This is the season of abundance. Now cherries, apricots, plums, summer squash, watermelon and tomatoes, etc., start showing up at the markets – and they’re not being shipped here, unripe, from Mexico, Guatemala or Chile. This is truly the hallmark of the beginning of the season of abundance. There is so much to choose from, you have to stop yourself from buying more than you can use in a week. I try to incorporate as many of these vegetables and herbs into my recipes to get full benefit from them. I also freeze some produce for the winter, when these items are not available.
I don’t like a lot of mayonnaise in my salads, but feel free to add additional mayonnaise if ½ cup is not enough for you. Use seasonal vegetables in the salad whenever possible.
- 8 oz elbow macaroni
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- 1/2 onion finely diced
- 1/2 bell pepper finely diced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved, seeded and finely diced
- 1/4 cup spicy cherry peppers, diced or pickle relish
- 1/4 cup minced parsley
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Pinch black pepper
Make the dressing by combining the ingredients and set aside while you cook the macaroni. Cook the pasta al dente in boiling salted water, drain and add the dressing while the pasta is warm.
Add the chopped vegetables and mix well. Add salt to taste, but I find this type of salad doesn’t need salt. The mayonnaise, pasta cooked in salted water and seasonings add enough.
Chill the salad for several hours before serving.
Herb Marinated Grilled Chicken
The marinade used for this chicken recipe makes the chicken really delicious.
- One 3-4 pound chicken, wing tips removed
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh herbs ( I used oregano, basil, sage, parsley, rosemary, chives and thyme because that is what is growing in my garden.)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Combine the marinade ingredients in a small mixing bowl or measuring cup.
Using kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the chicken backbone; remove the backbone (Save it for broth).
Turn the chicken, breast side up, and press down firmly on the breast bone to crack and flatten it. Tuck the wings under the back.
Transfer the flattened chicken to a medium glass baking dish. Loosen the skin a little and rub the marinade under and over all the skin of the chicken.
Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator one hour before cooking.
Heat an outdoor grill to high with all the burners on, then, turn one or two burners to the lowest setting to create a low heat area.
Grill the chicken, skin side down over the hot side of the grill, until the skin is browned and crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Turn the chicken skin side up and move to the low heat side of the grill.
Cover and grill over low heat until cooked through, about 20 – 30 minutes. Internal temperature should be around 170 F.
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Internal temperature should rise to 180 F. Carve the chicken and serve.
Big Batch Basil Pesto
Pesto freezes well. I don’t add Parmesan cheese to basil pesto until I am ready to serve it.
Makes 3 cups
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 4 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Wash basil well and drain in a colander.
In the bowl of a processor, place the garlic, salt, pepper and walnuts. Process until ground. Add the basil leaves and return the top with the spout removed.
While the machine is running slowly pour in the olive oil and process until the mixture is smooth. Pour into a refrigerator container or into freezer containers.
Drizzle a layer of olive oil on the top of the pesto to keep it from turning dark.
Green Beans and Potatoes with Pesto
- 1 pound potatoes, cut into thick slices
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup Basil Pesto, recipe above
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Place the potatoes in a large steamer basket fitted over a pot of boiling water. Cover and steam for 5 minutes.
Add the green beans to the potatoes in the steamer and continue to cook, covered, for another 5 minutes. Drain
Transfer the vegetables to a large serving bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the pesto, Parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Stir to coat evenly.
Leftover Grilled Chicken Salad Plate
- Leftover grilled chicken, sliced (see recipe above)
Any combination seasonal vegetables, such as :
- Sliced tomatoes
- Cooked corn on the cob, shucked
- Red onion, sliced
- Sliced bell pepper
- Boiled potatoes
- Sliced cucumber
- Cooked green beans
- Slices of ripe cantaloupe melon
- 3 cups fresh lettuce
- Homemade Ranch Dressing, (see recipe here)
Line a serving platter with the lettuce. Arrange the chicken slices and vegetables over the lettuce in an attractive pattern. Drizzle with the Ranch dressing before serving.
