This week has been full of goodbyes. My garden vegetables and herbs spring up with their last hopeful reach for the sun before returning to the earth until next spring. Autumn is right around the corner, so the time has come to bid farewell to long, warm summer nights and hot, sunny days on the lake. And my least favorite goodbye, a good friend Kelly is moving out of state. Portland gets all the cool kids!
Like tend I to do, out of necessity in the process or simply as an excuse to cook and eat, I invite Kelly over for one last meal to share before she hits the road. This is also the exact meal at which summer fades into fall within my kitchen. Huge zucchinis and tomatoes plucked from the vines will be replaced by Crockpot whole chickens and bone broth simmering on the stove. For tonight though, we basque in summer, and fresh zucchini with sundried tomatoes and fresh basil pesto is about as much summer flavor as a plate can handle.
2 large, fresh zucchinis
1 cup walnuts
2 cups fresh basil
½ cup high quality olive oil
2-4 cloves garlic
1 Tbls. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. salt
Dash of pepper
¼ cup sundried tomatoes (jarred in oil if store-bought)
Grate the zucchinis on a box grater, through the food processor or if you’re super fancy a with a zoodler!
Combine all other ingredients besides sun-dried tomatoes in food processor and blend until incorporated, but slightly chunky. Mix in tomatoes by hand.
Serve like a cold pasta dish… Place zucchini in a bowl and top with pesto. Viola! Injoy!
And farewell, Kelly Dear! So many well wishes, new meal memories and southward visits coming your way!
This time of year, my garden begins bursting with fresh, delicious greens and I know it’s time to start putting together my favorite summer snack… Collard wraps! This recipe utilizes lots of fresh veggies and is super simple to put together. Since myself, and many of the people I know practice a mostly gluten or grain-free diet, these wraps are a crowd pleaser no matter what the occasion. I make them for picnics and potlucks, for lunch at least twice a week and as a delicious and nutritious meal on the trail. They are best when eaten the same day, but can be kept in the fridge for a few days if need be. Injoy!
Cucumber (sliced in quarters length-wise, then in half)
**Other filling options you would include in a sandwich**
~Roaster turkey, cheese, salami, tomatoes, pickles, etc.
Bring large pot of water to a boil and blanch each leaf for 30-60 seconds until just softened. Gently remove with tongs and set on a plate to cool.
To assemble the wrap, place a collard leaf onto a large plate or cutting board. Place a spoonful or two of pate on one end, and add other filling options on top of the pate. Fold the sides over and roll tightly like a burrito.
I recently needed a quick, fresh side dish idea for a potluck picnic. This time of year, delicious green beans are in season and offer the perfect spring flavor to any meal. This recipe is a breeze to prepare and with the balance of nutrients in the fresh vegetables and the awesome healthy fats found in walnuts, it is a wonderful complement to a community gathering.
This dish can be made ahead of time, but I suggest leaving the walnuts out until serving to maintain crispness. Injoy!
1 ½ pounds fresh green beans, ends trimmed
1 cup walnuts
2-4 Tbls fresh snipped chives
2 Tbls extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbls freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ tsp lemon zest
½ tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Bring a medium sized pot of water to boil. Add green beans and blanch for about 4-5 minutes until tender but still crisp.
Drain using a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Place into a large bowl.
Place the walnuts into an 8 x 8-inch baking dish and roast for about 10 minutes. Watch carefully as they burn easily.
Place on a plate to cool, then chop and add to green beans.
Wisk the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and add to the green beans and walnuts. Injoy!!