Squash and Zucchini Fritters

Squash and Zucchini Fritters

Once in a while I think to myself “Self you haven’t fried anything in a while!” and I make grand plans to start frying. Then I actually do start frying and I remember how much work it is! Yummy yes, but easy no! My fryer is one of the larger ones, but that still doesn’t mean that the capacity is that great and things can go slowly. So on the rare occasions I do pull out the fryer it’s fun for a few minutes anyway frying up tasty little treats.

When we first started getting zucchini and squash coming in I thought it might be interesting to combine the two and makes some fritters and let me tell you these did not disappoint! I froze most of these, so I have some for later, but the few I did enjoy really hit the spot! It’s a relatively simple mix, but it definitely gives you bang for your buck!

What You’ll Need:
1 cup of stone ground yellow corn meal
1 cup of unbleached all purpose flour (Note: You could also use white whole wheat flour.)
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
2 tablespoons of organic cane sugar
2 eggs
1 cup of buttermilk
1 small sweet onion, chopped (Note: I used a Vidalia, but a yellow or white onion will be fine too.)
1 large zucchini, shredded
2 small yellow squash, shredded
Oil for frying

In a large bowl stir together corn meal, flour, sea salt, baking powder and sugar until well mixed. Add eggs and buttermilk and stir until incorporated. Add onion, zucchini and squash and stir to mix. Your mixture should look roughly like this:

Squash and Zucchini Fritters: Batter Before Resting

Set bowl aside for 25-35 minutes and let the batter “sweat” until it looks like this:

Squash and Zucchini Fritters: Batter After Resting

Preheat oil to 375 F.

Once oil is heated drop batter into the hot oil by the spoonful. (Note: I like to use a soup spoon.) Let brown on one side and the flip. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until golden brown all over.

Once browned remove the fritters from the oil and place on a baking sheet that has been lined with paper towels:

Squash and Zucchini Fritters

Repeat the process until all of the batter is used. You can keep the ones that are finished warm in a 200 F oven while the others are cooking.

These are really great as is, or dunked in a little ranch dressing!

Let’s take a look at the inside:

Squash and Zucchini Fritters: The Inside

Little bits of zucchini, squash and onion throughout! Yum! The perfect fritter!


I got bored with the frying thing toward the end (See told you above didn’t I? ;)) and started to wonder what the batter would be like in muffin form. I preheated the oven to 375 F and about 17 minutes later I ended up with this:

Squash and Zucchini Fritters Become a Muffin

So if you’d prefer a method other than frying, how about making them into muffins? Worked perfectly!

Notes: You could use only squash or only zucchini if you preferred. Shredded carrot might be nice too, or how about some fresh corn kernels?

“Fried” Green Tomatoes

"Fried" Green Tomatoes

I have a confession to make…

Are you ready?

I grew up in Tennessee, but I never had a Fried Green Tomato until I moved to Maryland. There’s a lot of those quintessential southern foods that I somehow missed growing up. This is probably because my mom didn’t fry a lot of things.

Shortly after we moved to Maryland I was over on the Eastern Shore, because for those of you who don’t know I’m a water person. Big time water person! Anytime I have the opportunity to be near the Chesapeake Bay, or more importantly the ocean, then by golly that’s where you’ll find me! It doesn’t happen as often as I’d like, but when we lived over next to the Bay, you’d often find me hopping across the bridge. I can’t even remember who was with me on this little jaunt, but I remember we stopped at this little seafood place, right on the water, and they had fried green tomatoes on their menu so I thought I’d give them a whirl!

To be completely honest I wasn’t really impressed with that first bite. They were made more like a deep fried/battered concoction and I thought they were heavy and tasteless. But that first bite made me start thinking…What if you seasoned the green tomatoes really well and then cooked them similarly to how I cook okra? You’d have a “fried” tomato, but it wouldn’t be as heavy and tasteless. And you know what? It worked!

These tomatoes are really fabulous! They make the perfect side dish. I actually like green tomato cut up and in salads, but this is a great way to use up some of those green tomatoes toward the end of the season, when the days aren’t quite long enough to make them ripen, if you’re not quite sure about just eating them as is.

