I have been waiting for summer to share these recipes, and well, its time.
The first is a Grilled Vegetable Pasta (yes, another pasta recipe). The reason this is a summer recipe is that its really best to make it when you can get into the pool between turning the vegetables on the grill. It perfectly fits to a relaxed summer weekend. Grill and swim, then let the vegetables cool, later cut up the vegetables and cook the pasta. The vegetables can also be done as an antipasti (that’s right, without pasta but also an Italian appetizer). Arrange the grilled vegetables on a platter, sprinkle with olives, maybe add some salami or other Italian cured meats, some big shreds of parmesan cheese. I like to eat on slices of French bread, but it mostly takes a fork and knife to eat.
The second is for breakfast. I really like oatmeal, but its just too hot to eat in the summer. So I make a cold oatmeal dish called Muesli. I’m pretty sure the roots for muesli are Northern Europe, but I first had it in Korea at the Hilton in Seoul. The do the nice breakfast buffet, and I have found it good to load up on food I recognize (bread, cheese, fruit, yogurt) when you really don't know what you will be eating the rest of the day. They had a bowl of this goopy looking stuff on the “western” side of the buffet, and I tried it on the advice of one of my co-workers… a little cautious because I couldn’t tell what went in to it. I like traveling in Asia, and I’m OK without always knowing what went into the food, but breakfast, well, I not as adventurous. But this was good, cool and sweet, with raisins and some fruit. I was hooked, but never know how to make it until I started hunting the web. There are lots of ways to make this, starting with oats, and adding liquid (milk, yogurt, juice), dried fruit, apples, nuts. The following is what I do, since I typically always have the ingredients on hand.
Grilled Vegetable Pasta
Veggies (use as a guide only!):
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Fresh or dry herbs, salt, pepper
2 medium zucchini, sliced diagonally about ½ inch thick
1 small eggplant, sliced lengthwise in ½ inch slices
1 red or mild yellow onion, cut in 2 large slices and skewered
2 red bell peppers, whole
1 ear corn, silk removed and husk replaced
1 head of garlic, top cut off
And/or: Mushrooms, Asparagus
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ cup fresh basil (or other herbs)
½ pound chunky pasta, cooked
Save about ½ cup pasta water
¼ cup dry white wine (optional)
¼ cup goat cheese, crumbled
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
For Grilled Veggies: Mix together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper. Mix with vegetables (can do earlier in the day). Drizzle garlic with oil and partially wrap in foil. On grill heated to medium, put in some wood chips and with several branches of rosemary. Put all the vegetables on the grill. The corn will cook quickest, maybe 10 –15 minutes. Cook remaining veggies until soft and browned, 20-30 minutes. Turn every 5-10 minutes. The bell pepper skin will be black. Remove pieces from grill as they get done and let cool.
Dice the squash, eggplant, and onion. Peel bell pepper and dice. Cut corn from cob. Put in a large bowl. Put in several cloves of roasted garlic (cut in half if large), use remainder for snacking. Add the cooked and drained pasta. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, a bit more salt and pepper to taste, chopped fresh basil, enough pasta water and/or white wine to moisten (about ½ cup total). Serve with about 1 tablespoon each goat cheese crumbles and toasted pine nuts on each serving.
Great way to get your oats in the summer. Traditional flavors are raisins, walnuts, and apples… but these seem more fall like. So I usually use “craisen’s” (dried , sweetened cranberries), and put some berries on top…
1 ½ cups old fashioned oats
¼ cup raisins or dry cranberries or other dried fruit of choice
¼ cup walnuts (chopped) or almond slivers
2 cups unsweetened soy milk (or any milk of choice, including part yogurt or juice)
1 tablespoon Apricot or Peach jam
1 teaspoon honey (or to taste)
1 small apple (grated) or other fresh fruit
Mix everything together except for fresh fruit, cover and refrigerate overnight. If it seems a bit thick in the morning, add some more milk or some plain yogurt. Stir in grated apple just before serving, or serve with other fresh fruit (berries, banana’s, apricots…)