Roasted Ratatouille Toasts

A delightful spin on the classic stew, this time slathered on toasted bread as a starter!

Method:
1 heirloom tomato, roughly chopped
1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, some sliced in half, others left whole
½ eggplant, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 zucchini or summer squash, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 sweet pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
⅓ cup olive oil
2½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 loaf rustic bread or focaccia, sliced into ½-inch-thick slices
½ cup crumbled sheep’s milk feta or fresh ricotta
½ cup basil, thinly sliced
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large roasting pan, toss the tomatoes, eggplant, squash or zucchini, pepper, onion and garlic with red pepper flakes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a healthy pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned and the tomatoes have released their juices. Stir the vegetables halfway through cooking, and then toss again once they have been removed from the oven.

2. Remove the vegetables from the oven and increase the temperatures to a broil. Lightly brush each slice of bread or focaccia with olive oil. Place them on the upper rack of the oven and toast until lightly browned, 1-2 minutes.

3. Top each toast with a generous portion of the ratatouille mixture, and then add a little crumbled feta or dollop of ricotta on each. Garnish with the basil and season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Stewed Romano Beans with Tomatoes

Braising the beans lends them a beautiful texture without sacrificing any of their gorgeous color!

Ingredients:
1½ pounds Romano beans, trimmed and cut in 2- to 3-inch lengths
1 cup grated or chopped peeled tomatoes (about 3/4 pound)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Feta cheese for topping
Cooked pasta or grains, such as bulgur, quinoa, polenta or brown rice (optional)

Method:
1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a wide, lidded skillet or Dutch oven and add onion and a pinch of salt. Cook gently without browning, stirring often, until tender and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute, until fragrant.

2. Stir in Romano beans, tomatoes and half the dill. Add ½ cup water, bring to a simmer, season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer 20 minutes, until beans are tender. Stir in remaining dill and olive oil and simmer another 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.

3. Serve hot, warm or room temperature, with feta sprinkled over the top. If serving as a main dish, serve over cooked grains such as bulgur, quinoa, polenta or brown rice, or toss with pasta.

Summer Love Recipes

Ripe, juicy tomatoes; crisp, sweet corn; and, mild, nutty artichokes—what’s not to love about this box of summer favorites? Enjoy these seasonal all-stars and much more: This week’s super-fresh lineup also includes fennel, cucumber, Tropea onions and a bevy of salad and braising greens, plus farm-fresh eggs, multigrain bread, silky Greek yogurt from Tunawerth Creamery, tahini and a wealth of fragrant herbs. Enjoy!

Here are a few recipe ideas for the week:

Carrot Salad with Tahini-Lemon Dressing & Crisped Chickpeas
This crunchy, crisp, and utterly refreshing salad from Smitten Kitchen is a longtime favorite in our kitchen!

Tahini-Lemon Dressing
Nutty, creamy, and a little zippy from the lemon, this dressing is incredibly versatile.

Grilled Eggplant with Lemon & Mint
Tossed with fresh mint for added brightness, this barbecued eggplant boasts a wonderfully-rich and smoky flavor.

Roasted Fennel & Tropea Onions
These tender, broiled vegetables make for a fantastic side dish.

Eggplant Caponata
This traditional Tuscan relish is lovely on toasted bread.

Fragrant Fried Herbs
Crisp-fried herbs are an unexpected (and delicious!) garnish for the likes of pastas, salads, soups and more.

Salade Niçoise

A classic from the esteemed Julia Child, this colorful salad can be customized to your liking.

Ingredients:
¾ pound green beans, trimmed
1 pound baby red potatoes
½ shallot, chopped
2 heirloom tomatoes, chopped, or 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
4 cups salad greens
2 (6-7 ounce) cans tuna
½ cup Nicoise olives
3 hard-boiled eggs
3 tablespoons chopped herbs, such as parsley, oregano and French tarragon
2-3 teaspoons capers, drained and rinsed
Niçoise vinaigrette (see recipe)

Method:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt. Add the green beans and cook for 2 minutes. Lift out with tongs and rinse with very cold water.

2. Return the water to a boil. Add the potatoes. Cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a small knife. Drain and transfer to a bowl.

3. As soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel if desired and slice thickly. Add ½ cup of the vinaigrette and the shallot. With a rubber spatula, gently toss the warm potatoes with the Niçoise vinaigrette; set aside to cool. In another bowl, toss the beans with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette to coat them. In a third bowl, toss the tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette to coat them.

4. On a large platter, arrange the lettuce. Add the potatoes, beans, and tomatoes. Top with tuna, and olives. Spoon some of the remaining dressing over the salad and sprinkle with the herbs and capers. Peel the eggs, pat them dry, and halve them. Garnish with peeled, hard-boiled eggs.

Variations: This recipe can be modified with an array of seasonal produce, it is especially wonderful with radishes or sweet peppers! You can also try substituting the canned tuna with seared Ahi steaks, or even grilled salmon.

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