3 No-Cook Dinners for When You Want to Turn off the Stove

It’s the end of the long workday (or the start of an extra-long week) and we’re hungry. Like, “can’t-think-straight” hungry. Luckily, Food52 contributor EmilyC wants to do all the thinking for us. In Dinner’s Ready, her monthly column on weeknight wond…

It's the end of the long workday (or the start of an extra-long week) and we're hungry. Like, "can't-think-straight" hungry. Luckily, Food52 contributor EmilyC wants to do all the thinking for us. In Dinner's Ready, her monthly column on weeknight wonders, she shares three simple, flavor-packed recipes that are connected by a single idea or ingredient. Stick with Emily, and you'll have a good dinner on the table in no time. Today, three summery meals that let us rev up the flavor but keep the temps down.


Every summer, I reach a point when I practically banish my sheet pans and skillets from my kitchen. Not that I don't love them (trust me, they’ll be in heavy use this fall for dinners like this and this!), but many days it’s just too hot and sticky to turn on my oven, stand over the stove, or even fire up the grill come dinnertime.

Read More >>

Summer Squash & Basil Farro Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette.

Late summer zucchini farro salad coming in hot! I never want summer squash season to end. There, I said it. We are living for zucchini and summer squash over here and just enjoying it so much. Sure, in approximately thirty days I will be losing my mind over fall and winter squash, but that’s neither […]

The post Summer Squash & Basil Farro Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Late summer zucchini farro salad coming in hot!

summer squash basil farro salad

I never want summer squash season to end. There, I said it.

We are living for zucchini and summer squash over here and just enjoying it so much. Sure, in approximately thirty days I will be losing my mind over fall and winter squash, but that’s neither here nor there.

For now, why not make one of my all-time favorite salads with zucchini?

summer squash and zucchini in a skillet

This bowl is super satisfying and a great summer meal to make when you want a make-ahead dish or just a filling weeknight dinner. There is so much flavor and texture, which I think we all know by now is a requirement for me. 

I made this, inspired by my slow roasted tomato farro salad, because it’s such a versatile dish. It works well as a main dish, as a side dish or even a potluck or BBQ dish. It’s delicious hot or cold. It’s customizable when it comes to herbs and dressing and even cheese. Leftovers are amazing!

There are just so many options.

tossing summer squash basil farro salad

And when I hinted on instagram that I may try a version of this dish with zucchini, you guys were allllll about it. Because grain bowls are the best.

Plus, it’s a great way to sneak in some vegetables. I find that I eat more veggies if they are tossed in a grain salad with delicious dressings and nuts. And obviously, cheese.

Could never live without cheese. Ever ever.

summer squash basil farro salad with lemon vinaigrette

I used the method from my melted zucchini baked ziti here – where the zucchini and summer squash almost become caramelized in a pan. They are soft and wonderful. But you could also grill zucchini or even roast it. 

And! You can use another grain, like quinoa or rice too. For the dressing?! Well it’s one of my go-to recipes as well. OF COURSE.

It’s lemony and tart and complements all the flavors. We have crunch and buttery flavor from the pine nuts. Creamy, tanginess from the feta. A bit of chew from the farro.

Really it is SUCH a lovely salad.

summer squash basil farro salad

Zucchini Farro Salad

Print

Summer Squash Basil Farro Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

This zucchini farro salad is so summery and delicious. Caramelized summer squash, basil, feta, toasted pine nuts - it's loaded with flavor!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini squash, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium summer squash, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ cups cooked farro
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil

lemon vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Stir in the zucchini and squash with a big pinch of salt and pepper and stir. Cook, stirring often, until the zucchini get melty and slightly caramelized, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • While the zucchini cooks, you can prepare the farro and toast the pine nuts. As a note, this is a great salad to use leftover farro, rice or quinoa! You can make the farro ahead of time.
  • To toast the pine nuts, heat the nuts in a skillet over medium-low heat. Toss the nuts and shake the pan a few times until they are golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Don’t take your eyes off them!
  • Once the zucchini are melty and slightly caramelized, stir in the garlic and cook for a few minutes.
  • To make the salad, combine the farro with the squash in a large bowl. If taking this to a party, I would combine it all cold and serve it cold. Toss in the feta cheese, pine nuts and fresh basil. Add about ¼ cup of the dressing, tossing well. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. If needed, you can add more dressing, or serve the salad as is with the dressing on the side so people can use it themselves.
  • This stores great in the fridge for a few days!

lemon vinaigrette

  • In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, garlic, salt and pepper. Continue to whisk while streaming in the olive oil. This dressing stays great in the fridge in a sealed container for a week or so, so feel free to make a double batch if desired!

summer squash basil farro salad

I adore you.

The post Summer Squash & Basil Farro Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Zucchini Ribbon Skewers with Spicy Lemon Garlic Butter.

These buttery, lemony zucchini skewers are perfect for your summer menu! I mean, say hello to my new favorite summer side dish!  I’m having a moment with skewers. Basically, I’m out of things to do while we’re staying at home (but really?) so I’ve just decided to take up time by skewering all the foods.  […]

The post Zucchini Ribbon Skewers with Spicy Lemon Garlic Butter. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

These buttery, lemony zucchini skewers are perfect for your summer menu!

zucchini skewers with spicy lemon garlic butter

I mean, say hello to my new favorite summer side dish! 

I’m having a moment with skewers. Basically, I’m out of things to do while we’re staying at home (but really?) so I’ve just decided to take up time by skewering all the foods. 

Not really, but kind of. It does take up some time and taste fantastic, so there’s that. 

zucchini and summer squash ribbons

How pretty are those ribbons?

P.S. these are the skewers that I have and I LOVE them.

butter, lemon zest, chili flakes, garlic

Before we talk about the main part of the recipe, let’s discuss this butter.

