Grilled Vegetable Pizza

by Jennifer

This recipe makes 2 12-inch pizzas, which may serve anywhere from 4 – 6 people.  I made a quick cucumber salad on the side:  I sliced some cucumbers lengthwise, scooped out the sides, sliced them into pieces, then tossed them with a little extra-virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt and black pepper.

  • about 1 1/2 lbs pizza dough, divided in two, homemade or storebought
  • Garlic Oil (chop a bunch of garlic, cover it generously with olive oil, store in fridge until you need it, keeps well so make a lot!)
  • 1 large red onion, thickly sliced into rounds
  • 2 small zucchini, each sliced lengthwise into thirds
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 yellow pepper, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives, divided
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
  • handful of basil, chopped

Prepare grill;  if you plan to cook the pizzas on a stone in the oven, preheat the baking stone at 450 degrees for a good 30 minutes.

Toss zucchini and peppers with a little Garlic Oil;  brush some on the onion rounds.

Grill until tender, turning once, about 3 – 4 minutes per side, a little longer for the onions.

Transfer vegetables to a cutting board and when cool enough to handle, chop into bite-size pieces.

Making one pizza at a time, roll out pizza dough and place dough on a cornmeal-dusted pizza paddle or the reverse side of a baking sheet.

Slide dough onto the grill and grill, covered if gas, for about 3 minutes, or until the top is puffed and there are grill marks on the bottom.

Slide the crust out back onto the paddle, flip it over and brush it with Garlic Oil.

Scatter half of the vegetables over the crust, followed by half the olives

and half the cheese, then slide it back onto the grill for another 3 – 4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and there are grill marks on the bottom.  (Conversely, brush dough with Garlic Oil and put toppings on first before sliding dough onto the baking stone in the oven;  bake for 10 – 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the crust is cooked through.)

Sprinkle half the tomatoes and half the basil on top of each pizza before slicing and serving.  You can keep one pizza warm in a 200 degree oven while you bake the second one, or you could start eating the first one while the other is baking!

Advertisements

Orecchiette with Creamy Herb Ricotta Sauce, Grilled Zucchini Pepper Salad

by Jennifer

This dinner was yummy, even though the yellow plate doesn’t do it justice eye appeal-wise.  Get the salad started first as it can sit for a bit (and gets better with the sitting).  For parents of young kids, two of my three (the third is pretty selective, but he did eat some) had huge helpings of the pasta and loved it.  Serves 4 adults.

Orecchiette with Creamy Herb Ricotta Sauce

  • 1 lb orecchiette
  • 3/4 cup fresh whole milk ricotta
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs – I used about half chives, and half a mix of oregano, sage and thyme
  • 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil;  cook pasta until al dente according to package directions.  Before draining the pasta, reserve 1/2 cup cooking water.

In a large bowl combine ricotta through black pepper.

Stir in pasta and reserved cooking water, mixing well, then serve hot.

Grilled Zucchini Pepper Salad – from Gourmet magazine

  • 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 lbs zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4”-thick slices
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into four pieces each
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp packed light brown sugar
  • 2 TBS chopped basil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prepare grill for medium to medium-high cooking.  Toss zucchini and peppers with 2 TBS oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Grill vegetables 3 – 4 minutes per side, until just tender and grill marks appear.  Transfer peppers to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes.  Peel peppers and cut into 1” pieces;  slice zucchini into 1” pieces as well.

In a medium bowl whisk together remaining 2 TBS oil, vinegar, brown sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.

Add vegetables and basil, mixing well to coat, and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Pasta and Fried Zucchini Salad

by Jennifer

This recipe, adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, is delicious.  Come to think of it, I haven’t made a dish from his cookbook so far that wasn’t!  Serves 4 – 6.

  • 2/3 cup neutral oil
  • 4 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4” slices
  • 2 TBS red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup frozen edamame
  • 3 cups basil leaves, divided
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. short pasta
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 TBS capers, rinsed
  • 12 oz. fresh mozzarella, torn by hand into chunks

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat 2/3 cup neutral oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry the zucchini in batches, turning once, until lightly golden.

Transfer zucchini, as they’re cooked, to a colander to drain.

When all the zucchini have been fried and drained, toss them with the red wine vinegar in a large serving bowl and set aside.

Cook the edamame in the boiling water for 3 minutes, then use a fine-mesh sieve or slotted spoon to scoop them out.

Rinse them in cold water (rinse the capers at the same time), drain well, then add them to the zucchini in the bowl.

Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions;  drain, rinse with cool water, then add to the bowl.

While the pasta is cooking, combine half of the basil, the parsley and the olive oil in a food processor or blender and puree;  add puree to the bowl, along with the lemon zest, remaining basil (roughly chopped) and fresh mozzarella.

Toss everything together, season with salt and pepper, and enjoy.

Zucchini and Fresh Herb Fritters, Grilled Corn and Tomato Salad

by Jennifer

These fritters were outstanding, especially with a dollop of Trader Joe’s Cilantro and Chive Yogurt Dip.  Fantastic way to use up the bounty of summer zucchini!  Serves 4.

Zucchini and Fresh Herb Fritters – adapted minimally from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

  • 2 lbs zucchini, coarsely grated
  • kosher salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 bunch scallions, whites and an inch of greens, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 TBS chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
  • freshly ground black pepper, salt
  • neutral oil for frying

Combine zucchini and about a tsp or so of kosher salt in a colander set in the sink;  let sit for 30 minutes.  Rinse with water and squeeze as dry as you can.