What You’ll Need:
Sliced green tomatoes
Sea salt and pepper for sprinkling
1 cup of stone ground yellow corn meal
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of finely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of dry Ranch dressing mix
Extra virgin olive oil

First you want to slice your tomatoes to about the same thickness:

"Fried" Green Tomatoes: Mostly Green Tomatoes

As you can see this one was starting to turn red inside, but that’s ok.

Once you have all your tomatoes sliced lay them out and sprinkle them with sea salt and black pepper:

"Fried" Green Tomatoes: Salt and Pepper

Once they are seasoned on both sides set aside.

Place a large skillet on medium heat and place a think layer of olive oil in the pan to heat while you do the next step. A tablespoon of oil should be more than enough. You may need to add more as you “fry”, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Mix together corn meal, sea salt, black pepper and Ranch dressing mix until completely incorporated and place mixture on a plate or flat dish. Next place one tomato on the mixture to coat:

"Fried" Green Tomatoes: Ready to Dredge

Then flip the tomato over to coat the other side:

"Fried" Green Tomatoes: Dredged

Now you’re ready to “fry”!

Place the tomatoes into the heated skillet/oil and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown:

"Fried" Green Tomatoes: Frying

Once done remove from skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towels to “drain”:

"Fried" Green Tomatoes

You won’t get a lot of draining since you didn’t use a lot of oil, but there may be a little.

In between batches of tomatoes you might need to add a bit more oil to the pan. Just keep an eye on things. Repeat the process until all the tomatoes are done.

Serve immediately.

Notes: No notes for this one. When does that ever happen?? 😉


Better Bites: Corn Salad

Better Bites: Corn Salad

One of Lex’s all time favorite foods is corn on the cob, so I often have a few ears hanging around in the fridge. This time of year corn is so fabulous because it’s fresh, so sweet and not to mention cheap! The going rate around here is about 6 ears for a dollar. Now that’s what I call sweet! 😉

The traditional ways of cooked corn on the cob are great. You can grill the ears, boil them, roast them, etc. But as with many things I get bored with eating the same thing the same way over and over and over. The kernels of the corn actually make a great base for salads! Throw in some other vegetables and you’ve got the perfect, healthy meal in no time!

What You’ll Need:
2-3 ears of corn, cooked, cooled and kernels removed from the cob
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 a red onion, chopped
1 green tomato, chopped
1 carrot, cut into small bits
1 cucumber, cut into chunks
2 sprigs of thyme, stripped from the stem
2 sprigs of rosemary, stripped from the stem and chopped
The juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
A pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup of parsley, chopped

First you want to strip the corn kernels off of the cob. You can do this several ways. They have handy dandy corn strippers that do the trick (though I don’t have one of those) or you can use a serrated knife. Whenever I strip corn off the cob it reminds me of my grandfather who always ate it that way.


Dump the corn kernels into a glass bowl along with the other vegetables and toss to mix. Sprinkle the top of the vegetable mixture with thyme, rosemary and parsley and toss again. Add a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground pepper to taste. Next squeeze the juice of one lime over the top of the mixture, along with the olive oil and toss to coat.

Better Bites: Corn Salad: Ready to Serve

Serve immediately or store in the fridge until ready to use.

Notes: The flavors of this salad become better with time as they meld. You can keep it stored in an airtight container in your fridge for several days.

Bread Salad

Bread Salad

I love all the fresh vegetables that are readily available this time of the year. It’s so easy to eat fresh and local when you’re in the height of the summer season! Most days, at least one meal (and sometimes two), there is a salad, utilizing these ingredients involved. I often eat salad for lunch, and many times there is a salad component to dinner too.

Salads are so much fun because you can have endless variations, using the same ingredients, only tweaking them a bit. Salads also don’t have to be boring and if you don’t want to use lettuce or some other green, who says you have to?

This salad takes lovely, ripe local tomatoes, and pairs them with other in season vegetables to make a fabulous base. Add in some cheese and the unexpected Challah Bread and you’ve got the perfect, cool, don’t heat up your house summer meal that really hits the spot! What could be better than that?

