Marinated Zucchini and Yellow Squash Salad

Green Zucchini

Gadzukes! It’s time for zukes!

1/2 cup cider vinegar
4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
3 zucchini (about 1 ½ lbs.)
2 yellow squash (about 3/4 lb.)
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

Combine vinegar, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until sugar dissolves. Trim ends of zucchini and squash; cut into thin ribbons with harp-shaped peeler. Add to vinegar mixture. Cover and chill 2 hours or overnight.

Bring a small pan of water to a boil; add garlic. Remove with a slotted spoon after 1 minute. Rinse under cold water; set aside. Add basil to boiling water; immediately remove and rinse under cold water. Reserve 1 tablespoon of cooking liquid. Transfer garlic and basil to a food processor, and add lemon juice, olive oil, reserved water, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Process until smooth.

Drain squash, and divide among 4 plates. Top with cubed mozzarella, and drizzle with basil oil.

We thank Health.com for this recipe.

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Kia’s One Pot Buttery Beets & Pasta

After a day of summer camp and sprinklers, my kids needed some nutritious refueling. I had some fresh beets with greens on hand, which inspired this quick, one pot dish for dinner. Colorful beets are high in phytonutrient pigments, and rich in antioxidants. They’re also high in folate and a B vitamin important for a healthy heart and for normal tissue growth. Hooray for beets!

2-4 beets with greens
6-8 ounces pasta
Baby dill (or cilantro or basil)
Butter

Prep your veggies
Scrub beets clean, then chop into 1/2 inch slices (no need to peel!).

Rinse the beet greens and thinly slice them, stems and all.

Mince up a few big pinches of baby dill, or more if desired.

Cook everything in one pot
Get a medium pot of water boiling, and add the beets.

After 3-5 minutes, add the pasta to the beets, and note cooking time (my spaghetti package said 3-4 minutes). After 2 minutes, add the beet greens and dill. Stir pot occasionally.

When pasta has cooked, pour the whole pot through a fine meshed strainer so you don’t loose the greens and herbs. Transfer the pasta and veggies back into your cooking pot, but remove from heat.

Add two or three tablespoons of butter, more the better! Stir everything together and season with salt and pepper. You can also add cheese if desired, but we skipped it and the kids still devoured their dinner. Sweet, nutritious beets for the win!

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Walnut Beet Patties

Sliced beets1 1/2 cups quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
2 medium onions, finely diced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (or lemon juice)
4 teaspoons dried oregano*
4 teaspoons dried basil*
4 teaspoons dried thyme*
2 teaspoons paprika
3/4 pound carrots (about 3 medium), grated
1 1/4 pounds (about 3-4 medium) beets, grated
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper or to taste
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
3/4 pounds walnuts, chopped in food processor
Extra virgin coconut oil for frying

Rinse quinoa and place it in a small pot with the broth. Cover and bring to a boil; let simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit for another 20 minutes. Allow to cool.

Sauté onions in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and herbs and sauté another 5 minutes. Grate the beets and carrots.

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Form into 15 to 20 patties. Over medium heat, fry the patties in a little coconut oil until lightly brown, about 7 minutes on each side. Transfer to a baking tray and continue cooking in the oven for another 15 – 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve warm or let them cool. Got extra patties? They freeze well!

*If fresh herbs are available, you only need 1 1/2 teaspoons of the fresh herb.

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Parmesan Polenta with Sausage Ragù

Cornmeal, different grinds

Both the polenta and the ragù can be made ahead of time, for a quick, easy, yet delicious weekday meal.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound Nash’s Italian sausage
1 red onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups Nash’s medium-grind cornmeal (use the coarse grind if you like a more rustic texture)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat; add sausage and cook, breaking it into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add tomatoes and boil; simmer until thick, 20 minutes. Add basil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, bring sea salt and 5 cups water to a boil in a 4-quart saucepan. Slowly add cornmeal and cook, stirring constantly, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, 8 minutes. Remove from heat and add remaining oil, Parmesan, and salt. Divide between bowls and top with ragù; garnish with more Parmesan. Serves 4.

