Whether you started the week with a chill day off by the pool or a social distance style cookout, it certainly feels like summer–even if a little different than the ones before. There are so many things I love about summertime, but the seasonal produce has to be near the top of the list. Every year, my father plants a huge garden of green beans, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, okra, cabbage, and anything else he can find. You’ll find us picking, washing, shelling, and hauling vegetables in five-gallon buckets all season long. While most of those vegetables aren’t ready yet, the wild berries are ready for harvest and I plan to feature them in a couple desserts if I can keep the little ones from eating them straight off the vine.
As for our own little backyard garden, our plants are getting taller by the day and our herb garden is bursting. Our fig tree has started sprouting little bulbs and we are hoping to have ripe fruit within the month. Eating seasonally is important to us year-round, but especially right now with so many ingredients right in our backyard. This week’s menu is largely inspired by that abundance and all the other beautiful things Summer usually brings with it, like shrimp boils (see weeknight favorite #2) and spending time packing away extras for the rest of the year (see something extra for one of my favorite ways to use our leftover produce).
For us, weeknight meal means ready in under an hour, not too indulgent, and really good. All of these check those boxes + make great lunch leftovers if you’re into that.
Recipe and Image via Gimme Some Oven
Eggplant is something I remember my dad always growing when I was a child. I loved it. We mostly ate it fried or simply baked, but it’s fantastic as a meaty substitute. If you are an eggplant parm fan, you have to try this recipe!
Recipe and Image via Damn Delicious
Shrimp boils are a southern summer staple. I’m not sure we will be attending many this year, so when I saw this recipe pop up on my feed, I was inspired. I can’t wait to pull this out of the oven and enjoy it al fresco while the kids play in the backyard.
Recipe and Image via Half Baked Harvest
What is it about summer that just makes you crave a salad? Is it the stifling heat or the constant snacking that leaves you wanting something light at mealtime? I don’t know, but if you love a filling, flavorful salad, this will be in your meal rotation all summer.
Recipe and Image via The Original Dish
If these flavors sound like an unlikely combo, just trust me.
Recipe and Image via Hello Veggie
This is the perfect weekend pizza that comes together quickly. If you have meat-lovers at home, throw some prosciutto on top and they’ll be happy!
These recipes are made for slow Saturday mornings + pairing well with a bloody mary is a requirement.
Recipe and Image via Salt Jar
“Tartine” makes toast sound much more fancy. Tomatoes are a daily (hourly) staple in our house, so these will be on repeat for Saturday brunch.
After a long week, nothing is better than enjoying a treat, especially if you are able to make it with friends or kids.
Recipe and Image via Half Baked Harvest
I’m really excited to make this with the berries we foraged, and eventually, with some figs from the backyard tree. For now, store-bought will have to do.
For this week’s extra, I’m sharing one of my favorite ways to use leftover produce and add flavor to our lunch sandwiches! You will need a storage jar of some sort. I love Weck jars, but any mason-type jar will work.
Recipe and Image via Smitten Kitchen
I hope these recipes inspire you this week. Let us know what you think about them!
6 large eggs
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 package smoked andouille sausage (you can use smoked turkey sausage, too!)
2 oil-packed anchovy fillets (if you aren’t a fan of anchovies, add a little extra salt and a splash of apple cider vinegar)
2 cans (6 or 7-ounce) tuna packed in olive oil
¾ lb skirt steak
2 medium eggplants
2 pounds dutch yellow or mixed baby potatoes
3 ears corn
1 bunch asparagus
3-4 ears corn on the cob
7 cloves garlic
4 cups fresh chopped greens, such as romaine or arugula
1 ½ cups cherry or grape tomatoes
2 cups fresh berries
8-10 fresh figs (optional)
4-5 cups julienned firm vegetables (use what you have on hand or if buying fresh: radishes, bell peppers, carrots, sugar snaps, and cucumbers all work beautifully)
1 jalapeno (if you don’t love spice, just skip it!)
2 cups basil
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves
½ cup mixed tender herbs, such as basil, parsley, thyme, and or dill
2 tsp minced chives
1 tbsp thyme
PACKAGED GOODS + CONDIMENTS
Olive oil, as always
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
4 cups marinara sauce (homemade or store-bought is fine)
1/2 cup mixed Greek olives
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
½ cup pomegranate juice
½ cup + 2 tbsp honey
¼ cup balsamic glaze (store-bought or made at home with balsamic vinegar + honey!)
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
2 tbsp chopped pistachios
1 ½ cups roasted salted cashews
1 cup raw unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup pitted medjool dates
3 cups canned full-fat coconut cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 oz high quality white chocolate
1 cup distilled white vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
½ tsp cinnamon
2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
8 oz fresh mozzarella
2 cups shredded mozzarella
2/3 cup finely grated or shaved Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
1/4 cup unsalted butter
6 oz crumbled feta cheese
4 oz greek yogurt
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
6-8 pieces of naan bread, store-bought or homemade
2 slices whole wheat bread