More zucchini! While sometimes it can feel like a chore to figure out how to use an ingredient I have on hand, experimenting with zucchini recipes has been fun (and delicious)! This one for zucchini and olive flatbread was ahhh-mazing.
This is a Giada de Laurentiis recipe, and SO simple you’ll be shocked. The key is good pizza dough, fresh zucchini and quality pecorino romano. I bought my pizza dough at the farmer’s market from an Italian restaurant — SO good — but get the pre-made kind in the freezer section and you’ll be fine. I buy my good, hard cheeses at Costco — they come in big blocks but a cheese like pecorino romano or Parmigiano Reggiano will last you a long time in the fridge. It’s worth it for the quality of the cheese.
I loved the crunch of the super fresh pizza dough, freshness of the zucchini, topped with the melty mozzarella and salty pecorino romano cheese and olives. It’s also great reheated!
- I used kalamata olives instead of black olives — I think either one would be amazing, but the kalamatas added a bit more saltiness and a definite kick. I’m a big kalamata fan, so I loved it.
- For leftovers, cut the remaining flatbread into single serving slices, wrap in foil and throw in the fridge.
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
- 1 pound pizza dough
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil plus extra, for drizzling
- 1 large (8 ounce) zucchini, trimmed and cut into 1/8-inch slices
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves, divided
- 1 1/2 cups (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup (2 1/2 ounces) grated Pecorino Romano
- 1/2 cup pitted sliced black olives
Place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle. With a pastry brush, brush 1 tablespoon of the oil over the dough. Using the tines of a fork, prick the dough all over. Arrange the zucchini slices in a single layer on top of the dough. Drizzle the zucchini with oil.
Bake the dough for 18 to 20 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Remove the bread from the oven, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of oregano, the cheeses, and the olives. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes until the cheeses are melted and bubbly.
Sprinkle the flatbread with the remaining oregano, cut into wedges and serve.
Inspired by my friend Megan’s gift of a fresh zucchini from her garden (jealous!), I found this Tyler Florence recipe for Spaghetti with Summer Squash and Tomatoes and hit the farmer’s market for some more super fresh produce to round out the dish. Oh boy, was it worth it. This pasta is light and fresh, and bursting with great flavors from the veggies — and the fresher you go, the better this will taste. I even got some arugula from the farmer’s market and it was unbelievable — spicy, peppery and the perfect hit in this tasty bowl of pasta.
Roasting all the vegetables instead of sautéing really make a difference in this recipe. The roasting caramelizes the veggies and also adds more of a nutty taste to them — so much better than a turn in a frying pan, even if it does take a little longer. There are so many vegetables in here that you don’t even feel bad about eating a bowl of pasta!
- Use fresh farmer’s market veggies.
- Go super al dente on the pasta — I love when pasta has some bite to it, and it makes this even better reheated.
- Cut the tomatoes in half if they’re bigger than normal (which you may get since farmer’s market produce isn’t so uniform)
- Don’t forget the ladle of pasta liquid before you drain!
- Use lots of fresh cracked black pepper on top, and sprinkle with a little sea salt/kosher salt. Yum!
Spaghetti with Summer Squash and Tomatoes
- Kosher salt
- 1 zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 summer squash, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Handful of arugula leaves, chopped
- 3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound spaghetti
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat for the spaghetti.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine the squashes, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and oregano in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and give it all a good toss. Dump that out onto a baking sheet and roast for 10 to 12 minutes, until the squash is tender and caramelized. Scrape the vegetables into a large pasta bowl and cover with a plate to keep everything warm.
The pasta water should be boiling by now. Add the spaghetti and stir to separate the strands. Cook for 8 to 9 minutes, until al dente.
To finish, scoop out about 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain the pasta, and toss gently with the roasted vegetables. Add the pasta water if needed. Toss with the arugula and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
I had some super fresh yellow squash and a big bag of kale to cook up from this week’s farmers market haul, and I happened upon this quiche recipe in Cooking Light — jackpot!
To go alongside, I grabbed a sauteed kale recipe from FoodNetwork.com, courtesy of Anne Burrell. It was super simple, with a nice kick from some crushed red pepper flake and a dash of sherry vinegar at the end. If you haven’t tried kale before, you’ve got to taste this. It’s healthy and really tasty too. Yum!
- Buy the crust for the quiche. Why stress out rolling dough, chilling it, etc. What a hassle.
- I added some Gruyere cheese in addition to the mozzarella, which browned up on top of the quiche quite nicely and added some nice saltiness. (Confession: I made a mistake and added the cheese on top after I poured in the eggs. Oops! Don’t do that. But it was still good.)
- I added more than 3 ounces of cheese. (Sorry Cooking Light, but that’s just not enough.)
- I used skim milk instead of 2% and just used a little bit less — it turned out fine.
- Not all of the egg mixture fit in the pie crust, which resulted in a little bit of a blowout/ spillage when it was cooking in the oven. Put it on a cookie sheet, and don’t overfill the crust.
Summer Squash, Bacon and Mozzarella Quiche
- 9-inch frozen deep-dish pie crust
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups (1/8-inch-thick) slices yellow squash
- 2 cups (1/8-inch-thick) slices zucchini
- 1/4 cup chopped shallots
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk (I used 3/4 cup of skim)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 3 large egg whites
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350°.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add squash, zucchini, shallots, and thyme; saute for 5 minutes or until squash and zucchini are tender, stirring frequently. Cool the squash mixture slightly.
Combine 1 cup reduced-fat milk and the next 5 ingredients (through eggs) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Arrange squash mixture evenly over crust, and sprinkle with 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Pour the egg mixture over cheese. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until filling is set. Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack.
Sauteed Kale (by Anne Burrell)
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- Pinch crushed red pepper
- 1 bunch baby kale, stems removed, cut into 1/2-inch lengths
- 1 bunch black kale, stems removed, cut into 1/2-inch lengths
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and add the garlic cloves and crushed red pepper. Bring the pan to a medium heat and cook the garlic until it gets golden and very aromatic. Remove the garlic and discard.
Add the 2 types of kale and stir to coat with the oil. Season with salt and add the chicken stock. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Uncover and stir to be sure that the kale is cooked evenly. Let the liquid evaporate. Sprinkle with sherry vinegar. Taste to make sure that the kale is seasoned perfectly.