Kitchen Mailbox: Some of her favorite recipes of the summer

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I love everything about summer -- fresh vegetables, family picnics in our backyard, sipping a glass of wine with friends on our back porch or just talking with my husband.

He talks about the Pirates, and I talk about recipes. Here are a few of the recipes I’ve tried this summer.

The first recipe was sent by Melissa Mazur of Sarver. “I found this cauliflower recipe online and tried it while on our family beach vacation. It was a hit and we brought the recipe home and made it several times since then.” This recipe is for anyone who likes spicy food (that includes my grandson, Zack).

Alfie Chico of Whitehall created the next recipe, Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers, for an impromptu get-together, “This is a refreshing summer dish to share with friends,” she said. She was so right. It’s terrific.

When summer squash is plentiful, I make my favorite squash recipes, Summer Squash and Ricotta Galette and Muffin Frittatas. The galette is made with a free-formed dough and a ricotta cheese-and-squash filling. The added flavors of garlic, parmesan cheese, thyme and lemon kick up the flavor of this festive summer dish.

The frittatas are easy to make and can be made the night before and reheated the next day without losing any flavor. We have these tasty Italian mini-omelets for breakfast or a quick lunch.



PG tested

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup hot sauce

1 fresh cauliflower, cored and cut into bite-size florets


Blue cheese dressing

Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray (I used olive oil spray). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir butter into hot sauce. Toss cauliflower with the hot sauce to coat. Place cauliflower on baking sheet, sprinkle with paprika. Place in oven and bake about 25 to 30 minutes (toss while baking to coat evenly) or until tender.

Serve with blue cheese dressing for dipping.

-- Melissa Mazur, Sarver


PG tested

2 pound bag of assorted small peppers sweet or hot, cored (I used Pero Family Farms mini sweet peppers from Giant Eagle)

1½ pounds fontina cheese (more cheese may be used)

1 cup green olives, sliced

4 green onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, pressed

1 cup olive oil

Stuff peppers with equal amounts of fontina cheese; place peppers on a platter. Place olives, onions and garlic in a bowl add olive oil and stir to combine; pour over peppers.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve with crusty bread for dipping.

Serves about 8.

-- Alfie Chico, Whitehall


PG tested

1⅖  cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1/4 cup water

1 medium zucchini, cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices

1 large yellow squash, cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices

2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

2 ounces (about ½ cup) grated fresh parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon water

1 large egg white

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a food processor; pulse 2 times to combine. Combine 1/3 cup oil and ¼ cup water in a small bowl. With processor on, slowly add oil mixture through food chute; process until dough is crumbly. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 1 minute; add additional flour if necessary, to prevent dough from sticking. Gently press dough into a 5-inch disk; wrap in plastic wrap, and chill at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, zucchini, squash and garlic in a large bowl. Combine ricotta and next 6 ingredients (through egg) in a medium bowl, stirring to combine.

Unwrap dough and roll into a 14-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread ricotta mixture over dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Arrange zucchini and squash slices alternately, slightly overlapping, in a circular pattern over ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Fold edges of dough toward center pressing gently to seal (dough will only partially cover squash). Whisk 1 teaspoon water with egg white. Brush dough edges with egg white mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes; sprinkle with basil. Cool and additional 15 minutes. Cut into 6 wedges.

-- Cooking Light Magazine, 2012


PG tested

6 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup chopped zucchini

1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper

2 tablespoons chopped red onion

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper until blended. Add cheese, zucchini, sweet pepper and onion; mix well. Spoon evenly into 12 greased muffin cups about ¼ cup each (standard muffin pan).

Bake until just set, about 20 to 22 minutes. Cool on rack 5 minutes. Remove frittatas from pan and serve.

Muffins can be made the night before and reheated in the microwave.


To request a recipe or send a recipe or question to Kitchen Mailbox, write the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, c/o Arlene Burnett, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222 or

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