Monthly Archives: August 2012

Zucchini, Cherry Tomatoes, and Mint

Who wouldn’t want to go from zero to 30 minutes to the dinner table in a one-pot dish? Plus heap a healthy dose of protein, fiber, essential nutrients and knock-out flavor on top? This summer meal is a perfect weekday choice that uses the freshest of the farm box.

Shrimp and Toasted Quinoa with Zucchini, Cherry Tomatoes and Mint

Serves 6

Olive oil, to coat the pan

1 shallot, minced

2 garlic cloves, sliced

3 cups medium-diced zucchini

2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 pound peeled, deveined shrimp

Salt and pepper

1 cup quinoa, rinsed

2 cups of homemade vegetable stock, homemade shrimp stock or homemade chicken stock (or substitute low-sodium prepared vegetable or chicken stock)

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1 tablespoon of fresh mint, chopped

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat through, then the shallots and garlic, stirring until slightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the zucchini, tomatoes and shrimp, then saute for about 2 minutes, until the vegetables are slightly brown and shrimp begins to curl. Season mixture with salt and pepper and remove from the pan.

Add additional olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the skillet, then add the quinoa and toast while shaking the pan until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add stock, season, stir, and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook the quinoa  until it is tender but still chewy, and a white, spiral-like germ surrounds each grain, about 10 to 15 minutes. Keep covered for another 5 minutes to steam, then fluff with a fork.

Gently stir the shrimp and vegetable mixture in with the quinoa, along with the lemon juice, zest and mint. Season with salt and pepper if desired and serve warm or at room temperature.

White Corn, Red Maui Onion, Yellow Wax Beans, Summer Squash, Navel Oranges

 Always a hit during the warm weather months, I’ll serve this Summer Succotash along with grilled chicken or fish that has been simply seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil.

Summer Succotash

Serves 6

1 tablespoon butter

1 red onion, diced

2 cups green or yellow beans, stem trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces

2 cups zucchini, sunburst squash or yellow crookneck squash, cut into a 1/2-inch dice

4 white corn cobbs

1/2 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken stock

zest and juice from one orange

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Salt and pepper

Heat over medium-high heat a large skillet and melt the butter. Add the onion and beans to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook until slightly softened and browned, about 1 minute. Add the squash and corn, and cook for another minute. Pour in the chicken stock, orange zest and juice, and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook for another 3 minutes, until liquid has reduced and vegetables are still crisp, but tender. Stir in the basil, season with salt and pepper and serve.

Broccoli

My favorite elective in high school was horticulture. I was the captain of my motley crew of agronomists, consisting of the “stoners” of my class who were hoping for an easy way to skate through their senior year. I, however, took my role seriously. Clipboard in hand, I would peruse the crops, assign tasks and take notes. Occasionally, I would encounter a sneakily planted pot seed, and “weeding” took on a whole different meaning. But we had fun, and sometimes I granted permission for a scraggly marijuana plant to grow, if only to see our teacher, Mr Kinsella, blow his top.

Most of all, I loved watching the broccoli plants grow. They would tower over the rest of the rows of vegetables, stalks sweet and tender. I loved the simplicity of their survival: plant, water, flourish. How could something so easy be so delicious? I hope that you’ll find this frittata as effortless and rewarding.

Broccoli, Sun-Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Frittata

Serves 4

2 cups of broccoli florets

8 eggs (or 4 whole eggs and 6 egg whites)

1 tablespoon butter

1 shallot, minced

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained

4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

salt and pepper

Heat broiler. Fill a small sauce pan with water and a few pinches of salt, then bring to a boil. Prepare a bowl with ice and water. Put the broccoli in the boiling water and blanch until vivid green, about 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the ice bath until chilled. Drain well.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk until whites and yolks are well combined. Season the eggs with salt and pepper. Heat a 10-inch nonstick, stovetop-to-oven (one without a plastic handle that may melt in the broiler) skillet over medium heat, and melt the butter in the pan. Add the shallots and thyme and cook them until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes and heat through, about a minute, then add eggs. Distribute the vegetable mixture evenly through the egg mix, then let eggs set, about 1 minute. Using a flexible silicone spatula, lift the edges of the set eggs, allowing the uncooked eggs to run beneath them, and cook for another minute. Sprinkle the goat cheese evenly on top of the eggs.

Place the skillet under the broiler and continue to cook eggs until they are set, fluffy, golden, and the cheese has melted, about 3 minutes. Remove the frittata from the oven, cool slightly and cut into wedges for serving.