Friday, July 31, 2015

Tomato Zucchini Rice Gratin

If you have a garden overflowing with summer squash or tomatoes this summer, this luscious, healthy, and simple dish is for you! And if you have some leftover rice from takeout or cooked grains hanging around in the fridge, all the better. This easy to make cheesy bubbly casserole takes about 45 minutes to bake, and although yes, you do have to turn on the oven- it's well worth it. This can be served hot, warm, or room temperature. I topped it with fresh basil at the end, mmmm.


2 pounds ripe tomatoes, mostly diced, one tomato thinly sliced

1 cup cooked rice, farro or barley

2 medium zucchini, diced

1 large onion, roughly chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 eggs, lightly whisked

4-5 tablespoons Olive Oil

1 cup Gruyere Cheese or Sharp Cheddar, grated

Salt and Pepper

Two pinches Red Chili Pepper Flakes (optional)

1 teaspoon fresh Thyme chopped

2 sprigs fresh basil, torn


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Heat a large dutch oven on the stove top at medium low heat with 4 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for about 30 seconds. Throw in zucchini, tomatoes, chopped thyme, chili pepper flakes if using, and seasonings to taste. Gently stir with a wooden spoon. Let simmer for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile beat the eggs in a bowl, and grate the cheese. Gently fold in the eggs, grated cheese, and cooked rice to the pot, stirring gently. Pop that beauty in the heated oven, and bake for 45 minutes. Take it out, let cool for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle basil on top and serve. Buon Appetito!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Chicago Farmer's Market!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Tomato & Mint Salad

I've got a pot luck party I'm going to today so I threw this together as a summery side. Farm fresh colorful tomatoes, refreshing mint, thinly sliced red onion and toss with olive oil, red wine vinegar. Salt generously and add fresh ground pepper to taste. I happened to have some fresh basil so I added a few leaves too for a flavor bonus. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Summer Pasta with Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Fresh Herbs

This healthy, easy, fresh dish shows off the simplicity of good quality fresh ingredients that are the stars of Italian cooking. It's a great way to use all the good summer produce available, and there's no cooking required apart from the pasta! 


1 large zucchini or 2 small zucchinis diced
1 pound of ripe tomatoes, diced
1 cup of Arugula
1 teaspoon parsley, chopped
A handful of fresh basil, thinly sliced 
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 
1/2 cup Shredded Parmesan 
1 pound bow tie pasta 
Freshly ground salt and pepper

In a large pot of salted boiling water cook pasta until al dente, about 11 minutes. 
Meanwhile gently toss all other ingredients in a large bowl. 
Toss hot drained pasta directly in, taste for seasonings and serve immediately with extra Parmesan for the table. Buon appetito! 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Spicy Lentil Stew

Open faced Summer Sandwich

Toast a baguette, spread on some good soft cheese (I love Camembert) a handful of spicy arugula, sliced juicy tomatoes and add sliced onion if you like...salt & pepper, and you're ready to tuck into a nice summery snack!