Category: Dinner

Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Pico de Gallo

Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Pico de Gallo

I had given sweet potatoes the cold shoulder. Since last fall we were going steady. They got me through the bleakest moments of winter, but consumed by the joys of summer sun, I had totally forgotten about my once beloved root vegetable. When I realized how callous I’d been, I figured we were long overdue to make up and get back together.

To stay true to the season, I fired up the grill to make grilled sweet potatoes with pico de gallo. I started by boiling the potato wedges to guarantee they would be tender. The point of grilling was to add smoky char and, I admit, grill marks. Even though the sweet potatoes would have been good with just salt & pepper, pico de gallo added a little heat.
Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Pico de GalloGrilled Sweet Potatoes with Pico de Gallo

Serves 4

1 pound medium sweet potatoes, cut lengthwise into wedges 1/2 to 1-inch thick
1-1/2 cups quartered cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped red onions
1 jalapeno, minced
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Place the sweet potatoes in a large saucepan of salted water over high heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for 7-9 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender and can be pierced with a paring knife.

For the pico de gallo, combine the tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, lime juice, salt and pepper.

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium high heat. Grill the sweet potatoes until they have grill marks, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Top the sweet potatoes with pico de gallo before serving.

Zucchini Noodles and Cherry Tomatoes


Every year when tomato season is in full swing it becomes part of my daily routine to roast a sheet pan full of sliced tomatoes. It doesn’t matter the size, color or variety, I drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle on salt & pepper. Then they wrinkle a bit in the oven revealing their most tomato-y flavor.

The time had come to give the oven a rest and enjoy summer in the raw. I pulled out my spiralizer and made zucchini noodles and cherry tomatoes with pesto and fresh mozzarella. Not cooking these “zoodles” kept them a bit crunchy. I marinated the tomatoes in olive oil and garlic.
Zucchini Noodles and Cherry Tomatoes

Zucchini Noodles and Cherry Tomatoes

Serves 2

1-1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 garlic clove, grated
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for serving
1/4 teaspoon black pepper plus more for serving
3 medium zucchini
2 tablespoons basil pesto
1/4 cup torn basil
3 ounces mozzarella, torn into pieces

In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Trim and spiralize the zucchini. Cut any long noodles, so they are about the length of spaghetti. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the pesto. Add the tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper before serving.

Zucchini Squash Pea Orzo

Zucchini Squash Pea Orzo
Things at the farmers market got serious on Saturday. I was at one of my favorite stands when I spotted containers of shelled fresh peas. The farmer gave very explicit instructions to consume the peas in 2 days or freeze them. I hadn’t planned on leaving with peas, but I was up for the challenge and bought a box.

Summer pasta had been on my mind when I found some orzo hiding in the back of a cupboard. Before cooking the pasta with the peas, I roasted zucchini and squash. I spooned in pesto for a flavor boost and then finished off this zucchini squash pea orzo with chives and salty crumbled ricotta salata.
Zucchini Squash Pea Orzo
Zucchini Squash Pea Orzo

Serves 4

1 medium zucchini, diced
1 medium summer squash, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for serving
1/4 teaspoon black pepper plus more for serving
1/2 cup orzo
3/4 cup fresh peas
2 tablespoons basil pesto
2 tablespoons minced chives
1/4 cup crumbled ricotta salata

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the zucchini and squash on a parchment-line sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned at the edges.

Cook the orzo in boiling salted water according to package instructions. Add the peas in the last minute of cooking. Drain and transfer the orzo and peas to a large bowl. Stir in the pesto followed by the zucchini, squash, chives and ricotta salata. Season with salt and pepper.

Tomato Corn Barley

Tomato Corn Barley
Second to produce, the bulk section is my favorite department at the grocery. I never buy things in massive quantities. It’s actually the total opposite. I love that I can get smaller amounts, so I can shop per recipe instead of wasting valuable cabinet real estate with overstocked shelves. Then I am buying pantry ingredients on a more regular basis, so I know they are fresh.

A few months ago, I was getting pearl barley from the bulk dispenser, and it whooshed out so fast that before I knew it, I had way too much! Thank goodness I love this grain. I am still trying to eat my way through what I accidentally bought. Over the weekend I made tomato corn barley with chive vinaigrette, scallions and feta. It was a spontaneous mix of summer leftovers that I had around.
Tomato Corn Barley
Tomato Corn Barley
Serves 4

1/2 cup peal barley
1-1/4 cups water
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 cup cooked corn kernels (I used grilled corn.)
2 scallions thinly sliced
1/4 cup crumbled feta

In a medium saucepan, combine the barley and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until tender. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange the cherry tomatoes, cut side up, on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes until plump and juicy.

For the vinaigrette, whisk together the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and chives.

Combine the tomatoes and corn with the barley. Stir in the vinaigrette, scallions and feta. Serve at room temperature.

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