Grilled Zucchini and Leeks with Walnuts

This leek-heavy recipe is straight from the Bon Appetit website. The perfectly paired portions, grilled enough to soften the veg without completely turning it all to mush, tastes to me exactly like late summer should. Topped off with walnuts it leans into September taking with it the last remains of summer squash. Take a dive into leeks as a prominent flavor and see what you’ve been missing.

1/3 cup walnuts (easily omitted for non-nut consumers)
1 garlic clove, grated
2 tbsps fresh lemon juice
5 tbsps olive oil, divided
2 large leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise with root still attached
2 zucchini, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup fresh parsley with tough stems removed
salt & pepper to taste
Heat grill to medium-high heat. Toast walnuts in a dry small skillet over medium heat, tossing until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Coarsely chop toasted walnut and toss with garlic, lemon juice, and 3 tbsp oil in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Brush leeks and zucchini with remaining 2 tbsp oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill vegetables, turning frequently, until tender and charred in spots 5 – 8 minutes for leeks, 8 – 10 minutes for zucchini.

Transfer vegetables to a cutting board. Trim roots from leeks and cut zucchini into bite-size pieces. Add vegetables and parsley to bowl with walnuts and toss to combine. Season with more lemon juice, salt and pepper if desired. Enjoy immediately.

Crispy Gnocchi with Summer Veg

I cannot resist this recipe. We’ve recently started a gluten free (mostly wheat free) experiment in our house and the sheer JOY when we discovered gluten free gnocchi lead to a bit of overzealous eating. Three times in one week. But hey, find what you love right?

This recipe can use any summer vegetables you have on hand. The original recipe calls for sweet frozen corn, aren’t we so lucky to have fresh instead? And if you’re not gluten free – eat some Iggy’s or AJ King bread for me, please.

1-1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
16oz packaged gnocchi (regular or gluten free)
1-1/2 Tablespoons butter or ghee
1 zucchini, chopped
3 – 4 ears of fresh corn, removed from cob
1 onion, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
fresh basil, chopped & divided (to taste – 8+ leaves)
1/4 cup half & half or coconut cream
optional – 2 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add gnocchi in a single layer, saute undisturbed for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom. DO NOT boil before throwing them in the oil. Stir and saute another 3-4 more minutes or until golden brown on all sides. Remove skillet from heat, set aside.

Meanwhile, heat butter or ghee in another large skillet. Add zucchini, corn, onion, and salt and pepper. Saute until vegetables are tender, about 3-4 minutes, then add chopped garlic and basil. Reserve some basil to top at the end. Saute mixture for 30 – 60 seconds, don’t let the garlic burn. Remove skillet from heat then add half & half or coconut cream and Parmesan cheese if using, stir to combine. Pour mixture into skillet with gnocchi, toss to combine. Serve topped with additional sprinkle of chopped basil.

Recipe adapted from IowaGirlEats.

Stuffed Cubanelle Peppers

I just can’t get enough of the Cubanelle peppers this time of year. And there’s something about the grill that just makes all vegetables and fruits shine. If you still haven’t fallen in love with the peppers – give this recipe a go. Or search up another variation of stuffed Cubanelles to find one that more closely aligns with your flavor palette. From beef stuff to sweet roasted, the endless varieties are not to be missed.

6 medium Cubanelle peppers
6 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup couscous (Israeli works well but any variety will do)
1 zucchini, cut into thin strips
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup feta, chopped or crumbled
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh torn basil
2 tbsp vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat grill then cut tops off peppers, about 1/2 inch. Remove and discard stem and seeds. Dice tops of peppers and transfer to a medium bowl. Set aside bowl and cored peppers.

In a small saucepan, heat 1 1/2 tsp oil on medium-high. Add garlic and couscous and stir until garlic is light golden and fragrant. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and steam for 8 to 10 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed and couscous is al dente. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, grill peppers and zucchini: Grill cored peppers for about 8 minutes, turning occasionally until all sides are lightly charred. Remove peppers from grill and allow to cool at room temperature. Brush zucchini with 1/2 tsp oil and grill for 2 to 3 minutes, turning once, until lightly charred and tender. Let zucchini cool slightly, dice and add to bowl with diced pepper tops.

Add couscous, beans, chickpeas, feta, tomatoes, basil, vinegar, remaining 4 tsp oil, black pepper and salt, if desired, to pepper-zucchini mixture. Mix well.

Stuff about 3/4 cup pepper-zucchini mixture into each grilled pepper; lightly pack filling throughout entire pepper until filling reaches the top. Wrap each pepper tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or a maximum of overnight. (Alternatively, carefully lay stuffed peppers in a shallow tray or dish, cover and refrigerate.)

Recipe posted in Clean Eating magazine online.