Summer Couscous Salad with Grilled Squash and Feta

Couscous Salad with Grilled Squash and Feta.

Couscous Salad with Grilled Squash and Feta.

Sometimes I spend so much time doing something (like manicuring my own nails), that by the time it’s complete, I’m entirely disenchanted with the finished product.

The same goes for some recipes.  The longer I spend peeling, slicing, dicing, stirring, cooking and cooling, the less I want to eat it in the end.  Sad story, right?

Laundry is another example.  Gathering, washing, drying, folding, ironing (really?, who irons?)  and putting away….AAHHHH.  Laundry is boring, not fun, not delicious!

Oh, but this salad though….in and out.  No  exorbitant amount of time spent slicing and dicing.  Just enough to get some veggies ready for the grill.  Just enough time to boil water for couscous.  Just enough time to put it all together with some tangy feta cheese and create a pretty salad.  Let’s carry the bowl over to the table, pull out a chair, sit down and enjoy our efforts.  This salad  is the perfect balance of  veggies, health and kitchen time.

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I hope the start of your week is feeling great!

Let’s put some healthy salad in the mix!

 

SUMMER COUSCOUS SALAD WITH GRILLED SQUASH AND FETA

Yield:  6 – 8 servingsIMG_7908

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini squash
  • 2 medium yellow summer squash
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (optional)
  • 2 cups pearl couscous, cooked according to package directions
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves, garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped or 1 tbsp. dried
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese  (or substitute goat cheese, crumbled )

Instructions:

1.  Preheat grill.

2  Slice both kinds of squash lengthwise.  Baste with olive oil and garlic.

3.  Grill until tender, about 6 – 8 minutes per side.

4.  Remove squash from grill and cut into bite-sized pieces.

5.  In a large bowl, mix cooked couscous with squash and remaining ingredients.  Garnish with feta.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

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SOURCE:   Eating Well

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Lemony Ricotta Galette with Summer Squash

Lemony Ricotta Galette with Summer Squash

Lemony Ricotta Galette with Summer Squash

I know that being swamped with zucchini is a continuing problem for some of you with gardens, so I’m here to help with that.  Even if you don’t have a garden (like me), you may be looking for some different ways to use zucchini or yellow summer squash.

Summer squashes are about as versatile a vegetable as they come.  Delicious in so many ways–grilled, sautéed, baked or paired with other vegetables, you name it, they’re great.  They can become the main entree in a meatless meal, a savory side dish, or baked into a dessert.  Today I am making a galette that can be the centerpiece of your meal, or served as a side dish, or appetizer.

A side salad is all that's needed for this meal.

A side salad is all that’s needed for this meal.

Galettes are known for their flaky flat crust and irresistible fillings, and this zucchini/summer squash-stuffed pastry is no exception.  The tender veggies are paired with three kinds of cheeses, lemon, and a drizzle of olive oil, then baked until brown and crisp.

Here’s a tip that will make the squash less moist and save your crust from becoming soggy:  Salt the squash well and allow to drain in a colander for about 15 minutes.  Pat dry with a paper towel before putting them into the pastry.

LEMONY RICOTTA SUMMER SQUASH GALETTE

Yield:   Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:IMG_7875

  • 2 medium zucchini and/or yellow squash, thinly sliced (2  1/2 cups)
  • salt
  • 1/2  (15-oz.) package rolled refrigerated piecrust (A time saver,  but make your own if you must.)
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1.4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 egg yolk  ( or small amount egg beater/egg substitute)
  • Italian seasoning blend or dill weed for garnish

Directions:

1.  Sprinkle sliced zucchini lightly with salt.  Transfer to a colander; drain for 15 minutes.  Pat dry with paper towels.  Preheat oven to 400*F.

Pat squash dry before using.

Pat squash dry before using.

2.  Meanwhile, on a large piece of lightly floured parchment paper, roll pie dough to a 12-inch circle.  Transfer parchment and dough to a large baking sheet and set aside.

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3.  Make ricotta filling:  In a medium bowl whisk together ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, garlic, 1 tsp. olive oil, lemon peel, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  Using a spatula, spread over dough, leaving a 1  1/2-inch border at edge.

Spread ricotta filling on dough leaving a border.

Spread ricotta filling on dough leaving a border.

Top with squash slices.  Drizzle with remaining olive oil.  Sprinkle seasoning blend over squash.

Top with squash slices and seasonings.

Top with squash slices and seasonings.

Gently fold up pastry edges over filling, pleating as necessary.

Fold up edges, and brush with egg mixture.

Fold up edges, and brush with egg mixture.

4.  In a small bowl, whisk egg yolk and 1 tsp. water.  (Or use egg substitute)  Lightly brush pastry edges with egg mixture.  Transfer galette to oven.  Bake 35 – 40 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  If using dill weed as a seasoning, some dill fronds make a colorful garnish.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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So delicious!

So delicious!

 

 

 

SOURCE:   Better Homes and Gardens

 

 

Zucchini Frittata

Zucchini Frittata

Zucchini Frittata

Garden fresh zucchini are abundant and delicious right now—everyone’s gardens are overflowing with them.  Pair zucchini with eggs and Asiago cheese, and make a scrumptious frittata that highlights this vegetable’s subtle flavor.

