zucchini pasta, kalamatas, sun dried tomatoes,basil and more

Here’s another summer dish that’s fitting for dinner and a great one to take to a potluck… How many of you go to potlucks? It’s a regular thing here on Orcas Island. We don’t have a lot of entertainment.I think this zucchini pasta loaded with kalamatas, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and red onion should peak the interest of the paleo and plant based eaters alike! And anyone in-between for that matter.

wendyellenthomas.comI got this handy dandy spiralizer that I’m sure I mentioned last summer. or did I?

zucchini pasta, kalamatas, sundried tomato and basilThis thing rocks. I’m watching my zucchini plants blossom and literally can’t wait to harvest the first few baby zuchs. I cherish this anticipation and basically block out what happens after about the 100th green or yellow fruit. That’s when the livestock start doing the squash dance. Here are summer squash plants-

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See those little yellow guys?

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I turned about 5 medium green and yellow fruits into ringlets.  It’s a good idea to salt your zucchini (about ½ tsp) and give it 20 minutes to sweat then strain it. Worst case you don’t, and you end up with some liquid to make dressing with. Chop up one can of drained artichoke hearts…

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and about a half a jar of sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil. Slice onions…

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And chop/slice roughly ¾ of a cup of pitted kalamata olives. I try to get artichoke hearts, tomatoes and olives by the case as it almost makes them affordable when you buy in bulk. Any one of these ingredients crank up just about anything a couple notches.

Lastly, a handful of fresh basil leaves…

wendyellenthomas.comSimply toss it all together and dress with a ⅓ cup of olive oil, half a fresh lemon and a splash of white wine vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste-

Recipe:

  • 5 medium zuchinni spiralized, cut on a mandolin or try using a julienne peeler
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 drained can artichoke hearts chopped
  • ½ packed cup of sun dried tomatoes chopped
  • ½-¾ cup kalamata olives chopped
  • ¼-½ sliced medium red onion
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • juice of ½ lemon (throw a little zest in there too if you’d like)
  • splash of white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional- 1 clove pressed garlic

This really doesn’t need a printed recipe, trust me- save the paper. Just have a go at it and plus or minus the ingredients you like. Make it your own.

Simple,fresh, healthy and full of flavor.

zucchini pasta, kalamatas, sundried tomato and basil-5And here is the farm in early June- the garlic is outrageous. I’m hoping the soil wasn’t too fertile. We’ve got some hefty stalks.

garden 6-4-15Ollie wanted potatoes this year… and potatoes he shall have. We gave up a lot of real estate for 4 ROWS! Usually I plant 2 sides of 1 row but this year decided to give them lots of room. German butterball, Yukon gold, Pontiac red, and 2 varieties of fingerlings

garden 6-4-15-6Greens are doing great, weeded and mulched…

garden 6-4-15-8But wanted to throw this in so you see all parts of the garden… kind of like me. You think you are looking at a bed of weeds and that’s partly true. But there are soon to be sweet strawberries in there. My theory was the birds won’t find the berries in all those weeds. Really this bed will be turned over this fall. It’s just too full of buttercup but due to lack of time I thought I’d try out my rationalized theory:)

garden 6-4-15-9See what’s hiding in there- don’t tell the birds

garden 6-4-15-10Here’s a couple favorite roses in the landscape. A little thorny tea rose…

garden 6-4-15-16I focus up on them to avoid looking down at the weeds that need attention… This massive wild rose is breathtaking every year.
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And the kids are growing…

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oh this sweet face…

garden 6-4-15-13Have a lovely beginning of summer

Grilled veggies, millet, greens, cocoa chili dressing

Grilled red peppers, yellow squash, zucchini and pork shoulder chops on a bed of greens and millet is topped with a dressing concocted of olive oil, grilled red pepper, cocoa powder,worcester sauce, honey and a dash of lemon. You can add as much heat as desired. This recipe is based on the one I found in the June issue of Yoga Journal (a favorite of mine) and I think it’s a great one for this holiday weekend.

summer veggies, cocoa chili dressing-6I think it would be just as lovely as it was written in Yoga Journal with grilled corn, black beans and a mesclun mix. But I opted for pork (just bought a LOT of local pork) and our garden greens which at the moment are tender young kale and spinach. I made the millet the night before and warmed it up with some broth- a little water and salt would do just fine.

summer veggies, cocoa chili dressing-3These shoulder chops are big and meaty so I only grilled two and cut them in strips to cut down on the meat portion (sorry Ollie). I used this very flavorful Mesquite smoked salt, from Saltworks in Seattle, that I love and yes do sell at Chez Chloe. It’s not online at my store yet so call if you want some and I’ll hook you up!

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I drizzled a little olive oil onto the chops and sprinkled with the El Dorado, the mesquite smoked salt, on both sides. I grilled the chops at about 400° on our gas grill. The veggies were tossed as well with a little olive oil and Saltworks fine Himalayan pink salt.
summer veggies, cocoa chili dressing I work hard at temp control and ideally go for marks without scorching. Who doesn’t right?summer veggies, cocoa chili dressing-2The dressing (check out link to Yoga Journal) is a blend of a little water,  ½ cup of skinned, just roasted red pepper, honey, worcester sauce, unsweetened cocoa powder, mild pepper and cayenne if desired… I used ½ dried chili pepper from last year’s garden. What I felt the dressing needed was a little pick me up. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice brightened it up with a dash of salt. My dried pepper was also one spicy little bitch. Enough that when I took the top off it in the afternoon and proceeded to touch my lips, they burned for a good while. It took me about a half hour to put two and two together. Like the after burn of stinging nettles.
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I piled on the greens and dressed them with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon. Topped it with seasoned millet, added the veggies and pork, topped with the chili dressing and garnished with a little cilantro that happened to be in the fridge. Avocado would be a nice addition as well.
So while I do think it is a wee bit early in this neck of the woods here in Western WA to be pulling summer vegetables from your own garden, they are pretty readily available and I think it would be a great dish for this holiday weekend. Hence, my haste in actually writing two posts in one week:)
 Have a lovely long weekend and be sure to share time and good food with great friends!

chocolate and zucchini

chocolate and zucchini muffins

Of course this sounds familiar. No, not from the hundreds of zucchini bread recipes…just from one of the original food blogs, what was it? Oh right. Chocolate & Zucchini. One that I still peer into on a regular basis, she never seems short on ideas and is currently reaching out to her audience for inspiration on the title of her new book coming out in spring 2013. Go Clotide.

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