Zucchini Corn Pasta

Summer is high and the produce is plentiful. Folks who are tired of the same old stuff made out of y our cherry tomatoes and squash should consider this dish. And it is an excellent use of corn on the cob; cooked and cut off. A certain famous lady chef whose name is Padma is credited with this recipe. I saw it on fb but they added corn and cherry tomatoes. I actually couldn’t find the recipe; link broken so I recreated it for myself. You can modify it as you like; my goddaughter tried it with roasted poblano peppers in it! Nice idea. Mine was lushly buttery and the corn was perfect. Every time I bit into a tomato it burst in my mouth into a delightful tomato treat.

Don’t skip the squash; it isn’t that squashy tasting; the other flavors are there and it is a symphony of summer produce. Good quality fresh sweet corn is critical. Use more cheese, or less, use vegan cheese! Fake butter if you must. Or Swap butter for olive oil if you want but I believe the butter to be a critical flavor ingredient.  Let me know what variations you try!

I served it with oven baked chicken thighs cooked in paprika, lemon, onion and garlic. And some great homemade focaccia and my garden steamed beans. Any summer protein will be awesome with this.

I just added the corn.
Tomatoes on board!
Fresh pasta added, I know it looks blah but trust me it was delish!

Zucchini Corn Pasta

Ingredients

4 cups shredded summer squash; I used a mixture of 50/50 zucchini and trombocini Italian long squash

2 ears of fresh corn

2 or 3 shallots; about 1/3 cup = chopped

4-6 tbsp butter

1 tbsp. EVOL

2 garlic cloves

1 1/3 cup cherry tomatoes

½ -2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

½ lb fettucine (gf for me!)

Directions:

Shred squash on large hole of grater; put in a strainer and let drain for 15-45 minutes.

Heat a big pot of water for the pasta. Steam corn in ¼ cup water in covered large frying pan for 6-7 min. Let cool; you are going to slice off the corn with a large sharp knife.

Cook your pasta one minute less than the directions on the packaging. I used some fresh pasta from Aldi’s so I only cooked it 4-5 minutes. Time it to be done about when you add the cherry tomatoes to the sauce.  Save ½ cup of the pasta water to thin the sauce.

Chop shallots, add to the big frying pan from the corn which you dumped out the water and heated with the olive oil and 2 tbsp of the butter. Cook the shallots 3-4 minutes.  Add the summer squash; I added the trombocini first as it cooks a tad longer than zucchini. Add 2 tbsp butter and 2 good sized garlic cloves. Cook 4 or 5 minutes, stirring to make sure nothing burns. While it cooks cut the corn off the cob. Add the corn, stir well, add the cherry tomatoes. Cook 2-3 minutes until they are warmed. Add the parmesan cheese. Stir well, add some hot pasta water and two more tbsp of butter (if desired) to thin it to your taste. Add salt and pepper as you wish. Eat immediately. Enjoy!

Note: I whipped this up on the fly so my cooking times are rough estimates. Next time I make it I will watch the time and update this recipe as necessary.

With oven baked chicken thighs, fresh focaccia and my garden beans.

Savory Zucchini Cheese Tart

It is hot as heck today so what I chose to do was bake. Something simple though. And I actually used a pie crust mix I got for my birthday as a gift. I measured out half the package and used it for the base of my zucchini tart. Yeap I know; folks complain about too many zukes and too little flavor. Not this gorgeous tart. It is thin slices layered over a thin lemony cream and goat cheese filling and topped with very thin sliced onions. Baked until the crust was crunchy. Really perfect crust and it is so rich and creamy plus this is super easy to make. Nothing needs to be cooked or fried – all raw; layer it on the raw crust. Bake, Slice, Enjoy. Winner winner hot night’s dinner.

You can use store zuke: I did; had none of my own yet. I did use my own red onion. I bet you could try other veggies but this combo was just so sublime. Narrow slices would make amazing appetizers or maybe cut it into small squares.  If you don’t like goat cheese just use all cream cheese. This is a variation on a Ina Garten recipe; she is a master at this sort of recipe.  Enjoy!

zuke tart, unbaked

zuke tart bakedLemony Zucchini and Cheese Tart

 

Ingredients

One pie crust; I used Bob’s GF Pie crust mix; y ou need 10 Tbsp cold butter or combo of butter and some other buttery spread, 3 Tbsp ice water and that’s it! Follow the directions. Mine needed a good chilling in the fridge before rolling out.

2 medium small zucchinis

1 medium red onion (can use regular yellow onion) sliced very thin (1/2 cup)

4 oz goat cheese plain or herbs (I used herbed) at room temp

4 oz cream cheese at room temp

Zest of half a lemon and about 1-2 Tsp juice from it

½ an egg beaten well

¼ Tsp fresh rosemary, minced finely

½ Tsp. fresh thyme leaves, off stem

EVOL; about 1-2 Tbsp.

