Gardens are growing fast around the Piedmont and local farmers markets are full of fresh fruits and vegetables. Chef Al Romano, a culinary instructor at GTCC Jamestown, has some summer recipes sure to be a hit in your house.
Cool Cucumber Soup
YIELD: 5 servings.
- 1 pound cucumbers
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1-1/2 cups Greek yogurt
- 1 green onion, coarsely chopped
- Juice from one lemon
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3-4 Sprigs fresh dill
- 3-4 sprigs fresh parsley
- Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- Additional chopped green onion and snipped fresh dill for garnish
- Place all ingredients in a blender and puree, except yogurt.
- Then add yogurt, and mix again until smooth.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve in chilled bowls.
- Garnish with additional onion and dill.
Air-Fryer Zucchini Chips
Serves: 4 (serving size: about 10 chips)
- 2 medium zucchini, cut crosswise 1/4-in.-thick slices
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 cup (about 2 1/8 oz.) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 cups panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
- 2 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely shredded (about 1 cup)
- 2 1/2 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, finely shredded (about 1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Canola oil cooking spray
- Arrange zucchini slices in a single layer on a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Let stand 15 minutes, and blot dry.
- Whisk together flour, black pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish. Whisk together eggs and water in a separate shallow dish. Stir together panko, Parmesan, pecorino, and oil in a third shallow dish.
- Working in batches, dredge zucchini slices in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Dip in egg mixture, allowing excess drip, and dredge in panko mixture, pressing to adhere. Place slices on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Preheat a 6.3-quart air fryer to 390°F for 10 minutes. Coat air fryer basket with cooking spray. Working in batches, add zucchini slices to basket, and cook until golden brown and crisp.
Chef Al’s Tomato Pie
Yield: 6 servings
- 3 to 4 ripe tomatoes (about 3 pounds), thinly sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- 1/2 small sweet onion, thinly sliced Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 rolled 9-inch pie crust, store-bought or homemade
- 3-4 slices provolone
- 1 cup freshly grated mozzarella
- 1 cup aioli (mayonnaise, garlic, Parmesan cheese)
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn, plus small leaves for garnish
- Arrange the tomato and onion slices in a single layer on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 1 to 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Fit the pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate and crimp the edges. Prick the bottom and sides with a fork. Line the crust with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the edges of the crust are just golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove the foil and weights and continue to bake until the bottom of the crust is dry and brown, another 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely.
- Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few cracks of black pepper.
- Transfer the tomatoes and onions to a dry paper towel and pat dry. Liberally season the tomatoes with cracked black pepper. Arrange a third of the tomatoes in a single layer in the pie crust, overlapping slightly.
- Sprinkle a third of the basil over the tomatoes and top with a third of the onions.
- Repeat twice with the remaining tomatoes, basil and onions.
- Spread the mayonnaise mixture over the top of the onions.
- Bake until the topping is golden brown and bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Let cool completely. Garnish with basil leaves. Serve at room temperature.
Healthy Blueberry Crumble
This is a deliciously healthy treat the whole family will love! Filled with fiber and antioxidants and no added sugar. It’s healthy and delicious.
Servings 4 people
- 3/4 Stick unsalted butter Grated
- 2 Cups rolled oats
- 2 Cups fresh blueberries
- 1/2 Cup almond flour
- 8 Prunes and/or dates, pureed with water
- 1 TBSP ground cinnamon
- 1 TSP vanilla protein powder
- 1/4 TSP salt Skip salt if you use salted butter
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Grate unsalted butter in a bowl.
- Puree four dates and four prunes. You may need to add more if your blueberries are tart.
- Combine the almond flour , pureed prunes and dates, ground cinnamon, vanilla powder , rolled oats with the grated butter in the buttered baking dish.
- Gently fold in the fresh blueberries.
- Transfer do baking dish.
- Bake 30-35 minutes.