John was so happy with his boo here that he was absolutely, truly relaxed all weekend – with the stress of his job, that doesn’t happen nearly often enough. He even did a little dance for Cooper! Now we just need a run of nice July weekends so he can enjoy some more time at “his” pool (every time he’s out there he says, this is the firsttime I’ve been able to relax and enjoy the pool; luckily it’s turning out to be a summer of many first times… I know it’s dry and we need some rain, but wow, these sunny days are gorgeous! We Minnesotans cherish our summer days!)
Back to the usual groove today – Nathan had tennis lessons this morning and has a baseball game tonight. As a result, no time for cooking this evening. I’ll be back on board tomorrow, and will take the time to post some recipes from over the weekend, like zucchini parmigiana and tomato toast with ham and/or manchego cheese. (Recipes are now posted in comments, below.)
Tomato Toast with Ham (or Manchego Cheese)
Adapted from Tapas A Taste of Spain in America by Jose Andres
Serves 4 as an appetizer
4 large slices rustic bread
1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half
2 ripe tomatoes, cut in half
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Ideally, 4 thin slices jamon Serrano (Spanish cured ham), or, 4 paper-thin slices of good ham, sautéed in a hot pan, with a bit of olive oil, until started to brown on the edges
4 thin slices Manchego cheese
Toast or grill the bread. Rub one side of the toast with the cut garlic. Rub one side of the toast with the cut tomato (this will grate the tomato into the bread). Drizzle bread with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and top with either a slice of ham or a slice of Manchego cheese. Serve.
Parmigiana of Zucchini and Mozzarella
Adapted from La Cucina Italiana Magazine
2 medium zucchini
4 oz. mozzarella, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 springs parsley, chopped
10 basil leaves, chopped
½ c. freshly grated parmigiano
2 slices white bread, crumbled
salt and freshly ground pepper
extra-virgin olive oil for greasing and drizzling
Prehea the oven to 400 degrees. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, cut the zucchini lengthwise into thin slices. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine the garlic, parsley, basil, and parmigiano and mix well. In a separate bowl combine the bread with 1 Tbsp. of the garlic mixture, a bit of salt and pepper, and 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. Set aside.
Drizzle 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a small oven-safe casserole (an 8x8 pan works well). Arrange a layer of zucchini on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Then sprinkle a layer of mozzarella over the zucchini layer. Top the mozzarella layer with some of the garlic mixture. Repeat this process until all of the zucchini and mozzarella have been used and top with the bread mixture. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and the top is golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly before serving.