Grilled Summer Squash and Fingerling Potato Salad

Grilled Summer Squash and Fingerling Potato Salad

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 3 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound small fingerling potatoes, unpeeled, halved lengthwise
  • 1 pound summer squash, cut on the bias into 1/3 inch thick slices
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced into 1 inch thick strips

Make the dressing:

  1. In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, shallot, 1 tablespoon of the basil and the lemon zest.
  2. While whisking continuously, pour in 1/4 cup olive oil.
  3. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper and set aside.

Make the Salad:

  1. Heat your grill to high. 
  2. Place potatoes in large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover. Salt the water heavily (it should taste like sea water) and bring to a boil. Boil just until almost tender, about 4 minutes.
  3. Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a work bowl. Add 1 teaspoon basil and 1-1/2 tablespoons oil. Toss with salt and pepper.
  4. Combine squash and bell pepper in large bowl; add remaining 1 teaspoon basil and 1-1/2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat.
  5. Toss potatoes in a grill basket or, using tongs, carefully arrange them in a single layer on your grill.
  6. Grill until tender, about 10 minutes (5 minutes per side if cooking directly on the grill. If using a basket give it a good shake every minute.) 
  7. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and set aside.
  8. Repeat with the squash and bell peppers. (If cooking directly on the grill turn them a few times with tongs, being careful not to tear the squash.) 
  9. Transfer squash to the bowl with potatoes and the bell peppers to a cutting board. Cut the bell pepper strips into 1-inch bite sized pieces and add to the vegetable bowl.
  10. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss. Season with salt and pepper.
  11. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Eggplant Manicotti

Eggplant Manicotti

  • 1 lb eggplant
  • 1½ cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cups mozzarella, grated 
  • ½ cups parmesan, grated plus extra for 
  • ¼ cups basil leaves, shredded
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cups spinach, chopped
  • 2 cups tomato sauce*
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices and generously salt both sides of each slice. Let the salt draw out the moisture from the eggplant for 20 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, fold together all three cheeses with about half of the basil, spinach and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil.
  4. Rinse the eggplant slices and pat dry with a paper or kitchen towel.
  5. Brush each slice, front and back, with the remaining olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes to make the slices more tender and pliable then cool on the baking sheet.
  6. Add about 2 teaspoons of the cheese mixture to narrower end of a slice of eggplant. Roll up the filling and, if necessary, use a toothpick to keep everything in place. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices.
  7. Spoon some of the tomato sauce into the bottom of a baking dish, arranging the eggplant manicotti rolls so that they lay in the pan seam-side down in a single layer. If you used toothpicks you can remove them at this time.
  8. Spoon the remaining sauce over the top of the manicottis and bake them for 30 minutes or until they've heated all the way through and the cheese is bubbly.
  9. To plate, spoon some of the hot tomato sauce onto the middle of the plate, then, using a thin spatula, remove the manicottis and place on the plate, sprinkle with basil and more parmesan cheese.

*Use your favorite recipe or store bought (we like Bertolli's Organic in a pinch) and check back later this summer for Vibrant Valley Farm's own tomato sauce recipe.


Garlic Scapes 2 ways

Garlic Scapes 2 ways

01. Garlic Scape Pesto

  • 10 large garlic scapes
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/2 cup Basil
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. In a food processor, pulse the Garlic Scapes for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the sunflower seeds and pulse for an additional 30 seconds.  Scrape down sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the oil and run on high for 20 seconds.
  4. Add the cheese and pulse until combined.
  5. Add the basil and lemon juice and pulse til you reach the consistency you like.
  6. Add the salt to taste and serve immediately (The pesto keeps in the fridge, covered, for 1 week or frozen for a month.)

02. Garlic Scape Compound Butter

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • about 2 garlic scapes, minced
  • about 2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, to taste

In a bowl, mix the herbs and salt with the butter a little at a time making sure to taste as you go. Get the ratio of garlic to dill to salt the way you like it. Once you are satisfied with the flavor turn out the bowl onto a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap and work into a rolled log. Roll up and seal the ends, making it easy to slice and use later. You can store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or even longer in the freezer.

Try it on bread for a stunning Summer appetizer or finish off a grilled steak (we think NY Strip works best) with a big slab of the butter while the meat rests.