Happy hump-day, wine-Wednesday, almost Friday to you all! Just like this week (how is it already Wednesday?), this summer is flying by. Usually, that statement is filled with disappointment and longing for life to pump the brakes a bit, but today, I say it with joy. Not because I'm itching for summer to end (in fact, quite the opposite), but because this summer is filled with so much goodness, and I wouldn't have it any other way. We have two close friends' weddings, concerts, outdoor movies in cemeteries, friends visiting from out of town, weekend getaways, and much more.
The first of the two weddings took place in Napa three weeks ago, and was by and far one of the most beautiful weddings I've been to thus far. It was an intimate wedding, held at Meadowood Resort in St. Helena, where we got to watch our friends say "I do" while drinking some of the best wine Napa has to offer. The following weekend we spent a few days in Orcas Island, off the coast of Washington, with Ricky's family. My next post will have more details about this trip, but it's a beautiful little island suited for families and anyone outdoorsy.
This past weekend was one our first free weekends, so we took advantage. We decided to stay local to LA and do some of our favorite weekend activities - eat, hike, farmers market.
I've written quite a lot about the Brentwood Farmer's Market, but I truly can't say enough good things. While small, it hits the nail on the head with local produce and vendors right up my alley. We splurged on hummus and labneh from Brother's Hummus, as well as local wildflower honey from LSG Honey. Ricky has horrible allergies, especially this time of the year, and I'm intrigued to see how a natural approach using local honey will help.
Summer produce is without a doubt my favorite to cook with. There is so much good bounty in season, it's hard not to be creative with the amount of fruits and veggies you can find. I love hitting up a market with a broad idea for a meal, seeing what looks most fresh and tasty, and narrowing down the details of the dish based on what you pick up. One of my favorite summer meals is Summer Succotash; I love how a warm salad can be so bright and refreshing, simply by using fresh herbs and in-season veggies. This past Sunday, the zucchinis really caught my eye, so I decided grab a few to spiralize along with the succotash. Added garlic shrimp for protein and a creamy basil sauce to round it out!
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (about 1 small ear of corn)
1/2 can butter beans or lima beans
2 zucchinis, spiralized*
1/4 of a medium sized red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/4 a cup)
1 large garlic clove, minced and divided
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1/3 lb shrimp*
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
Creamy Basil Sauce*:
5-6 large basil leaves
1.5 tsp apple cider vinegar
1.5 tbsp greek yogurt (sub coconut cream and/or homemade mayo for dairy-free/Paleo/Whole30)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1. If you do not have a vegetable spiralizer, you can use a vegetable peeler to cut zucchini ribbons, or simply chop the zucchini into bite-sized pieces. You can also find some pre-spiralized zucchinis at Whole Foods!
2. I use pre-cooked shrimp to save time. If you prefer to use uncooked, just adjust cooking time to ensure shrimp is cooked to your liking.
3. You will have extra sauce left over. I like thinning it out with more water and vinegar for a salad dressing, or making double of the dressing and using it throughout the week. I don't advise cutting the recipe in half, unless you have a small blender/food processor, as the ingredients won't combine well enough.
4. This meal is good served hot, room temp, or even cold! The recipe calls for a lot of simultaneous cooking, so if you prefer to eat it cold you can pre-make the components in batches.
1. Begin by prepping all of your ingredients. You want to have everything laid out, as cooking the meal is simultaneous and quick.
2. Add all of the ingredients, except the water, for the basil sauce into a blender or food processor and process until thoroughly combined. Divide the mixture into two. In one mixture, add 1-2 tbsp of water and combine until thinned to your liking. Set aside.
3. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add in one tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot, add in the pepper, corn, and onion. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften. Add in garlic and butter beans, season with salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring often, turn off heat, and set aside.
4. Heat up and additional two skillets (if you don't have multiple skillets, place the succotash mixture in a bowl and re-use that skillet for the zucchini), each with 1 tablespoon oil. Add the zucchini noodles to one skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes, using tongs to toss, until al-dente.
5. Meanwhile, in the other pan, add in the shrimp, remaining garlic, and juice of half a lemon. If you using pre-cooked shrimp, heat for only 1-2 minutes, until warm and flavors combine. If using fresh, uncooked, cook until pink and no longer translucent.
6. Remove all pans from heat. In a bowl, add the zucchini noodles and 1-2 spoonfuls of the thicker basil sauce (or as much as you'd like). Toss the noodles with the sauce and then divide noodles into preferred portions in bowls. Top with succotash, shrimp, and drizzle with the thinned out basil sauce. Serve and enjoy!