Easy Ratatouille Recipe: Delightful Vegetable MedleyBy foodjoyaOur easy ratatouille recipe uses diced tomatoes and a delicious tomato sauce. This dish is perfect for the vegetables from your prolific summer garden. Do you know what "ratatouille" means? According to one source, this vegetable stew likely originates from Provence and has become most popular in Nice. Dating back to 18th century, it means "stir up." Ratatouille usually consists of various vegetables, such as eggplant, onion, zucchini, pepper, tomatoes and garlic, cut in bite sizes. Some chefs cook all ingredients together, while others separately sauté each vegetable. A similar dish exists in other countries in Southern Europe and Mediterranean. Thus, for example, a close relative of ratatouille in Moldova (where we were born) is a "ghiveci," often made with cauliflower. Our easy ratatouille recipe can be used for making a side dish or main dish with grains or, better yet, with grain-free, flourless Simple Mills crackers. Parmesan Roasted Zucchini: How to Make Them Juicier, SweeterBy foodjoyaVery often, cooked zucchini turn out soupy and bland. And that is no wonder, since this vegetable is about 96% water. The secret to a better tasting zucchini, then, is to eliminate excess water while concentrating the juices. And that's exactly what this recipe is about. By cooking the vegetable at a high temperature, our recipe for Parmesan Roasted Zucchini helps avoid this undesirable result. Much of the water evaporates at high temperature, and the remaining juices pleasantly caramelize and release the signature floral flavor. In addition, browned savory Parmesan creates a beautiful contrast to naturally sweet zucchini. As always, we are roasting in a convection oven. If you are using a non-convection oven, be sure to increase the temperature by about 20 to 25F. Paleo Cherry Clafoutis: How to Perfect the Tender TextureBy foodjoyaWhen cherries are in season, a tender, fruit-studded custard, like our Paleo Cherry Clafoutis, is perfect. Sweetened only with honey and made with almond flour, this dessert is undeniably healthy and nourishing. It is also irresistibly delicious. Because our recipe incorporates techniques (like baking temperature and use of cast-iron) from America's Test Kitchen, it results in a perfectly rich and tender custard. Polish Borscht Recipe: Beet Elixir You Will Delight InBy foodjoyaThis rich, savory borscht takes only 10 minutes of your active cooking time. Are you skeptical? Don't be. The Polish Borscht recipe is a traditional, time-tested and beloved way of cooking the festive beet soup in Poland, where my husband hails from. Of course, this borscht has a secret: it requires an extraordinary amount of brightly colored beets and a reduced cooking time. The borscht will not turn out if the beets are not brightly colored. Similarly, when cooked longer than suggested here, it will lose its scarlet color and flavor. Richly infused with simmered vegetables, the borscht is a delightful elixir of health. It is no wonder that my toddler demands his red beet soup every time, and happily sips it from a cup or devours it spoonful after delicious spoonful. Crema di Ceci e Rapini: herb-infused Italian chickpea pureeBy foodjoyaThis velvety dish is inspired by a traditional and beloved Italian dish of mashed chickpeas with dandelion greens. (If you understand Italian, take a look at the original here. In essence, Crema di Ceci e Rapini is a rich, velvety chickpea puree with a touch of Japanese sweet potato drenched in fresh herbs, garlic and olive oil. The Italians traditionally serve Crema di Ceci e Cicoria with bitter dandelion leaves (i.e., “cicoria”). But we chose broccoli rabe (“rapini”), which is more widely available in our grocery stores and less bitter than dandelion leaves. For maximum taste, we recommend using fresh chickpeas, and for this reason, the cooking times appear long. In reality, much of the cooking is passive, and you are free to do anything you like while the chickpeas are cooking. For a heartier meal, Crema di Ceci e Rapini pairs wonderfully with shrimp, calamari and halibut. White Bean Hummus: Silky Delight Without TahiniBy foodjoyaWhite Bean Hummus is delicious and creamy. It combines cannellini beans with shallots, crème fraîche, garlic, thyme and plenty of North African spices. The delicate flavor of the cannellini beans pairs wonderfully with the sweet and fully crème fraîche and the spices. Note that the spices are essential to uncover the full flavor of this hummus. On the other hand, crème fraîche can be substituted with sour cream. Serve this tender, delectable dish as a side or with crackers or veggies as an appetizer.