My perfect Saturday begins with a trip to the Charlottesville City Market in Charlottesville, Virginia, and ends with a fabulous dinner party with friends and fresh produce. This dish is my go-to for casual entertaining. The rolls can be made ahead of time and are endlessly versatile. By using whatever produce you find at your local market, these little treats will be in season all summer long.
Stuffed Vegetable Rolls
- 1 large eggplant
- 2 medium zucchini
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- Juice and zest of ½ lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- Roasted red peppers, sliced
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Slice woody stems off eggplant and zucchini. Then cut lengthwise into long, thin sheets about ¼-inch thick. (This is a perfect time to use a mandolin but a sharp knife also works well.)
- Brush eggplant and zucchini slices with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place slices in single layer on baking sheets. Bake for 15-20 minutes until vegetables are tender but not crisp.
- In a small bowl, combine goat cheese, lemon, basil, and parsley.
- Allow vegetables to cool. Place 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture at the smallest end of each slice, and top with one small slice of roasted red pepper, and roll slice. Serve at room temperature or cold.
As farmers’ markets gear up and home gardens start sprouting, it’s time to think “fresh” in the kitchen. Find one near you at localharvest.org and enjoy these healthy recipes.
California Asparagus Sandwich with Roasted Red Pepper, Mozzarella, Pancetta, and Lemon Aiola
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 squares (5-by-5-inch) foccacia bread
- 1 1/2 cups baby arugula leaves or baby lettuces (lightly packed)
- 1 cup roasted red pepper, well drained and julienned
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 1/4-inch thick 16 asparagus spears, cooked fork-tender
- 4 slices pancetta (1/8-inch thick), cooked almost crisp, break into 2-inch pieces or 8 slices bacon
All ingredients should be at room temperature before proceeding. To make Lemon Aioli, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, and salt; whisk in mayonnaise and oil. Spread smooth side of each focaccia square with ½ tablespoon aioli. Divide remaining ingredients among 4 squares focaccia, layered in the order listed. Top with remaining focaccia squares. Cut each sandwich in half into 2 triangles. Sandwiches can be served at room temperature or warmed for a few minutes in the oven at 450° F. Sandwiches should not be hot.
Fresh Pea Soup
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 shallots or three small leeks (white only), finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups fresh peas (or thawed frozen peas)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon mint, minced
- Plain yogurt or sour cream
Heat oil in large saucepan. Add shallots and garlic and sweat until translucent. Stir in peas, broth, and salt and pepper. Simmer about 5 minutes. Place half of the soup at a time in blender, cover and process until pureed. Return pureed peas to saucepan, stir in yogurt or sour cream and mint.
New Potato Salad
- 2/3 pound new potatoes
- 2/3 cup broccoli florets
- 2/3 cup cauliflower
- 1 small carrot, peeled
- 1/2 small cucumber
- 1/4 cup radishes, sliced
- 5 tablespoons red onion
- 5 tablespoons green onions
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt
- 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/3 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Steam potatoes until tender; drain and set aside. Steam broccoli and cauliflower, about 3 to 4 minutes until tender. Cut carrots into thin slivers and slice cucumber. Slice potatoes into chunks or slices according to preference. Combine all vegetables in large bowl. In another bowl, combine yogurt, mustard, and black pepper. Whisk until blended. Pour over vegetables and gently toss until all vegetables are coated. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.
Souffle Omelet with Balsamic Strawberries
- 1 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) fresh
- strawberries, stemmed and quartered
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons butter
Confectioners’ sugar, as needed In bowl, combine strawberries, mint, vinegar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of granulated sugar; set aside. In small bowl, whisk egg yolks with vanilla and remaining 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar for 1 minute or until slightly thickened.
In another bowl, beat egg whites with electric mixer until they form soft peaks. With rubber spatula, fold yolks into whites until no streaks remain. In 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt butter. (To make 2 individual omelets, use 6-inch nonstick skillet.) When butter is sizzling, add egg mixture, spreading it into an even layer with spatula. Cover pan; reduce heat to low. Cook omelet 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown on bottom and barely set on top. Spoon strawberries down center of omelet; with spatula, fold omelet in half over filling. Slide omelet onto plate; dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Vegetables and fruits are at their peak of freshness and nutrition at the time of picking. They gradually lose nutritional value (particularly the fragile, water-soluble vitamins B and C) the longer they linger uneaten in the refrigerator. For the best nutrient value, harvest from your garden only the amount you need for that day or the next day. When buying from a farmers’ market, make sure to ask whether the produce is locally grown. Frozen vegetables packaged at their peak of freshness may retain more nutrient value than fresh ones shipped from out of state.