When temps are at their hottest and summer produce at its most ripe, we crave simple dishes that require little-to-no cooking and really let our fruits and veggies shine. Food52’s Carolina Gelen has you covered with two refreshing summer dishes: Green Pasta Primavera and a Tomato Watermelon Salad. Both are full of seasonal produce and zesty, simple-to-make dressings.
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- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound pasta of choice
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or melted butter, plus more for serving
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 leek, chopped
- 2 green garlic stalks, thinly sliced (or 3 garlic cloves, minced)
- 1/2 broccoli head, chopped
- 1 handful green beans, thinly sliced, or green peas
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely grated
- 2 cups Parmesan, grated, plus more for serving
- 1 bunch parsley, chopped
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add a couple of big pinches of salt, then cook the pasta until al dente (slightly undercooked). Reserve 2 cups of pasta water, then strain the pasta.
- Heat the oil or butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the scallions, leek, and garlic. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until they soften slightly. Add the broccoli and green beans to the pan and season with salt and pepper (keeping in mind the added pasta water will be salty). Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, grated Parmesan, cooked pasta, and 1 cup of pasta water to the vegetables. Stir everything together, then cook for 3 to 5 more minutes over medium low heat, until the sauce has emulsified—it should be visibly thicker and creamy. Add more pasta water as needed. Take the pan off heat and mix in the parsley.
- Serve with more cheese and oil or butter on top.
- 1 bunch fresh mint
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (or more) honey, agave syrup, or maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons lime zest, finely grated
- 2 teaspoons (or more) fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Flaky sea salt
- 1 pound heirloom tomatoes (about 2 large), sliced
- 1 pound watermelon, chopped or sliced
- 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
- Warm bread, for serving
- Reserve a small handful of mint leaves for garnishing, then finely chop the remaining mint leaves.
- In a small bowl, mix the chopped mint, oil, honey, lime zest and juice, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt. Taste and adjust the honey, lime juice, and salt as needed.
- Arrange the watermelon and heirloom and cherry tomatoes on a platter. Season with salt, then drizzle with the mint dressing. Garnish with the reserved mint leaves. Serve with bread for sopping up the juices.
Want a step-by-step walkthrough of these refreshing recipes? Join Food52 Resident Carolina Gelen on Thursday, August 26 at 7:30 p.m ET for a virtual cooking class. A $130 ticket gives you access to this live virtual event (and recorded video), plus a $50 Misfits Market gift card, exclusive Food52 products, and includes a donation to City Harvest. Click here to learn more and snag your tickets.
To learn more about this and our other co-hosted Food52 events, check out the Food52 experiences page here.