This wonderful recipe lends itself to many variations.  Originally intended for using zucchini, I like to mix yellow squash with the zucchini, to make it more colorful, and nutritious.  Also if you’re counting calories, fat grams or cholesterol,  you can still get the same great results by using an egg substitute .    In place of the Asiago cheese, substitute grated Parmesan for a slightly different flavor.  You can also place a layer of fresh garden tomatoes on top, and this too provides some added color and nutrition.  So mix it up any way you please with what you have on hand, and it will still be successful and delicious.

I love to make frittatas because you can eat them for any meal, and they are so inexpensive to make.  It you have leftovers, they can be tomorrow’s  breakfast or lunch.  Perfect also for meatless meals, gluten free, and low carb diets.

Recipe:  ZUCCHINI FRITTATA

Yield:   4 – 5  servings

Ingredients;

My version uses a mix of yellow and zucchini squash.

My version uses a mix of yellow and zucchini squash.

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1  1/2 cups grated zucchini, or combination of zucchini and yellow squash
  • 1/2 tsp. salt,  pepper to taste
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 400*F.

2.   Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat.  Stir in onion an cook until slightly golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add zucchini, increase heat to medium-high, season with salt and pepper and cook 2 to 3  minutes or until mixture dries up, stirring frequently.

Saute the vegetables and onion in a little olive oil.

Saute the vegetables and onion in a little olive oil.

3.  In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, egg whites, Asiago, salt and pepper.

4.  Pour the eggs into the skillet, making sure they cover all the vegetables.  (If using tomatoes arrange them on top and season with salt and pepper.)   When the edges begin to set (about 2 minutes) transfer skillet to the oven.  Bake for about 16 to 18 minutes, until frittata is completely cooked.

Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables in the skillet or a casserole.

Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables in the skillet or a casserole.

5.  Remove from the oven and serve hot with tomato wedges or a salad on the side.

Golden with all the melted cheese.

Golden with all the melted cheese.

I made a double recipe here, and baked it in a pyrex casserole, layering in the vegetables first and then pouring the egg mixture over the top.  It looks different because it is not in a skillet.

Cuts nicely and holds its shape.

Cuts nicely and holds its shape.

SOURCE:     Vegetarian Pleasures,  by Jeanne Lemlin

Summer Squash, Bacon and Mozzarella Quiche

At this time of year I try to take advantage of summer’s bounty of fresh vegetables as much as I can.  Summer squash and zucchini are two vegetables that seem to grow in great abundance for anyone who gardens.  Several of my friends tend small garden plots and are generous in sharing ” the wealth” with me.

The recipe for this quiche was in Cooking Light Magazine last July and I made it several times last summer and already this summer I’ve made it again because we like it so much.  Except for the inclusion of some bacon it is almost meatless, so if you choose to omit the bacon the quiche will still be very good.  It’s also a good way to get children to eat some vegetables by surrounding them with eggs and cheese and calling the dish “pie”.

When I make this I usually serve it with just a green salad along side for a light summertime supper.  It is also a very good dish to serve for a brunch.

SUMMER SQUASH, BACON AND MOZZARELLA QUICHE

SERVINGS:  8

Crust:  You may choose to make your favorite pie crust recipe,  use a refrigerated pie crust such as Pillsbury, or a frozen premade crust from the frozen foods isle of the grocery store.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees  Pierce the crust bottom and sides with a fork.  Bake at 400 for 15 minutes.  Watch carefully to prevent bubbles from forming, by pricking with a fork.  Cool slightly.

Filling:  

  • 4 slices smoked bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled.   Save about 2 Tablespoons of drippings in the pan.
  • 2 cups zucchini, sliced about 1/8 inch thick
  • 2 cups yellow squash, sliced about 1/8 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion or shallots
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme,  or about 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk  ( I used skim milk, and it was fine.)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup egg beater product, or one more egg
  • 3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella

To prepare filling:  Saute the two squashes and the chopped onion in the bacon drippings, sprinkling with the thyme.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until squash becomes tender.

Combine the milk, salt, pepper and eggs in a large measuring cup, stirring with a whisk.  Arrange the squash mixture evenly in the pie crust, sprinkle with the bacon and mozzarella cheese.  Pour egg mixture over all.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until filling is set.

When you write a food blog like this the photos taken usually show off your dish to good advantage, and the reader gets the impression that everything goes smoothly and comes out looking ‘picture perfect”.  Not so!  Sometimes everything goes wrong and the dish looks horrible.  Those I don’t write about.  But sometimes funny things happen which was the case with this quiche.

For my crust I used one which was frozen from my freezer.  Some how I failed to notice there was a crack in it.  Look closely, you can see it!   So after I filled it with the veggies, bacon and cheese, I poured in the milk mixture, which ran out the crack, over the side of the pie pan and onto the baking sheet underneath.  I discarded as much of the overflow as I could manage, then put the whole thing in the oven and hoped for the best.  Needless to say it continued to leak in the oven.  When the quiche was cooked and I removed it from the oven there was a hugh bubble of cooked egg mixture attached to the side of the pie pan.  Sort of like a pop-over attached to a quiche!  It deflated quickly so I didn’t get a good picture of it, but you can see remnants of it in the  pictures below. 🙂  In spite of this the quiche tasted very good, and we really enjoyed it.

   

SOURCE:  Cooking Light Magazine,  July, 2011