Summer is not over yet, and I’m not ready to say goodbye to some of my favorite seasonal produce. If you are like me and want to savor these flavors as long as you can, fire up the grill and celebrate these last couple of weeks before we welcome fall. Eggplant is a great match for summer squash stacked between layers of melted fresh mozzarella and homemade pesto. Enjoy as an appetizer or pair with a simple salad and a glass of your favorite white wine for an easy dinner outdoors as you watch the sunset.
Ingredients: 2 cloves garlic, minced 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper 2 small eggplants, cut crosswise into ¼ inch slices 2 medium summer squash, cut crosswise into ¼ inch slices 2 tablespoons pesto 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
In a small bowl, add garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine, creating a grilling sauce for the produce.
Arrange eggplant and squash on a large plate or platter and brush both sides evenly with the grilling sauce.
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat. Grill vegetables until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from grill and move produce to a working surface.
Create eggplant and summer squash stacks by spreading a thin layer of pesto on a slice of eggplant and topping with a slice of summer squash and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers and top with an extra squash or eggplant slice.
Place eggplant and summer squash stacks back on the grill for a couple of minutes, until cheese melts. Remove from grill and serve.
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.
Summertime meals should be easy, delicious and fun to make. Nothing says fun like food on a stick, and the aroma of grilled kebabs will make everyone thrilled to eat their veggies. Light on the meat and heavy on the vegetables, my Summer Veggie and Steak Kebabs are a great way to use seasonal produce. Substitute the squash and tomatoes for zucchini and bell peppers or use all to add even more color your plate. Serve with whole grain rolls and a simple salad for a quick and well-rounded meal. Cheers to outdoor cooking and making simple meals with fresh produce.
Kebab Ingredients: 1 pound sirloin steak 2 medium zucchini or summer squash (or one of each) 1 small red onion 1 cup cherry tomatoes
If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for 30 to 60 minutes before assembling to prevent charring.
In a small bowl, whisk together honey, mustard, olive oil, vinegar, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper.
Cut the steak, squash and onion into bite-size pieces. Thread steak and veggies through skewers and set aside on a large platter or baking sheet. Brush the marinade evenly on the kebabs and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature.
Prepare a grill to medium-high heat. Place the kebabs on the grill and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare.