Summer vegetables make the most delicious and light pizza toppings for warm weather days, while adding beautiful color to your plate. Dollops of ricotta and fresh mozzarella cheese compliment the slightly sweet roasted vegetables with shredded ribbons of fresh basil on top of my crispy thin pizza crust. Cheers to enjoying the flavors of summer as you savor the last few weeks of the season.
Ingredients: 1 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium summer squash, sliced ½ pint cherry tomatoes ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper 1 homemade or store-bought pizza dough ball (about the size of a grapefruit) ⅓ cup part-skim Ricotta cheese 1 ball of fresh mozzarella cheese 8 to 10 basil leaves, sliced into thin ribbons
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Pace squash and cherry tomatoes on a medium backing sheet. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned and tender.
Roll and stretch pizza dough to a thin layer, about ⅛ inch thick and 12 to 14 inches in diameter. Prepare the grill for medium-high, indirect heat. For a gas grill, leave one or two burners off and for a charcoal grill, place coals on one side and use the coal free side.
Place crust on the grill (a pizza peel is handy here) and cook for about five minutes, until top of crust starts to bubble and light brown grill marks appear on the bottom. Remove crust from the grill.
Evenly place squash and tomatoes on top of the cooked side of the pizza crust. Add dollops of Ricotta cheese and slices of mozzarella.
Return the pizza to the grill for about five minutes, until the cheese has melted and the bottom of the crust has light brown grill marks. Remove from grill and top with fresh basil before serving.
This salad tastes as splendid as a beautiful summer day feels, with sweet melon, refreshing cucumbers and juicy cherry tomatoes. Freshly chopped produce this time of year is delicious served uncooked and the combinations are endless. The addition of cantaloupe takes this salad from simple to spectacular. It is a great dish to pack for a picnic or enjoy at home along with grilled chicken on the patio.
Ingredients: ½ medium cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and cubed 2 medium cucumbers, sliced 1 pint cherry tomatoes ½ small red onion, thinly sliced ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese basil, cut into thin strips salt and pepper olive oil balsamic vinegar
Combine equal amounts of cantaloupe cubes, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes and red onion onto small salad plates.
Top with feta cheese, basil, a pinch of salt and pepper, and drizzle lightly with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
We all have those busy nights when the fridge is sparse and we don’t have time to pick up fresh ingredients for dinner. My Pantry Pasta dish is the perfect meal to make during those moments. It takes less than 15 minutes to prepare, giving you more time to relax at the end of the day.
For a fresh version of this recipe during summer months, replace the canned tomatoes with vine-ripened tomatoes fresh from the farm or your backyard. Cheers to making meals that are both healthy and convenient.
Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 (15.5 ounce) can Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced and no-salt-added tomatoes ¼ cup red or white wine ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper ½ pound whole wheat spaghetti noodles
Optional Ingredients for Serving: Fresh basil, cut into ribbons Parmesan cheese, grated
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Add beans, tomatoes with juices, wine, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for about five minutes.
Serve over spaghetti noodles. Top with basil and Parmesan cheese if desired.