Squash blossoms have been a surprise hit with us this summer. I’ve made them stuffed with goat cheese and sautéd as a side dish. But this has been by far the easiest, tastiest treatment. Just spread goat cheese on tortillas, fan out the squash blossoms, sprinkle some cheddar and jack then top it all with another tortilla. I just put them in a pan to melt the cheeses together and they were perfect. Grilling would probably work wonderfully.
Another new-to-me item from the Capay Valley: pluots. These were easier than the fava beans because I could just take a bite and find out what they were meant to be. Tangy sweet. More like a plumb than apricot – more plu than ot.
I had enough to make a small batch crumble.
The 3 pluots chopped up nicely and fit into 3 small baking dishes. Then I drizzled raw agave nectar over it.
The crumbly part was made with 3/4 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 cup palm sugar (you could use brown sugar) all mixed together until the oats were pretty well covered.
Baked at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.
The Summer is upon us and I’m hoping for sunshine-y days with friends and family sharing food. Choosing a potluck or picnic dish can be tricky, you want something that won’t fade in flavor or possibly go bad in transit or while sitting around. And a salad can be the trickiest dish of all. This salad not only travels well, it actually gets better with time. I learned the basics from our chef at work who really knows the limitations of a salad bar.
The basics are:
Red bell pepper
white mushrooms, sliced
zucchini (the small young ones are best)
canned or bottled ( I use canned) artichoke hearts, quartered
good quality basic italian dressing (you can make your own if you have a favorite recipe, or buy the one you like – I have been using Newman’s and always get raves)
Just slice up the veggies into bite-sized pieces, toss with the dressing and you’re done.
For this particular batch I used two small zucchini, one red pepper, about 1/2 lb of mushrooms and one can of artichoke hearts. I tossed it with about 1/3 cup dressing. The result was one quart of salad.
Want to add a little protein? – garbanzo beans work especially well.
It goes just as well beside burgers as it does a roast chicken or homemade ravioli. When I know a heat wave is coming, I’ll make a batch so there’s something healthy and refreshing in the fridge.