Dash of Class: More fresh-from-the-garden goodies

-A A +A
By Nora Sweat

A week ago, I highlighted fruits that are in season right now — peaches and blackberries — and this week I have some recipes for you that also are in season: zucchini, yellow squash and cucumbers.

Some tomatoes are starting to ripen and we can look forward to bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches soon. Corn should be coming in soon for us and then green beans will be ready, too. I have green peppers waiting for me to make them into pepper jelly and zucchini are waiting to be made into zucchini bread and cake. Summer seems to be flying by, so enjoy the fresh vegetables. You might even want to try freezing or canning some to save for winter. A lot of vegetables taste so much like fresh after preserving them.

I’ve heard people say they freeze tomatoes for soup or stew.

Nora Sweat, author of “Mama and Me,” is a retired home economics/family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached at norasweat@thenewsenterprise.com or by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.

Minty Watermelon Cucumber Salad
8 cups cubed seedless watermelon
2 medium English cucumbers, halved lengthwise and sliced
6 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh mint
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a large bowl, combine watermelon, cucumbers, green onions and mint. In a small bowl, whisk remaining ingredients. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, up to two hours before serving. Yield: 16 servings (3/4 cup each).
Source: Taste of Home, 2014

Italian Tomato and Bread Salad
½ cup olive oil, divided
3 ½ teaspoon garlic salt, divided
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
20 ounce loaf sourdough bread, cut into ¾ inch cubes
5 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 pounds ripe tomatoes cut into ½ inch pieces
2 cups chopped red or orange bell pepper
1 cup basil leaves, torn if large

In a large bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 ½ teaspooons garlic salt, paprika and ground red pepper. Add bread cubes, tossing to coat. Spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes in a preheated oven to 350 degrees. Stir every 10 minutes, or until bread cubes are crisp. Let cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, remaining 5 tablesspons olive oil, remaining 2 teaspoons garlic salt, and ground black pepper. Add tomatoes, bell pepper, and basil leaves, tossing to coat. Serve salad immediately.
Source: “Cooking with Paula Deen”

Tomato Zucchini Bake
Cooking spray
1 pound sliced zucchini
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 1/4 pounds sliced vine-ripened tomatoes
1/2 cup panko
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 2-quart shallow baking dish with cooking spray, and alternately layer sliced zucchini, corn kernels, and sliced tomatoes. Combine panko and Parmesan, and sprinkle on top. Bake, uncovered, in the center of oven 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cover with foil, and bake for 10 minutes more or until vegetables are tender. Serve immediately.
Source: www.allrecipes.com

Garden Lasagna
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
3 1/2 cups (1 pound) chopped zucchini
1 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels or frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups low-fat milk
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Cooking spray
9 (about 5 ounces) no-boil lasagna noodles (such as Barilla)
1 cup (4 ounces) pre-shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, onion, and carrot; sauté 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat; stir in corn, basil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour in a large saucepan; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in cottage cheese, Parmesan, nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon salts, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

Spread 1/2 cup white sauce in bottom of an 11- x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 noodles over sauce; top with half the vegetable mixture (about 2 cups) and one-third of the remaining white sauce (about 1 cup). Top with 3 noodles, remaining vegetable mixture, half the remaining sauce, and 3 more noodles. Spread the remaining white sauce over noodles. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with mozzarella, and bake an additional 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 15 minutes.