What You’ll Need:
2-3 cups of plum or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cucumber, cut in half and then sliced
1/2 a red onion, cut into strips
1 small bell pepper, cut into strips
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of brown rice vinegar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1/3 cup of parsley, chopped
1/2 loaf of Challah Bread, cut into cubes
1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese

First up let’s discuss glass bowls. I’ve gotten several e-mails as of late asking why I often specify glass bowls to use when mixing. That’s an easy answer actually…Plastic skeeves me out! Seriously I do NOT put anything that is hot and/or acid into plastic containers, even to mix briefly. I do a lot of storing food in glass canning jars for left overs and such and while I do have some plastic storage containers I use glass far more often that I use plastic. Acid and heat can leach the chemicals in the plastics out into your food. Not sure if you’re a fan of weird chemicals in your food, but I’m not. So that’s why I specify glass. I also don’t use anything that has non-stick coatings, and avoid aluminum for the most part too.

Ok, now let’s get started on this salad!

First off put your tomatoes in a large glass bowl:

Bread Salad: Tomatoes

Then cucumbers:

Bread Salad: Cucumbers

Red onions:

Bread Salad: Red Onion

Bell peppers:

Bread Salad: Bell Peppers

And feel free to use whatever color of bells you have on hand!

Next add sea salt, black pepper, olive oil and vinegar:

Bread Salad: Salt and Pepper

I chose to use a fine ground pepper this go around to really let the pepper get into the salad and give it a little zing!

Then the chopped parsley:

Bread Salad: Parsley

And last (but not least!) add the bread and Parmesan:

Bread Salad: Bread

I picked up the Challah bread at my local bakery, but you can certainly make it yourself if you prefer.

Toss it all together and serve immediately:

Bread Salad: Tossed

And remember this is really an eat it now sort of of salad! You can store everything but the bread for later. If you have left overs I would recommend picking the bread out, because it will just turn into mush as it absorbs the moisture from the salad.

Bread Salad

Notes: You can add in any vegetables that you like. Fresh corn would be great, or how about squash and/or zucchini. You could also add fresh oregano, thyme and/or rosemary.

Better Bites: Two for One: Gazpacho Soup or Salad

Gazpacho Soup

As I mentioned before I’ll be contributing over at Allie’s Answers once a month or so. Today is the day! So stop over and say hello. It’s a great place to get a lot of green tips and ideas!

In the summer it is so easy to eat healthy, local, fresh produce! Some of us don’t have the luxury of being able to have fresh, local produce year round, so we really enjoy it when we do! But if you’re like me after the initial thrill of having a vine ripe tomato all by itself, or fresh cucumbers sliced for a snack, or any other variety of summer garden goody right from the garden/farmer’s market all by themselves has worn off you want to do something else with the natural bounty.

For years I’ve wanted to make some gazpacho, but I always get side tracked. (And in all honesty try…How is it possible that I had never had gazpacho before now?) Gazpacho is the perfect summer time treat! By taking a few simple ingredients and about 10 minutes you’ve got dinner in no time! It’s cool (which is fabulous on a hot summer day), it’s no cook so you don’t have to heat up your house to eat (also great on a hot summer day), there are no animal products or by products (making the dish vegan, for those of us trying to eat less meat and thus reduce our overall impact) and it’s a delicious, not to mention healthy, way to have a filling meal, without eating anything that is too heavy. Overall it’s a very earth friendly recipe and that is always a plus.

Another great thing about gazpacho is that it’s quite versatile. You can add in other vegetables that you like, throw in some herbs, or even add in some bread crumbs if you like. If you aren’t in the mood for soup you can eat the vegetable combination before it’s processed smooth as a salad. Also the proportions don’t have to be exactly the same each time. It’s a forgiving recipe that allows you to experiment each time. It’s quick, easy and delicious and sometimes in the summer that is just what you need!

Gazpacho: Ingredients

What You’ll Need:
6-8 tomatoes
4-6 small cucumbers, cut in half and sliced (Note: You want the pickling size. If you can’t find these you can use one large cucumber.)
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 a large red onion, sliced
3-4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of brown rice vinegar

Chop tomatoes and place in a large glass bowl:

Gazpacho: Tomatoes

Next chop cucumbers and add them in with the tomatoes:

Gazpacho: Tomatoes and Cucumbers

And then the green peppers:

Gazpacho: Vegetables and Green Peppers

Red onion:

Gazpacho: Vegetables and Red Onion


Gazpacho: Vegetables and Garlic

And last your black pepper, salt, oil and vinegar:

Gazpacho: Vegetables, Pepper, Salt, Oil and Vinegar

The really great thing about this is that everything can be roughly chopped. It doesn’t have to be uniform or perfect, just chop and go!

