Well Dined


Light and Fresh – Summer Food

The last time I posted a recipe for you was over a month ago!  Oh my goodness!  You have my deepest apologies, dear readers, and to make it up to you I will post not 1, not 2, but 3 delicious summer recipes for you!

Let's start with this gorgeous zucchini tart from Closet Cooking (which is a blog that I highly recommend). Puff pastry is topped with a mixture of ricotta, feta, lemon, fresh herbs, and an egg along with thinly sliced zucchini and baked to puffy, golden perfection.  Served on its own or with a side salad, this is the perfect summer lunch.

Next up, take advantage of those juicy summer tomatoes in a slightly different take on a fresh tomato pasta with a Roasted Tomato Sauce.

Normally I make this with cherry tomatoes, but I saw these sweet little tomatoes on the vine and decided to try them out.  I quartered them so that they would roast faster, and tossed them with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Roast at 400 degrees for 10-20 minutes until the tomatoes start to caramelize a bit.  Then toss the hot tomatoes with hot pasta and a little bit of pasta water and that is it - instant sauce!  Top with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese if you like.

Next we have an easy and light dinner - Grilled Lemon Garlic Chicken served with pasta that is simply tossed with goat cheese and a basil and olive oil mixture.

For lots of flavor with little effort, whisk together a marinade of honey, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

Pour the marinade over boneless, skinless chicken breasts, season with salt and pepper, and let them sit for 30 minutes.

Then simply grill the chicken for 5-6 minutes per side.  The honey will caramelize the outside a little bit.  Top with any remaining basil oil from the pasta and enjoy!

Zucchini Tart
Adapted from Closet Cooking

1/2 cup ricotta
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup chopped herbs (such as basil, mint, oregano)
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 large zucchini, thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix the ricotta, feta, lemon, herbs, egg, salt and pepper in a bowl.
Roll the puff pastry out to a 16x10 inch rectangle and place on a parchment paper line baking sheet.
Score a line around the puff pastry 1 inch from the edge.
Spread the ricotta mixture over the center of the dough.
Arrange the zucchini slices in a single layer on top of the ricotta mixture and season with salt and pepper.
Brush the outside inch of the pastry with the oil.
Bake until the zucchini is tender and the pastry is golden brown, about 15-25 minutes.

Pasta with Goat Cheese and Basil Oil
adapted from Real Simple

1 lb gemelli or other short pasta
3 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
4 oz crumbled fresh goat cheese
kosher salt and black pepper

Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain and return it to the pot.

Meanwhile, in a blender, puree 2 cups of the basil leaves with the oil until smooth; pour through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the solids (I didn't strain it).  Slice the remaining basil into thin ribbons.

Toss the pasta with some of the basil oil (adjust to your own liking so that it is not too oily), goat cheese, the remaining 1 cup basil leaves, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.

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