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Continued: Five summer vegetables, 20 recipes to enjoy

  • Article by: RUSS PARSONS , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 3, 2013 - 1:01 PM

Really?  You need a recipe for pasta with tomatoes? How about this: Cook 2 cups Arborio rice, then drain and pat dry. While warm, dress with 3 tablespoons each olive oil and lemon juice and add 1/2 pound cooked small shrimp, 1/4 cup minced red onion, 1 cup diced tomato and 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar. Fold in 1 1/2 cups torn arugula and 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts just before serving.

Main dish: Swordfish with tomatoes and fennel

Sauté 4 swordfish steaks with 1 clove thinly sliced garlic and 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds in 3 tablespoons olive oil, about 5 minutes per side. Add 1/2 cup white wine and 1 pound whole cherry tomatoes, cover and cook until the fish is done. Uncover, transfer the fish to a platter and raise the heat to high. Cook until the juices have reduced. Add 2 tablespoons slivered basil, spoon over the fish and serve.

Zucchini

Salad: Woven zucchini with fresh goat cheese

Cut 4 zucchini in very thin lengthwise strips. Salt generously and set aside to soften. Rinse and pat dry. Whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 garlic clove, minced, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Cut 12 cherry tomatoes in half. Brush the zucchini with the dressing, then weave 3 strips crosswise and 3 strips lengthwise to make a raft. Top each raft with a dollop of fresh goat cheese and season with olive oil and slivered basil.

Appetizer: Zucchini fritters

Shred 1 pound zucchini, salt and set aside to drain. Rinse and squeeze thoroughly dry with your hands. Combine with 1 teaspoon each cumin and ground coriander seeds, a chopped green onion and 3/4 teaspoon minced jalapeño. Stir in 2 tablespoons flour and a beaten egg. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoon mounds into hot olive oil and fry until brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels and serve with Greek-style yogurt.

Pasta: Free-form zucchini lasagna with lemon-thyme cream

Slice 1 pound zucchini lengthwise; grill on both sides. Cook 1/2 cup diced onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil, add 3 tablespoons white wine, 1 minced clove garlic and 1/4 teaspoon thyme; add the zucchini and remove from the heat. Heat 1 cup cream with thyme sprigs, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Lightly coat a cooked pasta square with the cream and place it on a plate. Top with ricotta and a few zucchini strips, then another creamy pasta square. Dust with more Parmesan and serve.

Main dish: Zucchini tian

Cook a sliced onion in 3 tablespoons olive oil with a minced garlic clove. Arrange in an oiled baking dish. Arrange 2 zucchini cut into rounds in overlapping rows on top of the onions. Scatter 20 quartered cherry tomatoes and 3 tablespoons chopped pitted black olives on top. Crumble over 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, drizzle with olive oil and bake at 350 degrees until the zucchini has softened and the mixture is dry, about 1 1/2 hours.

Eggplant

Salad: Silken eggplant salad

Remove the stems from 2 pounds Asian eggplants and steam the eggplants until tender. Cool to room temperature. Whisk together 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Cut the eggplant into bite-sized pieces and toss with enough dressing to coat lightly. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper and serve.

Appetizer: Grilled eggplant with walnut-cilantro pesto

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