After everything is in the bowl you want to stir to mix everything together and let the oil and vinegar coat the vegetables:

Gazpacho Salad: You Can Stop Here or Proceed to Make Soup!

At this point you can do one of two things…You can stop right here and have Gazpacho Salad or you can proceed to the directions below to make soup.

Place vegetable mixture in your food processor or blender:

Gazpacho: Vegetables Ready to Process

Process until smooth and place in a serving dish:

Gazpacho Soup: Ready to Serve

Repeat this process until you have processed all of your vegetables into soup.

You can chill this soup or eat it immediately. It’s great topped with parsley or fresh herbs.

Makes 4-6 main course servings.

And look at this:

Gazpacho Soup

The color and texture is fabulous! Not to mention the taste! You get a zing from the onion, garlic and black pepper, coupled with a coolness from the other vegetables. It’s just the perfect combination!

Notes: If you want a chunkier soup then don’t process for as long. You could also add herbs in with the vegetables. Rosemary, thyme and/or oregano would be great or how about dill? These subtle changes can make it so you have something different, yet similar every time!

Cross posted at Allie’s Answers.

Better Bites: Zucchini and Squash

Zucchini and Squash

It’s that time of year, the time where you start having fresh vegetables either from your own garden, or at the Farmer’s Market or even your local markets. It is so easy to eat healthy and fresh during the summer!

One of my favorite side dishes during the summer, when squash and zucchini are in season, is a very simple dish that utilizes the naturally buttery taste of the squashes, paired with a sweet onion, that makes the perfect side dish or main course that tastes decadent, but is anything but.

I’ll say it again…Who says eating healthily has to be boring?

What You’ll Need:
3 zucchini, cut in half and then sliced
3 yellow squash, cut in half and then sliced
1 sweet or red onion, chopped
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

Zucchini and Squash: Ready to Cook

In a large pot over medium heat add zucchini, squash, onion, a pinch of sea salt, some freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. (Note: You don’t need more than a tablespoon or two of oil at most.) Stir ingredients to coat and cook over medium heat until squashes and onion are tender.

See how easy and quick that was? Quick, easy and delicious…Now that’s my kind of dish!

Notes: You can eat this as a side dish or you can serve it over rice as a main course.

Better Bites: Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Tomato and Cucumber Salad

How was everyone’s weekend? Ours was good. On Saturday we went to Alexis’ art class and then out for lunch and to run some errands. On Sunday Jamison and Alexis went to church and I stayed behind to do my weekly cleaning. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you don’t have to stop every two minutes or so to read a book, or play a game! ;oP Jamison and I even found time to watch a few movies this weekend. When does that ever happen??

Yesterday winter came back to our part of Maryland for a bit. It was a bit nippy! We even had a threat of frost last night, but luckily it didn’t happen. I covered all my herbs, veggies an flowers just in case though! Today the high is supposed to be in the 60’s and then tomorrow and the rest of the week we’re supposed to be back in the 70’s. I like the 70’s…I wish they’d stick around a bit longer!

Now let’s talk some tomatoes!

When Jamison’s parents came to see us a month or so ago, Jamison’s dad brought me a big bag of tomatoes from south Georgia! Talk about getting on my good side! ;)) Alexis and I enjoyed tomatoes for a week after they were here…Big, ripe, juicy tomatoes! We had tomato slices, tomato sandwiches and I even made a salad or two. This salad is one that I threw together, but it came out so good!

With just a few simple ingredients you’ve got a fabulous salad that tastes amazing and takes no time to make. There is just nothing like a fresh tomato and when a dish tastes great, but is healthy too it makes it that much better!

What You’ll Need:
4 cups of chopped tomatoes
2 cups of chopped cucumber
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cups of freshly dill, chopped
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup of rice vinegar

In a large glass bowl toss together tomatoes and cucumbers until mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Next add chopped dill and toss to incorporate.