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa, plus extra for the pan
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- 2 1/2 cups cappuccino chips or semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- Chocolate sprinkles for garnish, optional
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly coat a 9″ x 13″ pan cake pan with cooking spray and lightly dust with cocoa powder.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Squeeze the shredded zucchini dry in a paper towel to remove some of the moisture.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the sugar, butter and oil until well blended and light.
Add the egg and continue beating. Beat in vanilla, buttermilk and applesauce.
Stir in the flour-cocoa mixture. Fold in the grated zucchini and mini chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake for 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack.
To make the topping:
Heat the chips and heavy cream in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Pour into a bowl and chill.
When ready to frost the cake, whisk the topping and spread on top of the cake. Add the chocolates sprinkles, if using.
Store the cake in the refrigerator.
June 1, 2016 at 9:37 am
All sound delicious as usual…will have to try the pesto with walnuts, I usually use pignolas which are quite pricey! N.
June 1, 2016 at 10:08 am
Thanks so much. Yes, they are and walnuts work very well.
June 1, 2016 at 10:53 am
Some lovely ideas here Jovina. The chicken marinade sounds great and the bulk pesto for freezing a super idea. Our basil has doubled in size since planting out on Sunday!
June 1, 2016 at 10:56 am
Oh I know what you mean about basil. I cut all the basil in the recipe above from 2 plants last week and they are almost back to their original size before I cut it. Amazing. Thanks Annie.
June 1, 2016 at 1:21 pm
My basil is ready for harvest & I can’t wait to make a big batch of fresh pesto!
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
June 1, 2016 at 1:37 pm
You know, looking at food blogs when hungry is really not a good idea. I’m am ready to dive into all of your dishes. They look so good and I do agree about using the wonderful fruits and vegetables that are available. Now that we’re back home I can’t wait to hit our farmers market. Have a great evening.
June 1, 2016 at 1:38 pm
Thanks and happy cooking Marisa. Looking forward to your next blog post.
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June 1, 2016 at 5:21 pm
The zucchini chocolate bread really piqued my interest, but I love the marinated chicken and everything else as well!
June 1, 2016 at 5:26 pm
Thanks so much Mary Frances.
June 2, 2016 at 8:00 pm
Reblogged this on ravenhawks' magazine and commented:
The chocolate zucchini cake is a recipe I will definitely have to try.
June 3, 2016 at 7:41 am
June 2, 2016 at 10:14 pm
Hi Jovina.. Found your blog through the reblog on Ravenhawks! What wonderful recipes… I love using seasonal vegetables and fruit in my recipes too! However, I’m blessed to be in a country like India so I haven’t had to freeze any stock for winters! But I’ll soon be shifting to Edinburgh and I’ll have to start practicing this! I’m trying out the macaroni salad tonight for dinner 😀 it looks easy to make and would probably taste nice with a glass of wine and some fresh fruit!!! 🙂 looking forward to more stuff here… And do stop by my site when you have a moment… Cheers and have a wonderful day!
June 3, 2016 at 7:43 am
Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I sure hope you enjoy the salad and it should go perfectly with a glass of wine. I will definitely look forward to reading your blog.
June 3, 2016 at 10:41 am
The salad turned out beautifully! Thank you so much for the recipe… It was a quick fix and left everyone wanting more! 🙂
June 3, 2016 at 10:45 am
So pleased and thank you for letting me know you liked a recipe.
June 6, 2016 at 7:43 am
I made the macaroni salad yesterday- so easy and so yummy! Can’t wait to try the other recipes! Thank you, Jovina!
June 6, 2016 at 7:45 am
Thank you so much Marla. I really appreciative that you took time to tell me you liked this recipe. I love to hear from readers.
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August 23, 2016 at 12:18 pm
Dear Jovina, I would love to post the chicken recipe from this post on diabetesdietblog.com. Would that be okay?
August 23, 2016 at 12:20 pm
Yes it would and thank you for asking.
August 23, 2016 at 12:34 pm
Thanks! Not many BBQ days left in Scotland!