Fresh ground black pepper

Directions: Made the pie crust, let chill while you do the veggies.  Slice the zucchini about 1/8 thick; less than ¼ inch thick.  I used a sharp paring knife. I know, the mandolin slicer; I do have one but sometimes it is just seems like too much work to get it out and set it up. I didn’t want the slices super thin anyway. Plus I enjoy knife work. Suit yourself.  Slice the peeled onion across in very thin circles. Put zuke slices in a colander and sprinkle with sea salt; ½-1 Tsp.; try to get it on both sides. Let stand 30-40 minutes. Then wipe with a few paper towels or a lint free tea towel to get off most of the moisture.  In a small bowl mix the two cheeses until smooth; add egg, lemon zest, lemon juice, herbs. Blend well.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out pie crust into 11 inch circle; put on heavy pizza pan. Top with cheese mix; spread to ½ inch of the edge of your crust. Top with the thin slices of dried off zuke overlapping a bit in concentric circles. To fill the entire area with the cheese spread. Then sprinkle on top the red onion, which you have separated into rings. Top with a good drizzle of decent EVOL and a few grinds of fresh pepper.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. Until crust is well browned. If it is getting too brown turn oven down to 375; I did. Monitor closely; no burnt top please! Let cool before cutting. Enjoy.  zuke tart slice

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

There are still some zucchini growing in my garden.  I am a huge lover of dark chocolate. So… I want to share this muffin/cupcake recipe for anyone who wants to use up a zucchini and loves dark chocolate.  You really can’t tell there is zuke in there. I could taste a faint banana flavor (knowing that I put one in there) but the really strong flavor is dark chocolate. To my mind they taste like a tender crumbed deep chocolate cupcakes.  Yumm!

Easy recipe as long as you have a blender. Never baked using just a blender as my mixing device. Did you notice there is no flour in this recipe?  The magic ingredient in my eyes is the almond butter.  And probably that banana!  FYI: I found this recipe somewhere on the net, can’t find it now that I deleted it.  But I had made it once and had written down the recipe so here it is for you to whip up…as long as you got a blender….

 

Flourless Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Ingredients

½ cup almond butter

1 ripe med banana

1 large egg

¼ cup honey

¼ cup cocoa

2 tbsp. chia seeds

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. sea salt

1 cup shredded zucchini

Scant 1 cup dark chocolate chips plus extra for topping.

Put first 9 ingredients in blender, blend fully; put in mixing bowl; add zucchini and chocolate chips.  Blend well.

Put into muffin cups;  first set 12 liners, add 1-2 more choco chips on top after the batter is in the cups.

Bake 375 degree oven for 20 minutes

Cool in pan; best after aging: suggested you have willpower to hold out until 24 hours have passed….good luck with that!

Mahi Mahi With Tangy Veggies Over Rice

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I like to combine healthy proteins like fish with lots of great veggies and create awesome flavors to make quick meals yet, food with complex flavor combinations and naturally gluten free.  Case in point;  a frozen fillet of mahi mahi.  I keep a couple individually wrapped fillets in my freezer to form the basis of a quick meal; it has a firm meaty texture and will work well with a number of ingredients. Finding it somewhat bland I like to spark the flavor with a couple great additions to create a delicious meal, olives and capers to name those chosen today.

This is somewhat of a vague recipe, you can use more or less of the ingredients depending on your pantry and your palate.  I used salad olives that have pimento in them, even more flavor!

green olives capersraw cod fish

Mahi Mahi with Veggies   for one; can easily double

Ingredients:

1 4-6 ounce fillet of mahi mahi

1-2 tbsp. mild olive oil

½ a small onion, chopped

1 small celery stalk sliced fairly thinly in rounds

½ cup sliced fresh zucchini, half moons

1 cup chopped swiss chard

8-14 green olives roughly chopped

1 tbsp. capers

2-3 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1-2 tbps. Vermouth or dry white wine

1 tbsp. butter

Directions:

Heat a tbsp. of the olive oil in a medium sauté pan.  Add the fish and cook 3 minutes lip it and cook 3-4 more minutes. You want a nice lightly browned fillet but not overcooked.  Remove from the pan and set aside, covered so it doesn’t get cold.

Add the rest of the oil, heat, add the onions, stir, add the celery and cook, stirring frequently until they begin to soften, 3-4 minutes.  Add the zucchini and the swiss chard.  Stir and cook 5-6 more minutes.  Add up to 2 tbsp. water if the pan seems dry.  The water creates steam and helps to cook the veggies.  Don’t over do it or you will have a soggy mess.

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After 4 of the 5-6 minutes add the chopped olives and the capers.  When the veggies looks about done, return the fish to the pan and pour the fresh lemon juice and Vermouth over the fish and the veggies. Stir another few seconds.  Add a tbsp. of butter and, while it melts, season with a few grinds of fresh pepper.  The butter, lemon juice and wine form a delicate sauce that clings to all the veggies.

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Taste before adding any salt as the capers and olives provide a fair amount of salinity and it is impossible to remove salt once you sprinkle it on.  Serve over hot steamed rice.  I love it over long grain brown rice or long grain white rice.  It is a complete meal without any additions.  Creating it should only take 15 minutes if you already have some cooked rice available.  White rice can be made in less than 20 minutes. Enjoy this healthy yet very flavorful meal some evening soon!