In a bowl or canning jar stir or shake together oil and vinegar until mixed. (Note: This is so easy to do in a canning jar. Just slap on the lid and shake and you’re ready!) Pour mixture over the salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately or let sit in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Notes: As with any salad you make with vegetables and vinegar this really is an eat it now sort of dish. If you let it sit for too long the vinegar starts to break down the flesh of the vegetables. Also you could add in some steamed shrimp or roasted turkey or chicken if you wanted to “beef” it up a bit. I tried it one afternoon with turkey for lunch and it was great!

Tomato and Goat Cheese Pizza Tart

Tomato Goat Cheese Pizza Tart: Up Close Crust

Wow…The weekend seems to go by so fast! On Saturday we decided to go the new local library and see what it had to offer. They had booths set up with fun things to do and clog dancers, which Alexis really enjoyed, and of course the new library and all the books! What’s not to like about that?

Saturday night Jamison made dinner and then I gave Jamison a haircut, after which he put Alexis to bed. I then spent several hours watching Dr. Who on BBC America…Sure they are old episodes, but David Tennet was on the screen so what else could you ask for? Perhaps a Dr. Who/Torchwood marathon would have been even better…Yes I’m a geek! ;oP

Speaking of being a geek I saw a quote on Facebook Flair that I just loved: “Come to the dork side…We have Ï€!” Get it…Ï€…Pi…Pie…Oh never mind! ;oP

Where was I? Oh yes…

Anyway, yesterday I spent the day doing lesson plans and Jamison and Alexis spent the day annoying one another, which they are rather good at! ;oP No seriously though Jamison kept Alexis occupied…They played in the basement, they played outside and had fun as they always do. It’s amazing how much you can get done when a curious five year old isn’t under your feet! Don’t get me wrong I find her curiosity all consuming and exciting, but lesson planning is much more fun for both of us if I can surprise her once the lessons actually roll around! All of that said, we had a wonderful weekend though the weekend always seem to blaze in and out before I catch my breath. Two days just doesn’t seem like enough does it?

Tomato Goat Cheese Pizza Tart: Dig In

Now let’s talk some tomatoes shall we?

Believe it or not I was not always a fan of tomatoes. In fact as child I hated them…I didn’t like them on salads, I didn’t like them on sandwiches and I didn’t even like them plain! But years ago, the first time I did Weight Watchers, back before WW had Points or even the Core Plan, I rediscovered tomatoes through cooking with them and then progressed into enjoying them all by their little selves. It wasn’t immediate, but over the course of a few months my whole outlook on tomatoes changed. Now I can’t get enough of them!

My initial plan was to make a traditional tomato/goat cheese tart with a pie crust, BUT my crust failed miserably. Oh well that happens sometimes, but what next? I briefly thought about making a buttermilk biscuit crust, BUT I was out of buttermilk. Oh well that happens too. So I decided to settle on a pizza crust instead and the result was fabulous!

Tomato Goat Cheese Pizza Tart

If you like tomatoes and goat cheese then pull out your tart pans…This one is for you!

P.S. This was my tomato inspiration of this week’s garden party over at Dinner Tonight…I’m a few days early, but it’s going to be such a busy week I knew if I didn’t get it done early it wouldn’t happen. :o)

Tomato Goat Cheese Pizza Tart: A Slice

What You’ll Need for the Pizza Crust:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour (Note: I meant to use white whole wheat flour, but got side tracked. You can substitute that if you like.)
1 teaspoon of sea salt
3/4 cup of warm water
1 tablespoon of honey
4 teaspoons of yeast
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

What You’ll Need for the Tart Filling:
2 pints of grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
A generous pinch of sea salt
Extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
2-3 sprigs of rosemary, chopped (Note: I love rosemary. In my opinion there is no such thing as too much rosemary. Seriously if I could figure out a way to chocolate coat it I would! However if you aren’t a fan of rosemary or like it in small doses use one sprig.)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces of goat cheese
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Slice tomatoes in half and place in a glass bowl. Sprinkle generously with sea salt an toss to coat. Let tomatoes sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours to draw out moisture. After that time dump the tomatoes into a mesh or stainless steel strainer and let drain for 20-30 minutes.

Tomato Goat Cheese Pizza Tart: Tomatoes

In a glass bowl stir together flour and salt until mixed. Set aside.

