Cheesy Summer Vegetable Bake

You guessed it! This delicious dish was inspired by none other than my latest CSA pickup. In fact, I’m pleased to say that every veggie in this recipe was part of my most recent haul. I’m talking summer squash, zucchini, rainbow carrots, English peas, and candy onions, people! Yum. 

Of course, any combination of veggies will taste lovely, but if you plan on making this dish soon, I’d go with the combination in this recipe since they’re all at their peak flavor. Similarly, don’t stress yourself out trying to get your hands on the ridiculous variety of herbs that I included in this recipe. They’re all from my herb garden, so they’re at my fingertips. Rest assured that any combination of fresh herbs is bound to contribute intense depth of flavor.

At first, I wanted to turn these veggies into a vegetable lasagna. However, after being at Firefly this past weekend (which was a kickass time!), I am so sick of eating “bad” carbs. Thus, I compromised and made this veggie bake instead. By layering the vegetables and including a relatively small amount of cheese, it served as a healthy take on vegetable lasagna and still tasted like a treat. Also, the panko bread crumbs on top add awesome texture.

On a somewhat unrelated note, I got a boatload of collard greens in the same CSA haul. I’ve always sautéed collards, but I’m brainstorming ways in which I can use it raw. Any ideas would be much appreciated! Happy hump day. :)

Note: Yields six servings. 

What you’ll need:

  • 2 summer squash, sliced
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 5 medium carrots, shaved
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp. himalayan salt
  • 1/3 cup asiago cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

What you’ll do:

  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the squash, zucchini, carrots, and snap peas
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the avocado oil, garlic, onion, fresh herbs, pepper, and salt
  • Pour the oil mixture over the veggie mixture and gently combine
  • Add to a large, rectangular glass baking dish and cover with aluminum foil
  • Bake in the oven for 30 minutes
  • Once 30 minutes has elapsed, remove the foil and sprinkle the cheese and bread crumbs on top
  • Bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes

Cold Brew Coffee

My love affair with cold brew has spiraled out of control. It’s just so dang delicious and perfect for the warmer months. What is cold brew, you ask? For starters, cold brew is not iced coffee. Iced coffee is traditionally brewed coffee that is chilled after the fact. Cold brew, on the other hand, brews in the fridge.

Eliminating heat from the brewing process results in a less acidic, smoother, and naturally sweeter cup of coffee. It’s naturally sweet enough, in fact, that I don’t feel the need to add sugar. Let’s just say that is not the case with traditionally-brewed coffee.

The best part about cold brew is that it’s extremely simple and cost-effective to make at home. Now, I don’t have to rely on my local coffee shops for a cup of joe that I can easily prepare on my own. From now on I’ll venture over only when my heart desires a fancy latte or the like. Enjoy!

What you’ll need:

  • 1.5 cups ground coffee
  • 6 cups filtered water

What you’ll do:

  • Combine coffee and water in an airtight container; store in the refrigerator overnight
  • Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth; discard the cheesecloth and grounds
  • Pour the liquid into a 1 liter bottle; store in the refrigerator

Pro tip: Make ice cubes from your cold brew because nobody likes watered-down coffee. ;) I got this mold from Amazon.

Kohlrabi and Garlic Scape Fritters with Spiced Lemon Tahini

I tried kohlrabi for the first time last year, when it was part of one of my CSA shares. Prior to receiving it as part of my share, I had never seen it in stores or at farmers’ markets, let alone heard of it. Once I did a little research, I turned it into a delicious kohlrabi, fava bean, and chickpea salad complemented by fresh herbs and lime juice.

For those of you who don’t know what kohlrabi is, it is a root vegetable that is commonly used in German cuisine. Its taste is unique, but the best way that I can describe it is a cross between cabbage and broccoli. I must note that as hard as I try to consume my root vegetable greens for the sake of being waste-conscious, they often end up in my compost pile. Kohlrabi greens, however, are extremely enjoyable to me when dressed up by fresh herbs and citrus.

Well, you can imagine how pleased I was when I found out that kohlrabi was part of yesterday’s CSA share. I immediately thought of an Instagram post by one of my favorite food bloggers, Ful-Filled, in which they turned kohlrabi into scrumptious-looking fritters. They singlehandly inspired the recipe that I’m about to share. As such, my recipe is loosely based off of theirs.

Clearly, the star of the post thus far has been kohlrabi. Still, I have to give a shout out to the ever-so-lovely garlic scape, which added extreme depth of flavor to this dish. Call me nerdy, but I am super excited that the kohlrabi, garlic scapes, green onion, and fresh cilantro that recipe calls for were all part of yesterday’s CSA share.

I’ll be the first to admit that these fritters aren’t much to look at, but trust me when I say that their taste is divine. Aside from the fact that they are packed with fresh flavors, who doesn’t love an extremely tasty tahini sauce? The two together trick your tastebuds into believing that they’ve taken a quick road trip to heaven. With that being said, if you can get your hands on highly-seasonal kohlrabi and garlic scapes, I don’t think you’ll regret giving this recipe a try.

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Note: Recipe yields 8-10 fritters and about 2 cups of tahini.

PART 1: THE FRITTERS

What you’ll need:

  • 1 bunch kohlrabi
  • 1/4 cup garlic scapes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. fine black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • Avocado oil

What you’ll do:

  • De-stem and roughly chop the kohlrabi leaves; add to a large mixing bowl
  • Using a peeler, remove the outer skin from the kohlrabi; grate the remaining kohlrabi; add to the bowl
  • Add the garlic scapes, green onion, cilantro, and mint to the bowl; gently stir together
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, baking soda, salt, and pepper
  • In another small mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and almond milk
  • Whisk the chickpea flour mixture into the egg mixture until just combined
  • Pour the batter over the kohlrabi mixture and gently fold all of the ingredients together
  • Fill the bottom of a large frying pan with avocado oil and warm over medium heat for approximately 2 minutes
  • Meanwhile, start forming the fritters into spheres that are roughly 3-4 inches wide and 1/2 an inch thick
  • Add as many fritters to the pan as possible and fry on each side for 2-3 minutes
  • Repeat the previous two steps until all ingredients are used
  • Place the fritters on a plate lined with paper towels to cool and absorb excess oil

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PART 2: THE TAHINI

What you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup tahini
  • 3/4 cup filtered water
  • The juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. sumac
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

What you’ll do:

  • Add all ingredients to a food processor; blend until smooth
  • Funnel into a squeeze bottle

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