and hot water.

Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions and drain. Set aside.

Add the spinach leaves and parsley to the soup pot, and cook an additional 3 minutes.

Ladle the soup into bowls, adding a spoonful of noodles to each serving. Sprinkle cheese over each bowl. Serve immediately (Or reserve the pasta separately for a later serving).

Makes 6 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Spark Recipes

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Breakfast is usually not what you’re concentrating on Thanksgiving morning — but that doesn’t mean you have to skip it. We found two great recipes for you — a little savory, a little sweet — that store well so they can be made in advance. Since many of us are putting in the extra effort and making this or that from scratch for dinner, go ahead and allow yourself a shortcut for breakfast.

Spinach mini-quiches

by Caitlin Saniga

Any time I go home to Mom’s, she always welcomes me with a nice, warm breakfast. And she’s the master of eggs. She loves to improvise with eggs, adding cheese and any vegetables from the fridge. Whether it’s scrambled eggs or a frittata, she knows how to cook and season eggs to perfection — a skill I hope I’ve picked up. For Thanksgiving this year, I’d love to surprise her with some of these mini-quiches for breakfast.

Each mini-quiche is one or two bites, and I love that you don’t have to sit down with a fork and knife to eat them. Keep them in the kitchen while you’re assembling the Thanksgiving  dinner so guests (and you, duh)  can have something to snack on. They’ll disappear in no time!

  • 2 circles of chilled prepared pie crust dough (from a package)
  • 8 cups spinach (or 2 medium zucchini roughly grated)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 ounces feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus 1/2 teaspoon salt if using zucchini instead of spinach)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray the cups of 2 12-cup mini muffin pans with cooking spray, or rub cups lightly with butter.

Use a 2-inch-diameter glass to cut circles from the pie crust dough. (Try to squeeze 12 circles from each pie crust dough circle.) Place each small circle of dough in the cup of a muffin pan, and use your fingers to press the dough into the corners at the bottom of the cup. (Toward the opening of the cups, the dough might bunch a little, but that’s OK.) Place prepared muffin pans in the fridge until filling is ready.

If using zucchini for this recipe, place the grated zucchini in a colander in the sink and sprinkle it with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let sit 30 minutes. Wrap zucchini in a towel, and squeeze out liquid.

Heat butter and olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until it turns translucent and starts to brown slightly on the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook 1 minute. Add the spinach, and cook until it wilts, 1-2 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the feta, Parmesan, eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and lime juice. Add the spinach mixture, and stir to combine.

Remove the muffin pans from the fridge, and divide the egg mixture between the pastry cups. Sprinkle a little grated Parmesan over each cup.

Bake 12-15 minutes, or until egg is cooked through and the cheese on top turns golden brown.

Makes 24 mini-quiches.


Sticky rolls

by Sarah Steimer

Sticky rolls are a given on our Thanksgiving mornings. We either make them in advance or at least have the dough thawed out to make quickly in the morning. When you’re trying your hardest to make Thanksgiving dinner from scratch (or close to it), give yourself a break and use this frozen dough — OR — next time you’re making bread, make extra dough and freeze it for these rolls. Either way, cut out a step or two. It’ll pay off when your feet are up instead of hustling through the kitchen.

How good would these be with little flecks of bacon…

  • Rhodes frozen white bread — 1 roll (comes in packs of three)
  • vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted and divided in half, plus more butter for brushing
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, divided in half
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Coat the frozen roll in vegetable oil and wrap in plastic wrap (this way it won’t stick to the plastic). Refrigerate for about 12 hours or until it has thawed.

Click to enlarge for a better look at what the pan and dough should look like (whoops – product placement).

Use the end of a stick of butter to grease a 9-by-11-inch glass or metal baking dish OR a 9-inch round pan. In bowl, combine 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, water and syrup. Spread the mixture on the bottom of the baking dish and sprinkle with the nuts.

Roll out the thawed dough on a lightly greased or flour surface to make a 12-by-16-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 2 remaining tablespoons melted butter, sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of brown sugar, along with cinnamon (however much you prefer) and raisins. Try to distribute everything as evenly as possible.

Roll the dough up width-wise (as in rolling along the longer side so the roll is longer than fatter). Cut into 12 equal pieces (I fail at this each time, don’t worry. I always mean to measure). Place the rolls in your pan, so the spiral is facing you.

Let the rolls rise, covered with a towel, for 30-60 minutes, or until they have doubled in size. It’s best to pop them in the oven to rise, putting the oven on its lowest setting. When ready, bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes then flip the rolls out of the pan (upsidedown) onto a rack. Drizzle any remaining brown sugar mixture from the pan onto the rolls.

These rolls can be frozen a few days ahead of time. Just let thaw or microwave for maybe 20-30 seconds.

Makes 12 rolls.

Recipe: Martha Steimer (the recipe used to be on the back of the Rhode’s Sweet Bread bags — but those apparently don’t exist anymore)

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by Caitlin Saniga

If you can get your hands on some lavash, a Middle Eastern flatbread, use that instead of tortillas.

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh oregano, divided
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 small onion, peeled, halved lengthwise, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 10 grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper
  • 4 ounces mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 4 whole-wheat 8-inch tortillas

As always, when roasting, make sure the vegetables are spread in a single layer on the baking sheet.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon oil, and teaspoon each thyme and oregano in a small bowl; set vinaigrette aside.

Lightly coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray or olive oil.  Toss eggplant, zucchini, onion and remaining 2 teaspoons each thyme and

It doesn't hurt to warm up the chickpeas and tomatoes, too. Just put them in a glass dish and stick them in the oven for the final 5 minutes of cook time.

oregano in a large bowl. Spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Roast, tossing occasionally, until golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Transfer vegetable mixture to a large bowl. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, and salt; season with pepper. Drizzle with vinaigrette; toss to coat. Arrange mozzarella in center of the tortillas. Top each with 1 1/4 cups vegetable salad. Roll up.

Recipe adapted from: The Martha Stewart Living cookbook – The New Classics

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by Sarah Steimer

Last bite of summer - and this was a big ol' bowl of sunny.

  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dill (fresh is best, but I only had dried and all was well)
  • lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste

    Really great lunch - but not super filling, I'll admit.

Toss together the zucchini, cheese, oil, dill and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with lemon zest.

Makes four servings.

Recipe: Martha Stewart

Photo: Sarah Steimer

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by Sarah Steimer

I'm obsessed with the recipe for this galette crust - it's flakey and perfectly golden.

  • this fabulous galette crust recipe
  • one medium zucchini, sliced thin
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red or sweet onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup gouda, shredded
  • olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, whisked

Toss the zucchini, tomatoes, onion and chives with the olive oil, salt and pepper.

Roll the dough out to about a 1/4-inch thickness, then place immediately on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle a little of the cheese onto the dough to begin with, then layer the zucchini and onion, adding the tomatoes throughout. Make sure you leave about two to three inches at the edges to fold over. Sprinkle the vegetables with the cheese then fold the crust over.

Brush the crust with the whisked egg – this ensures the crust becomes golden when baked.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 30-45 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the vegetables have crisped.

Serves about four to five.

Recipe: Sarah Steimer

Photo: Sarah Steimer

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