In a glass measuring cup add honey and yeast to warm water and let sit for 3-5 minutes until foamy.

Next add olive oil to the flour mixture and then slowly add water/yeast mixture stirring until ball of dough forms. (Note: Depending on humidity and such you may need a little more or a little less water. Eyeball it as you go. Once the ball forms you’ll know to stop. It’s hard to mess this recipe up. It’s very forgiving. If you go too far with the water add more flour a little at a time until ball forms.)

Press dough into a tart pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Let dough rise while oven preheats.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Bake crust for 5-6 minutes until done, but not browned. Remove from oven and set aside.

While the oven is preheating and the crust baking, prepare topping. In a large skillet sauté onion and tomato, with rosemary, garlic and black pepper until tomatoes are soft and most of the liquid has cooked off. (Note: If the liquid doesn’t appear to be cooking off don’t sweat it…Simply strain the cooked tomatoes before putting them on the crust.)

Tomato Goat Cheese Pizza Tart: Tomatoes Cooking

Once tomatoes are cooked spread them out on the partially baked crust. Sprinkle the top of the tart with goat cheese and Pecorino Romano cheese. Return to oven and bake for 5-6 additional minutes until cheese is melted and crust golden. Remove from oven and let sit 5-6 minutes before serving.

Tomato Goat Cheese Pizza Tart: The Inside

Notes: You could use other herbs if you liked. Dried thyme would be fabulous in this! You could also add in other vegetables if you liked.

Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Salad

It’s fresh cucumber season! I just love when the cucumbers start coming in. English cucumbers are a nice substitute during the rest of the year, but there is just something about a cucumber fresh off the vine that gets me every time!

This salad is a quick, healthy side dish, or even main course if you like cucumbers as much as I do! It’s perfect for a week night dinner, a picnic or even a snack! It will keep in the fridge for days so you can just grab it whenever you like! If you like cucumbers and Greek yogurt then this is the dish for you!

What You’ll Need:
4-6 cups of sliced cucumbers
1/3 cup of fat free Greek Yogurt (Note: If you’ve been here before you know I like Oikos, if you haven’t then that’s what I use! ;oP Fage will work too, but the flavor of the Oikos is much better in my opinion.)
1/4 cup of fresh dill, chopped
1/4 cup of fresh chives, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
A tiny pinch of sea salt

Cut cucumbers and place in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

Cucumber Salad

Mix together yogurt, dill, chives, black pepper and sea salt until well incorporated. Add yogurt mixture to cucumbers and toss to coat. Chill for at least 1 hour and then serve.

Notes: I really like this with cucumbers only, but if you wanted to you could add in some bell peppers and/or red onion.

Fresh Tomato Risotto

Fresh Tomato and Thyme Risotto

9/11…Who can forget that day? I can still tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing that morning when I found out what was happening and how Jamison’s dad and I had been in DC just a few days before. The whole day was surreal, but then again you can probably tell me the exact same things about your day that horrible morning as well.

It’s hard to believe it’s been six years. On days like this you just need a little comfort food! Add in some fresh veggies and herbs to this dish and you’ve got the perfect mix of fresh and comfort. Sometimes you just need to indulge and why not do so with some good stuff thrown in as well.

What You’ll Need:
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
1/2 a red onion, chopped
4 cups of grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced into quarters (Note: I used two cups of orange cherry and 2 cups of red cherry tomatoes.)
2-4 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups of risotto rice
2 cups of broth
2 1/2 ounces of goat cheese, crumbled
1/3-1/2 cup of Parmesan, grated

In a large pot or skillet saute onion, tomatoes and thyme with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper in extra virgin olive oil until tomatoes and onion are soft. Stir in risotto and cook for 2 minutes. Add broth and stir occasionally until broth evaporates. Add water 1 cup at a time and repeat the stirring until it evaporates. Keep adding water 1 cup at a time until the rice is tender. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted. Let sit for at least 5 minutes until serving. (Note: The longer it sits the creamier it gets.)

Notes: As always risotto is not a hard dish to make and you can tweak this until your hearts content. You could use different cheeses or add other veggies. You could use rosemary instead of thyme or another herb of your choice. It’s an easy dish to mix and match.