I want to jump in that pan and melt right along with those ingredients.

Even though this recipe is all about zucchini, we’re melting butter, lemon zest, garlic and chili flakes together until melty and buttery and brushable. 

Seriously, this stuff is like liquid gold.

zucchini skewers with spicy lemon garlic butter

I am in LOVE with this recipe. It’s a great way to get in some veggies – a fun and fancy new way to enjoy zucchini. You serve this as the skewers or slice the squash off the skewer onto your plate. The flavor is incredible, the edges get crispy, the insides stay soft and the whole thing is one big party in your mouth.

up close zucchini summer squash skewers

So, about slicing that zucchini… 

If you have a large mandolin, you could slice the zucchini lengthwise into super thin pieces. I prefer to just use a vegetable peeler! It’s easier and you can still get long strands. And if you get short pieces, those work too.

I do not suggest using a knife, because it’s sooooo super hard to get the pieces thin enough – where they won’t break apart when skewered.

Yes, this is a little more high maintenance than simply throwing the strips on the grill, but they are so pretty and delicious. Plus, it’s fun to scrunch the zucchini slices into ribbons and then skewer them! 

zucchini skewers with spicy lemon garlic butter

And then we brush with the spicy garlic lemon butter before grilling.

Oh mylanta – that stuff is straight up drinkable.

drizzling spicy lemon garlic butter

You can use e a grill pan or throw these directly on the grates. They are SO GOOD. Charred and smoky.

zucchini skewers with spicy lemon garlic butter

And of course! If you’re not in the mood to make these ribbons or you don’t have the time, slice the zucchini into rounds and skewer those. Or brush slices of zucchini with the lemon butter and grill like that. You still get all the flavor!

zucchini skewers with spicy lemon garlic butter

The key is: zucchini/summer squash + lemon butter. The rest is up to you!

zucchini skewers with spicy lemon garlic butter

Zucchini Skewers with Spicy Lemon Butter

Print

Zucchini Ribbon Skewers with Spicy Lemon Butter

These zucchini skewers are the prettiest, summery ribbons grilled with spicy lemon garlic butter. They are a delicious side dish!
Servings 6 to 8 skewers
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini squash
  • 2 medium summer squash
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, like parsley and basil

lemon garlic butter

  • 6 ounces unsalted butter
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Note: 4 medium-ish zucchini usually results in 6 to 8 skewers for me. This will all depend on how thin you slice the zucchini. I highly suggest using a vegetable peeler or mandolin. If you try to slice it with a knife, the pieces will most likely be too thick and will break when you try to skewer them.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. If using a grill pan, spray or brush it with olive oil.
  • Stand each zucchini up at its base and use a vegetable peeler from the top down to create thin ribbons of squash. It’s okay if they aren’t perfect! You’re going to skewer them anyway. Lay the ribbons out on a baking sheet or cutting board in a single layer.
  • Brush the lemon butter over one side of the squash. Then take each slice and fold it back and forth a few times, skewering it through the center. I use 8 to 10 thin sliced on each skewer, but you can use more or less! Just make sure they are skewered through the center and close together. Place each skewer either on a baking sheet or directly on a grill pan to transfer to the grill.
  • When all the skewers are ready, give them a final brush with the lemon butter. (If you have leftovers, you can also brush more on after!) Place the skewers on the grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes before rotating. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes then rotate one more time and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove the skewers and brush with even more of the lemon butter if you wish! Sprinkle with the fresh herbs. You can serve these on the skewer or you can easily slice the zucchini off onto your plate.

lemon garlic butter

  • Add all the ingredients together in a saucepan and heat over low heat until bubbling. Remove from the heat and use immediately.

Notes

recipe inspired by kalamazoo gourmet

zucchini skewers with spicy lemon garlic butter

Those edges are like zucchini crisps. YES.

The post Zucchini Ribbon Skewers with Spicy Lemon Garlic Butter. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Miso-Marinated Grilled Summer Squash

In general, I don’t try to recreate restaurant recipes. While there have been a few that turned out well (like my Thai pizza), most of the time they don’t seem to measure up. It’s easier to just go to the restaurant in question and ha…

In general, I don’t try to recreate restaurant recipes. While there have been a few that turned out well (like my Thai pizza), most of the time they don’t seem to measure up. It’s easier to just go to the restaurant in question and have the real thing. Unfortunately, one of my favorite vegetable dishes was one we had in Japan, at a completely tourist-y ninja-themed restaurant. (Really, I don’t understand why there aren’t more restaurants with ninjas as waiters. Also, the ninjas did magic tricks.) It was so simple, only consisting of a miso-based sauce and steamed vegetables. But it was so good. My first few attempts at replicating the sauce resulted in salty, barely edible disasters. But this time I got it right! I realized that my version was missing the sweetness of the original and that I needed to add sugar. I used different vegetables than we had in Japan (summer squash, since it’s that time of year) and grilled them instead of steaming them. This grilled summer squash recipe couldn’t be easier, so it’s a perfect way to use fresh zucchini from the garden.

zucchini quesadillas

Sure, it’s only been one month since I wrote “I don’t find summer squash naturally loveable. Its flavor is not robust—fairly watery when fresh, slippery when cooked, and even when you do succeed in browning or crisping it, th…

Sure, it’s only been one month since I wrote “I don’t find summer squash naturally loveable. Its flavor is not robust—fairly watery when fresh, slippery when cooked, and even when you do succeed in browning or crisping it, this textural triumph is short-lived.” But I never meant that I avoid it. Just because it may not be the most popular vegetable at the party doesn’t mean that it cannot flourish under the right conditions (salt, pepper, acidity, heat, herbs, and cheese — please). Conveniently, I almost always have these conditions in stock.

Read more »