Summer is finally here! And boy, is it here. We don't have air conditioning, so we've really been feeling it on those 90-plus-degree days. But I love the sun and the warmth. I'll take it over snow and over gray, cold, rainy days any day. And in addition to all the sunshine, another thing I love about summer is the abundant veggies at farmers' markets and farm stands. I've been to the Roslindale farmers' market twice so far (so impressed with all the vendors there) and have already stopped into Volante Farms and Allandale Farm. Some beautiful squash and fresh shelling peas from Allandale, along with some ingredients already in the house and a recipe on Serious Eats, served as the inspiration for this summer meal.
Fregola With Summer Vegetables
(adapted from Serious Eats)
This dish of fregola with summer squashes, tomatoes, and fresh peas is summer in a bowl.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Yield: Serves 2 to 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small shallot, sliced thin
2 small summer squashes (any variety), halved lengthwise and sliced thin
Pinch red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
Salt, to taste
6 ounces fregola
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 ounces baby spinach
1 cup chopped tomatoes (cherry, regular, a mix, whatever)
1/4 cup fresh peas from 1 pint shelling peas
2 scallions, light green parts only, sliced thin
1/2 cup chopped or crumbled feta, plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped basil
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Sauté shallot, squashes, pepper flakes, and salt, stirring frequently, until squash is mostly translucent, 5 to 6 minutes.
Stir in fregola and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add broths and cook for 13 minutes, or until most of liquid is absorbed and fregola is tender.
Stir in spinach. When spinach is all wilted, remove from heat.
Stir in tomatoes, peas, scallions, feta, and lemon juice.
Serve, topped with extra feta and basil.
Summer in a bowl. Done.
This is one of my favorite sorts of dishes -- it uses lots of fresh veggies and readily available pantry staples, not to mention cheese! It's also easy to adapt for what you have on hand. No feta? Try mozzarella or goat cheese. No fregola? Use a small pasta shape or Israeli couscous (just remember to adjust the cooking time). Don't like squash, tomatoes, and fresh peas? Well, then, I can't help you. Just kidding, but really, who doesn't like squash, tomatoes, and fresh peas?
What's your summer in a bowl?