As I shared a few posts ago, we joined a home delivery farm share this year for spring, summer and fall. I’ve been loving the way it challenges me to try vegetables outside my comfort zone and to find creative recipes. I’m here to share my absolute favorite recipes of the summer – each paired around an iconic summer vegetable. None of these recipes are my own, I link to and credit each creator appropriately – I liked these enough that I wanted to share, I hope you visit their respective websites and social channels, too!
Roasted Eggplant Pasta by A Simple Palate. I love eggplant, but my husband isn’t the biggest fan of them texture-wise. This pasta sauce was an excellent way to hide their chewiness in a sauce medley of all the odds and ends of homemade tomato sauce and frozen sauces I had in the back of the freezer. I diced the eggplant fairly small and roasted to the point that they were golden brown. We served our eggplant sauce over rigatoni.
Herbed Tomato Heirloom Tomato Pizza by Half-Baked Harvest. Tomato season is such a fleeting pleasure – a few short weeks where we are inundated with exceptional tomatoes and it can be stressful / acid-reflux-inducing wanting to enjoy as many as possible in that window of a few weeks. This heirloom tomato pizza is perfect for tomatoes of varying colors (I used a brandywine and a yellow tomato for color pop) and garnished with a healthy amount of fresh basil. You could make your own pizza crust or buy a storebought one to make this recipe a quick weeknight meal.
Spaghetti Carbonara with Zoodles – Adapted from Spend with Pennies. I already highlighted this recipe on another blog post, but honestly, this should just reiterate how delicious I think this recipe is. This meal was born of leftovers in the fridge, if I’m being completely honest. We had leftover prosciutto and a number of zucchini that I had yet to use. I typically don’t like zucchini noodles with red sauce as I feel that the difficulties in adequately drying spiralized squash leads to a watered down tomato sauce. No thanks. I decided to attempt a creamier sauce that would stick to the spiralized vegetables instead. I adapted this recipe linked above (simple and oh so rich and creamy) to use zucchini noodles. It not only used up the vegetable surplus in the fridge, it was absolutely delicious.
Chickpea Corn Salad by Live Eat Learn. This quick and easy cold salad combines summer fresh veggies like corn and peppers with protein-rich chickpeas (my favorite, if you’ve been following the blog for a while) with a cool yogurt dressing. On a hot summer day, this recipe absolutely hit the spot. You can eat this by itself, as an entree or as a side dish at a barbecue. I opted to serve it over baby spinach to make it just a little bit healthier.
Black Bean Quesadillas with Garlicky Shishito Peppers by Naturally Ella. I’d only had shishito peppers once prior to this summer (they’re not regularly in stock at my go-to grocery store). Luckily for me, I had more opportunities to cook with them as they’ve made a regular appearance in our farm share menu. I’ve learned that these sweet heat peppers pair really well with lime and black beans. I’ve tried a few other recipes that feature a lime chicken marinade with shishito peppers and black bean tostadas with lime marinated shishito peppers. Anyway, back to this recipe. You can’t go wrong with quesadillas, and I like making mini quesadillas on small corn tortillas. These were a bit difficult to flip successfully, but that’s a problem that can be easily remedied with more cheese. We served ours with Greek yogurt, salsa and avocado.
Pasta alla Gricia with Slivered Sugar Snap Peas by Sunset Magazine. My mom always made this recipe when I was growing up that she called Pleasant Pasta. It was basically spaghetti with diced ham, frozen peas and an alfredo-like cream sauce. It was a total comfort food in our house and a meal we all loved as children. Sugar snap peas are a delight in that they offer the perfect crunch as a raw snack, but after three straight weeks of munching on them raw, I was looking for a recipe to use them in. My find of the summer in 2020 has been simple, vegetable-forward pasta recipes that come together quickly on a weeknight. I found this recipe, threw it together and served it for dinner. After two bites I realized: “oh, this is a fancier version of Pleasant Pasta… no wonder it tastes familiar!”. It was a delicious way to enjoy snap peas, but I had to email my mom and let her know that we had one of her classic recipes for dinner, in a just slightly different form.