We thank Saveur.com for this recipe.

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Green Goddess Dressing

lettuce in the field

This dressing is super on green salads, but also on wraps and anywhere else that could use some tasty green sauce.

3/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup green onions (white and green parts)
1/2 cup fresh basil
1 clove garlic, crushed or minced (just make sure it gets chopped when you puree it with the blender!)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Puree all ingredients together in a blender. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 or 5 days. Shake before each use.

We thank 100daysofrealfood.com for this recipe.

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Garlic-Spinach-Yogurt Dip

garlic scapes, bunched

Garlic scapes may look wild, but they have a pleasantly tame garlic flavor.

Use as a dip for veggies or strawberries, or use the dip to top baked potatoes. As a dressing it’s excellent on any salad, but really good with a salad made from lettuce, spinach, strawberries, Walla Walla onions, and pecans.

1 cup oil
2 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
5-6 leaves spinach
4 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
5-6 large fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 garlic scapes, chopped
1 cup nonfat Greek or plain yogurt
For pourable dressing, add a small amount of buttermilk to thin.

Blend all ingredients except yogurt for about a minute. Add yogurt and give it a brief blending. Chill about an hour. Keeps for about a week in refrigerator in closed container.

We thank Pam Maurides for this great recipe.

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Kia’s Tahini Balsamic Salad Dressing

dressing fixings

Here’s an easy, quick homemade salad dressing with wonderful, complex flavor.

Although this salad dressing has ten or eleven ingredients listed, it’s actually really simple to make, and can be infinitely adjusted to suit your tastes, or what’s in your pantry/fridge!

1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
4-5 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated
2-3 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon finely diced fresh herbs (basil, thyme, rosemary, etc)
1 tablespoon stone-ground or Dijon mustard
1/4 cup hemp oil (optional)
35 twists on the pepper grinder
3 lemons, juiced (or limes)
2/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1-inch nub of ginger, finely grated (optional)

homemade salad dressing

Shake, shake, shake, and you’re done!

Combine everything in a quart mason jar, screw lid on tight and shake vigorously for about two minutes. Done!

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Sweet & Sour Pork Chops with Quick Pickled Leek or Garlic Scapes

pork chop

Nash’s pork is pasture-raised and so delicious!

4 (8-ounce) pork chops, bone-in, 3/4″-1″ thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear chops, both sides, until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Place in oven and roast until cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 140 degrees F, about 8-10 minutes.

To make the sweet-and-sour glaze, combine balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan over medium heat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Serve pork chops immediately with sweet-and-sour glaze.

These pork chops go great with Asian Pickled Leek Scapes!

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Sausage Bean Pasta Ragout

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound Nash’s ground pork sausage
2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups cooked beans (kidney, pinto, black)
4 teaspoons dried basil, or 1 cup fresh
3 teaspoons oregano
Crushed red pepper, to taste
1/2 cup macaroni
2 cups fresh greens (kale/chard/spinach/arugula/cabbage)
1/3 cup grated romano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: grated beets, carrot, and turnips

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté 6 minutes. Add sausage and sauté until brown, breaking up meat with back of fork, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice, broth, beans, basil, oregano, and dried crushed red pepper. (Optional: add grated beets, carrot, and turnips too!) Simmer 15 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally. Add pasta and cook until tender but still firm to bite, about 15 more minutes. Add greens and cook just until wilted, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Mix in 1/3 cup cheese and more fresh basil, if you have some. Season ragout with salt and pepper; ladle into bowls. Serve, passing additional cheese separately.

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Napa Cabbage & Quinoa Salad

Napa cabbage

Napa cabbage is excellent for salads because of its crisp, lacy texture.

1 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon raw honey
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 head Napa cabbage
1 cup spinach, roughly chopped
1 carrot, grated
1-1/2 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled

In a blender, mix basil, walnuts, lemon juice, vinegar, honey and oil until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine cabbage, spinach, carrot, and quinoa. Pour dressing into salad mix and toss until evenly distributed.

We thank Chef Annie McHale of Port Angeles for this recipe.

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