Before I share our three newest summer side dishes, I want to ask you all for a little advice. As usual, my latest work travel plans have changed again (third time is the charm, right?) and I won’t be leaving on Wednesday as I thought. It looks like the trip will be pushed back 2 weeks which may work out for the better. I’ll get more Seattle summer AND it looks like a little Parisian rendezvous with Kate is in cards. It will only be for a couple days but I’ll take it. I’m looking for Paris recommendations. We’ve got 2 days together and 3 nights (she has to work one day) and I want to see Paris but not feel overwhelmed. The last time I was there I just turned 18 years old and I packed a lot into that trip. This time, the only things on my agenda are to hang with Kate, visit the Musee de Orsay (it was closed when I was there last) and check out one of the many Parisian flea markets. That’s all I’ve got. Suggestions? Great neighborhoods to stroll through? Anything off the beaten path? Must try café? I’m all ears!
So now that my plea for advice is over, let’s move on to food. Because of the traveling and events of the summer, we haven’t been having large Sunday Suppers regularly. We’re trying to bring it back and in the process have tried some new seasonal recipes. Please excuse the pictures. They are not my best.
First up, Creamed Avocado and Lime Chilled Pasta. I was looking for something easy I could make and have as a picnic dinner. We were driving up to Whistler and wasn’t sure where and when we’d be hunger for dinner and if we’d be near food. I made this dish the night before and turned it into a side by adding some leftover shredded chicken we had. This dish was great -- very refreshing and satisfying. It tastes and smells like summer. I found this recipe on norikoburky.com via Pinterest. I’m addicted to Pinterest (more on that later) and love it for recipes.
Creamed Avocado and Lime Chilled Pasta
Chilled pasta coated with a simple-tasting creamed avocado sauce.
- 1 1/2cup dry shell pasta or short pasta of your choice
- 1 ripe avocado
- handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2Tbsp lime juice
- 3Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1tsp garlic paste
- salt & pepper
- chopped cilantro and/or jalapeno for garnish
- Cook pasta according to the package instructions. Drain well, set aside to cool.
- Peel avocado and remove the pit. Put it in a food processor together with chopped cilantro, lime juice, mayonnaise and garlic paste. Blend it until it’s creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste. (Cover it with plastic wrap and keep it in a refrigerator if you have time.)
- Transfer the avocado sauce to a medium sized bowl. Add cooked pasta and toss them well. Sprinkle chopped cilantro and/or jalapeno on top.
Note: I skipped the jalapeno but added a cup or so of shredded chicken. Also, I think the next time I make this I might use les mayo and more avocado. Or just less mayo period.
Next up is another green pasta dish. I was first introduced to Garlic Scape by Serena at Big Apple Nosh. I was definitely interested in her pesto and would look for garlic scapes at my local produce stand but never saw them. Our friend Cliff asked us to join him at the Columbia City Farmer Market one Wednesday where I found someone selling garlic scapes. I bought a bunch and decided to use Serena’s recipe for pesto. It was also really good and actually very versatile. The first night we used it on pasta, a few nights later we used as the base on pizza and my sister finished up the last of the pesto as a condiment on a sandwich. Next time I make this it’s going on a sandwich with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes from my garden. Maybe I’ll even grill or press the sandwich.
Garlic Scape Pesto
- 8 garlic scapes
- 1/3 c. walnuts (or nut of your choice)
- 1 c. olive oil
- 2/3 c. parmesan cheese
- Combine scapes, nuts and parmesan cheese in food processor; processing to desired consistency
- Slowly drizzle in olive oil and continue pureeing until well blended
- Serve with cooked pasta of your choice or on hearty bread.
Note: I used pine nuts because that what we had on hand.
Lastly, I’ve got another green dish but this time it doesn’t involve pasta – just some of my “harvest.” A few weeks ago we cooked up my first harvest of patty pan squash. Using the mint from our plant (Amanda, this one is for you), we made a delicious side of herbed butter and squash. It was a perfect compliment to dinner and I would happily make it again. If you wanted to serve on pasta, I bet it would be good. The recipe is from Epicurious but I altered it a bit.
Baby Zucchini and Patty Pan Squash Sautéed in Herb Butter
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups (about 1 pound) baby zucchini, stems removed and cut in half lengthwise
- 2 cups (about 3/4 pound) small yellow patty pan squash, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup (about 16 leaves) fresh basil, torn and loosely packed
- 1/2 cup (about 32 leaves) fresh mint, loosely packed
In 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, melt butter. Add zucchini and patty pans and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to large serving dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add basil and mint, and toss to combine.
Notes: I skipped the Zucchini and used switched around the measurement for mint and basil.
All three recipes were really easy to make and took less than 15 minutes to prepare. They were all a bit hit and utilized summer vegetables and herbs. I will definitely be making them all again. What are your favorite summer recipes?