More food! I haven’t posted this many recipes in ages. But like I said last week, I have been cooking a lot because we have had a plethora of summer veggies at our fingertips. This dish was an easy, impulsive way to use some fresh Hopkins Farms cherry tomatoes, homegrown basil, and fresh gulf shrimp from our local Dixie Dandy. It was light and full of flavor and a real winner in my book because it took approximately 15 minutes from start to finish.
Since it was something I just threw together, I hadn’t planned on taking any pictures, so all I’ve got are pictures of the finished product. Rest easy though – I promise, it’s a piece of cake. Just please excuse my imprecise measurements, and take that as creative license to alter them however you’d like.
Summer Shrimp Pasta Recipe serves 4
– half a box angel hair pasta
– 1 pint fresh cherry tomatoes
– 1/2 cup olive oil
– 1 pound fresh gulf shrimp, peeled
– 1 glass dry white wine – maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup? (plus another for you to drink)
– 1 small jar capers and their juice
– salt and pepper, to taste
– 1 large bunch fresh basil
Heat a large cast iron skillet to medium heat and put cherry tomatoes in (without any oil). Allow them to cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to char a bit and burst. In the meantime, cook pasta according to package directions.
At that point, turn the skillet down a bit and add the oil, white wine, and shrimp. This part may get dicey. Stir often and allow shrimp to cook through. Add the cooked and drained noodles to the skillet, along with the entire jar of capers and their juice. Toss and transfer to a serving bowl. Toss with salt and pepper and fresh basil and serve immediately.
The entire process should take no more than 15 minutes from start to finish, making it the perfect meal, in my opinion. You could add some spinach or something to make it even more complete, but this is just a perfect summer dish to me. And a lesson in why you should always keep a jar of capers in the fridge.
Thanks to the recent influx of summer vegetables from our favorite farmers at Mountain Shadow Farm and Hopkins Farms, I’ve done a lot of cooking lately! Making up for lost time I suppose. Our (weight) gain is your gain! But it doesn’t count when you’re cooking with summer fruits and veggies… right?
This veggie lasagna is full of creamy white sauce, but don’t let that fool you. It’s perfectly healthy while still being indulgent. This is one dish that actually might not increase your waistline!
Start with farm-fresh vegetables, like these beautiful little patty pan heirloom squashes from Mack at Mountain Shadow Farm. They make up the backbone of this hearty dish. You can sub crookneck squash and/or zucchini for them if you can’t get your hands on any patty pan squash.
You’ll roast most of the veggies, and this will require multiple pans and lots of things going on at once in your kitchen, but stay calm. Just cover every baking sheet you own in aluminum foil to make it less overwhelming, because that cuts your cleanup time way down. Just breathe, read the directions a couple of times, and relax. And don’t forget to watch your roux!
Healthy Summer Vegetable Lasagna Recipe serves six to eight
Barely adapted via myrecipes.com
– 10 very small sweet onions (or 3 large shallots), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
– 2 to 3 pounds baby pattypan squash (may sub crookneck or zucchini squash)
– 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
– 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
– 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
– 4 very ripe large tomatoes (or two pints cherry tomatoes)
– 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
– 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
– 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
Sauce – 3 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth – 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
– 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
– 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
– 1 large egg, lightly beaten
– Cooking spray
– 9 cooked lasagna noodles
– 8 ounces ricotta cheese
– 3 ounces shredded Italian Blend Cheese (or fontina if you can find it) (about 3/4 cup, packed)
– 2 tablespoons torn fresh basil
Preheat oven to 450°. Combine onions and squash; drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; toss. Arrange vegetables in pan; roast at 450° for 30 minutes, stirring once. Don’t allow them to burn, but you do want them to have some color. Preheat broiler to high. Place tomatoes in a roasting pan; broil 10 minutes or until blistered. Combine squash mixture, tomatoes, 1/4 cup basil, chives, and garlic; toss gently. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
To prepare sauce, heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil; swirl. Combine broth and flour, stirring with a whisk; add broth mixture to oil. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly with a whisk. I like a flat whisk – they are perfect for making roux. Stir in cream, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; simmer gently 4 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Place egg in a small bowl; slowly add 1 1/2 cups sauce to egg, stirring constantly. Return sauce to pan.
To build the lasagna, spread 1/2 cup sauce over the bottom of a broiler-safe 13 x 9inch ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles over sauce; spread half of squash mixture over noodles. Sprinkle with half of the shredded cheese and dot with ricotta. Repeat the layers with remaining noodles, vegetable mixture, and cheese, ending with noodles. Pour remaining sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes or until bubbly. Turn broiler to high. Broil lasagna for 4 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons fresh basil. Let stand for 12 minutes. Slice and enjoy!
This is such a pretty lasagna… before you cut it. Is there really any way to make a slice of lasagna look pretty?? If there is, I haven’t found it yet.
Feel free to roast and add any hearty, meaty veggies you have and add them in. It’s so good and satisfying, creamy and rich without any of the guilt. And a bit lighter than your average lasagna, so it’s perfect for summer gatherings around the table.
I hope everyone had a safe and happy Fourth full of fireworks, friends, and family. Now that we are officially in the full swing of summer, summer veggies are on my mind. And in my refrigerator. And slowly but surely filling up my freezer and all my mason jars. One thing that’s helped is the generosity and abundance of farmer friends. So today, I’d like to spread the word about another local CSA that you still have a chance to get in on this summer. Enter Hopkins Farms.
The Hopkins’ family has farmed their land in Reno, Georgia for over 100 years. As it happens, the youngest generation’s grandmother’s family land and grandfather’s family land were contiguous tracts, so when they married, it formed one big farm for them to inherit. Hence, what once was two farms became one, creating Hopkins Farms – plural.
And yes: there is a Reno in Georgia. The good doctor (my dad) always says you can go all over the world and never leave Georgia.
David, the youngest Hopkins and our good friend, has recently joined this long line of farmers and has started a Hopkins Farms farm-share program. You can sign up a week at a time for this first summer season, for either a half-bushel or a whole bushel box, $30 and $50, respectively.
A bushel box is shown above, and includes:
– yellow crookneck squash
– bell peppers
– pink eye field peas
– yellow onions
– butternut squash
– green beans
Currently, David delivers farm-share boxes to Thomasville on Thursdays. However, if he has 4 or 5 subscriptions in Bainbridge, Cairo, or any other nearby town, he will deliver there, as well.
He only expects to get two or three more weeks of veggies before the season ends, so if you’d like to get in on it, act quickly!
It’s a great way to stock your pantry and freezer before the summer dead season or the winter. Or, you can just enjoy a gluttonous farm to table vegetable feast before it’s all gone. In this one box, after I had cleaned and snapped the beans into thirds, I had two gallons of green beans. Two gallons!
There’s not a more beautiful sight than a bag of already shelled and cleaned pink eye field peas.
I’ve said it before and I’ll preach it again: purchasing your vegetables from a local farmer not only means healthier, fresher food for you and your family. It also means (usually) more money in your pocket and money in your neighbor’s pocket. It supports your local economy and establishes a direct connection between you and your food. It’s a good feeling to shake the hand of the person who grows the food on your plate. And it tastes a whole lot better, too.
If you want to get in on this locally grown goodness before the summer’s end, email David at email@example.com to sign up.