Zucchini “Lasgna” Roll-Up


Garden fresh Italian. One rollup makes a great appy, two make a meal!

When zucchini is bursting out of the garden or a nearby farm stand mid summer, make these pasta-less lasagna roll-ups.

It’s worth seeking out fresh sheep ricotta at your local farmer’s market. Heirloom tomatoes brings this dish up several notches from delish to fabulous!

1 large 0r 2 medium  zucchinis
granulated garlic powder
extra virgin olive oil
2 cups ricotta
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
3-4 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/8 teaspoon, nutmeg, freshly grated
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1-3 heirloom tomatoes, diced
aged balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

Heat grill and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice zucchini 1/4 inch lengthwise. Brush with olive oil on both sides and season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Place on hot grill and do not move to form grill marks. Flip after approximately 2 minutes and grill on the other side for 1 more minute. Remove and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix ricotta with parsley, 2 Tablespoons basil, lemon zest, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Place heaping spoonfuls of ricotta on each zucchini slice making sure that the grill marks are on the bottom. Roll up to show grill marks.  Place in a greased oven proof  glass baking dish and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until ricotta filling is hot throughout.

Place diced heirloom tomatoes in individual shallow bowls and drizzle with vinegar and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Place a zucchini roll-up on top of the tomatoes and sprinkle the with chopped basil. Serve.



Kohlrabi-Carrot Slaw


Serve slaw over garden fresh red lettuce and arugula with maple-glazed pecans and crumbled farmer’s goat cheese.

Kohlrabi, a member of  the cabbage family, shows up at farmer’s markets and is not given the attention it deserves. A staple in Indian cooking, it can be eaten raw like a radish, steamed, roasted or sliced thin and baked with olive oil for a “different” kind of chip.

Give this odd looking summer garden favorite a try!

1/2 kohlrabi
4 carrots
1 teaspoon celery salt
4 Tablespoons Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise, Veganaise or yogurt (optional)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (juice sweetened)
salt and pepper to taste

Peel kohlrabi and carrots with a vegetable peeler and trim ends. Slice julienne-style into match sized pieces or shred in a food processor to yield approximately 3 cups kohlrabi and 2 cups carrots.  In a large bowl, toss with other ingredients, adding a good quality mayonnaise or yogurt if desired for creaminess. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette


A fresh lemony dressing!

My basic vinaigrette I use in so many recipes. Enjoy over garden fresh greens, in slaws or for warm potato salad.

Juice of 2-3 lemons, yielding approx. 1/4 cup juice
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pour lemon juice into a glass jar with lid. Add mustard, salt and pepper. Shake vigorously until thoroughly mixed. If mustard is not fully incorporated, whisk with a fork. Add olive oil and shake until blended.

Sauteed Beet Greens with Lemon Zest


Don’t throw away beet greens loaded with antioxidants and vitamins.  Saute them instead!

Beet greens are similar to rainbow swiss chard and can be interchanged in most recipes.  Look for just picked beets with the freshest greens (not wilted) found at farmer’s markets and farm stands in season.

Be sure to give the red stems extra time to sauté so they’ll soften before adding greens. Ingredient amounts vary depending on the size of your bunch of greens.

My favorite finish for extra flavor and sweetness is to drizzle aged balsamic vinegar before serving (I love fig vanilla!).

1 bunch beet greens
1/8 – 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
zest of 1 lemon
1/ 4 – 1/2 cup pignoli nuts
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 – 1/2  cup golden raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scatter pignoli nuts on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven until golden, approximately 10 minutes.

Cut stems from beet greens into 1 inch pieces and add to a sauté pan with crushed garlic. Sauté on medium heat until stems begin to soften, being careful not to brown the garlic. Coarsely chop greens or  if preferred, add whole leaves. Add more olive oil if desired and salt and pepper to taste.  Continue to sauté until greens are wilted.  Add lemon zest and raisins, toss and cover for 5 minutes or until raisins soften. Sprinkle with pignoli nuts and top with balsamic vinegar if desired. Serve.

Photo: White Point Imaging

Olive Oil Honey Soaked Cake with Grilled Peaches & Basil


It’s peach season and this is one easy and elegant dessert. Off season, mangoes can be substituted for peaches.

This olive oil cake is a version of my basic dairy-free spelt sweet bread cut into rounds for individual cakes.

No fresh mint in my garden, so I used basil growing plentifully. A surprisingly welcomed taste with coconut whip and sweet, juicy peaches.

A treat on a lazy summer day!

1  1/2 cups spelt flour
1 cup rice flour
3/4 cup honey plus more to drizzle on top
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 ounces applesauce
1 ripe banana mashed
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
coconut oil non-stick spray
ripe peaches, cut in slices
basil, cut in strips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 x 13 inch oven proof glass baking dish with coconut oil spray or a healthy nonstick alternative spray.  Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl by first using 1/4 coconut milk. If batter is too dry, add more  milk, a little at a time, until batter is firm but not loose or watery. Spread  batter in baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until tester comes out clean.  Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, preheat grill pan or gas grill and spray with coconut oil. Grill peach slices on medium high heat until grill marks show. Flip and grill the other sides being careful not to over-grill or peach flesh will be mushy. Set aside.

Make Coconut Whip below. Cut cake into individual rounds with 2 or 3 inch round cookie cutter. Slice of thin top layer of each round and drizzle honey on top. Finish off with dollop of coconut whip, peaches and basil strips.

Coconut Whip
1 15 ounce can organic coconut milk, drained so only the “cream” remains
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 to 1/4 cup honey,maple syrup or agave

Chill coconut cream by placing in the freezer for 15 minutes or more, careful not to freeze. Add honey and vanilla. Whip with a hand mixer for 3 minutes until thickened.


Swiss Chard Lemon Ginger Bruschetta


Swiss chard and ginger snaps up a classic bruschetta dish. Omit grated ginger if you can find a specialty ginger vinegar – I used Honey Ginger White Balsamic Vinegar.

An artisan baked baguette makes all the difference to make a sensational bruschetta.

But don’t forget your gluten free fans. Either offer “unprocessed” gluten free bread (cut slices into rounds with a cookie cutter then toast). Or serve separate bowls of the swiss chard “pesto” and chopped tomatoes with rice chips.

1 cup rainbow swiss chard, finely chopped with stems
2 Tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons chives, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon basil, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated
1 clove pressed garlic
zest of 1 lemon
1 Tablespoon lemon juice, white balsamic vinegar, or cider vinegar
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped grape tomatoes, diced
salt & pepper to taste
1 baguette

Combine all ingredients except tomatoes and bread in a nonreactive bowl. Add more olive oil and/or lemon juice or vinegar to taste if too dry. Set aside.

Cut bread in 1/2 inch rounds. Dip brush in mixture to mop up extra olive oil and brush tops of each slice.  Toast slices on each side. Spoon desired amount of chard mixture on each slice and top with chopped tomatoes. If desired, drizzle a few drops of olive oil on chopped tomato and top off with an extra pinch of salt and pepper. Serve immediately.