Happy Monday, friends!
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Our weekend was pretty low-key after the pre-anniversary celebrations of last weekend. It was also ridiculously hot and humid which made it difficult to really want to do anything. I did, however, try to spend as much time in the kitchen as was humanly tolerable without being forced to turn on the air conditioning. It just seems kinda silly to heat up the house with the oven, just to be forced to cool it off after.
We receive our weekly CSA on Tuesdays, so it gets a little bit more difficult to create recipes as we near the end of one box and the start of the other. Plus, when it’s this hot outside, normal meals just don’t sound quite as appetizing–especially heavy ones. So, for dinner last night, we decided to put together a sort of mediterranean inspired picnic spread. While we didn’t actually picnic (did I mention how hot it is?), this meal would have been perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon picnic.
I’ve really only made normal–wheat, white, country–bread loaves in the bread machine so far, so on Sunday morning, I set out to make my first cheese inspired loaf: roasted garlic and dry jack cheese. Two heads of roasted garlic and 1/2 cup of cheese? Yes, please! Of course, our local grocery store didn’t have dry jack cheese, so we went with a flavorful gouda instead, which also is one of my favorite additions in my obsession from Wild Flour Bread in Freestone, CA. Other than that, I pretty much followed the recipe verbatim–here’s the cookbook if you’re interested. I haven’t tried either of these recipes, but they both look like they’d be great substitutes as well, either with a bread machine or without.
Finally, we did our favorite simple veggie prep–olive oil + salt + pepper–before throwing them on the grill pan while also toasting some almonds and assembling the rest of the goodies. We used store-bought hummus this time, but this white bean version would go great as well. A perfectly varied spread for a perfectly sweltering night!
Mediterranean Picnic Spread
1 loaf roasted garlic cheese bread, sliced
1 large zucchini, thickly sliced
1 red bunch onion, halved
1/4 cup unsalted almonds
1/4 cup spicy hummus
6 ounces gouda cheese
8 slices salami
Heat grill or grill pan over medium heat.
Lightly coat zucchini and red onion with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Place on grill and cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes per side for the zucchini and 4-5 per side for the red onion. If the green of the red onion starts to overcook, place that part over the side of the grill pan or over less direct heat on the grill.
While the veggies cook, toast the almonds in a small cast iron pan over low heat for about 5-8 minutes.
Assemble your mediterranean picnic spread with roasted garlic cheese bread slices, grilled veggies, toasted almonds, hummus, gouda, and salami.
Time: 25 minutes