We are enjoying delicious June weather here. — perfect for blissful early morning runs and lazy afternoons spent reading magazines outside. There is so much to do now that the weather is nice and school is out! My grade is taking a class trip to Six Flags this week, and I’m psyched to get my swimsuit and sunscreen out again for the first time this summer! Tonight, I fixed a simple dinner to honor the succulent summertime flavors that are just beginning.
My ratatouille tart is one of my go-to summer recipes, it is fresh, healthy, and showcases colorful summer vegetables beautifully. Ratatouille a favorite at my house (check out my recipe for the best-ever ratatouille!) in the cold months of winter. In the summertime, instead of serving it in a big, warm casserole dish, I like to serve it in a lighter, prettier way — arranged on thin, buttery, flaky sheet of puff pastry.
|served with my favorite jam and crackers
I served my tart alongside a tomato watermelon salad. This salad has a beautiful contrast of sweet, salty, and savory. It is a delicious alternative to the traditional fruit salad, and the addition of fresh sea salt makes it oh-so refreshing and sophisticated. Some may call me crazy, but I always sprinkle a little bit of sea salt on my watermelon — it brings out the succulent sweetness of the melon juice. The juicy watermelon and tomatoes are balanced out by tart balsamic vinegar, fruity olive oil, fresh Thai basil, and tangy feta cheese. Fresh, healthy and beautiful — the perfect way to welcome summer.
What is your favorite summertime dish?
inspired by Smitten Kitchen
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 small eggplant
1 yellow squash
1 long red bell pepper
1/3 cup tomato sauce (sometimes I like to throw in a little tomato pesto as well!)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
Few sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Heat the oven to 375°F. Place the puff pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and gently roll until it measures about 11 x 15 inches. Prick the pastry all over with a fork.
Spread the tomato sauce over the pastry, leaving a one-inch border around the edges.
Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash and pepper.
On a mandoline or with a very sharp knife, cut the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper into very thin slices.
Arrange slightly overlapped slices of vegetables concentrically over the tomato puree or sauce.
Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle de-stemmed thyme leaves over the vegetables. Finish with a little sprinkling of Parmesan (as much or as little as you like).
Bake in the heated oven until the pastry is puffed and browned and the vegetables look softened (about 30 minutes) Slide onto a cutting board, sprinkle with a little bit more cheese, and cut into squares or strips. Serve warm or at room temperature.
tomato watermelon salad
inspired by Merry Gourmet
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 small clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup finely chopped fresh basil (I love Thai basil)
Fresh ground black pepper
3 cups cubed watermelon, seeds removed
6 tomatoes, chopped into 3/4 inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped or torn fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup feta (or more or less, depending on your taste)
Make vinaigrette: Mix vinegar and minced garlic in bowl. Whisk in olive oil, then whisk in basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Add watermelon, tomatoes, and torn (or chopped) basil leaves to bowl. Sprinkle with feta. Toss gently with the vinaigrette and let sit before serving to allow the rich flavors to sink in.