Combine eggs through pepper and salt to taste,

then stir in the zucchini.  Lightly coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil and heat over medium heat.

Using a 1/4 cup measure to scoop up the mixture, fry the fritters until they are golden brown on the bottom (a few minutes),

then flip them over to fry the other side.  You can keep them warm on a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven until they are all cooked.

Grilled Corn and Tomato Salad

  • 6 ears of corn, shucked
  • 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing corn
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
  • freshly ground black pepper

Prepare grill.

Brush corn with olive oil and grill, turning occasionally, until the kernels are bright yellow with some charred marks and they start to smell like popcorn.  Remove corn from grill and when cool enough to handle, cut kernels off the ears into a bowl. (Hold ear vertically, standing in a bowl, and cut downwards into the bowl.)

Add remaining ingredients to corn and stir to coat.

Zucchini Stuffed with Fennel and Shrimp; No-Knead Bread with Olives and Herbs

by Jennifer

Another way to eat zucchini!  My husband commented how fancy the zucchini looked, but it actually came together pretty quickly, apart from cleaning the shrimp.  When I took out a hunk of No-Knead Bread dough from the refrigerator, I kneaded in a large handful of chopped kalamata olives and a handful of various chopped herbs.  This dinner serves 2 – 4, depending on how hungry you are and if children in your household will eat zucchini this way.

  • 2 large zucchini, sliced lengthwise, inside flesh scooped out with a spoon and chopped
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 fennel bulb, cored and finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 TBS chopped fennel fronds
  • 3/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Parmesan
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat 1/2 TBS olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add shrimp and cook just until opaque;  season with salt and pepper and transfer to a cutting board.  When cool enough to handle, roughly chop the shrimp.

Heat remaining 1 TBS oil in the skillet over medium heat;  add fennel, onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add chopped zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Take the pan off heat and stir in the shrimp, chopped fennel fronds, panko and cheese.

Arrange zucchini shells on  a baking sheet and divide filling between them.

Broil stuffed zucchini until golden and the shells are crisp-tender, about 6 – 7 minutes.

Penne with Zucchini, Walnuts and Pesto

by Jennifer

This pasta recipe comes from the Chez Panisse Vegetables cookbook;  the pesto comes from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.  The pesto freezes well;  I will make it every time I have enough basil in my deck pots, or there’s a bunch from our CSA, then freeze it for pasta or pizza later.  On the side I served some local, ripe tomatoes tossed with a dressing of 1/2 TBS balsamic vinegar, 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp dijon mustard, salt and black pepper (whisk the dressing ingredients in a bowl, then add the tomatoes and toss to coat).  Serves 4.

  • 14.5 oz – 1 lb penne, whole wheat preferred
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced into 2” long thick matchsticks
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 recipe pesto (see below)
  • 3/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts
  • freshly grated Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano

Cook penne in a large pot of boiling, salted water according to package directions;  reserve 1/2 cup cooking water before draining.

Meanwhile, heat 1 TBS olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook zucchini until tender and turning golden, about 8 – 10 minutes.  Season zucchini with salt and pepper.

Toss drained penne with pesto, cooking water, zucchini and walnuts, and serve with freshly grated cheese on top.

Pesto – adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

  • 1 – 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 TBS pine nuts
  • 3 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cups freshly grated Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano

In a food processor, finely chop the garlic and pine nuts with the salt.

Add the basil and pulse until finely chopped.

While the processor is running, pour in the oil, stopping to scrape down the sides.

Add the cheese and process just until combined.

Makes about 1 cup.  Freezes well.

Zucchini Pizza with Grape Tomatoes and Feta Cheese

by Jennifer

I’ve minimally adapted this recipe from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.   I made my own pizza dough (which is really easy to do, honest, and you can make it up to 2 -3 days in advance), but you can buy prepared dough at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and other markets.  I made the pizza on my grill, but you can also use a pizza stone in the oven (I have directions for both methods below).  We had a simple red romaine lettuce salad dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the side.  Serves 2 – 4, possibly with leftovers for lunch.

  • 1 lb pizza dough
  • 3 small – medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for tomatoes and for drizzling
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 6 large basil leaves, thinly sliced, divided
  • 3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 oz reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese
  • cornmeal for dusting pizza peel

Preheat oven, with a pizza stone inside, to 500 degrees, or prepare grill for high heat.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 TBS olive oil and cook the zucchini until it starts to become tender and a little golden, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat;  season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, garlic, 4 basil leaves, some olive oil, and pepper in a bowl.

If using a pizza stone, roll out dough on a floured surface into a rough 12” circle, and place it on the cornmeal-dusted pizza peel.  Arrange zucchini on top of the dough, then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Scatter tomato mixture on next.  Slide pizza onto preheated stone and bake for 5 minutes;  sprinkle feta cheese on the pizza and bake for another 3 minutes.  Remove pizza from oven, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with remaining basil.

If using the grill, roll out dough on a floured surface into a rough 12” circle, and place it on the cornmeal-dusted pizza peel.  Slide dough onto grill and bake for about 3 minutes, until the dough is puffed and there are grill marks.  Remove crust from grill and flip it over on the peel, grill marks up.

Arrange zucchini on top of the dough, then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Scatter tomato mixture on next, followed by feta cheese.  Slide pizza back onto the grill and cook for about 3 – 4 minutes,

until the mozzarella cheese is melted and there are grill marks on the bottom.  Remove pizza from grill, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with remaining basil.