I plucked the squash blossoms and herbs for this pasta dish straight from my backyard garden. Unfortunately, besides a couple of rogue tomatoes, that’s all I’ve been able to produce so far this year. This is my second summer of vegetable gardening, and as much as I thought I learned so much from my inaugural garden last year, it seems i’m not quite the “expert” I thought I was.
I’m still hopeful for my pepper plants and eggplant that are showing some promise, but I’ve pretty much given up hope on my cucumbers, zucchini and crookneck squash. Overall it’s still been an enjoyable project. I love the anticipation of planting and tending and waiting. I love caring for something and watching it flourish. Plus, I just love trying new things, being outdoors and learning in general.
Even though its only July, I’m already thinking ahead to next years garden. I’m hoping that the lessons I learned this year (ie. nasturtiums WILL attract aphids so don’t plant them IN the bed with the veggies. Plant them AWAY from the veggies) will translate to a major veggie bounty next summer.
If there are any expert gardeners out there, I’d love to hear some veggie growing tips. Especially when it comes to cucumbers. 2 years running and I’ve yet to successfully grow a cucumber. Meanwhile, for the rest of us, please enjoy this fresh, seasonal pasta. Simple, quick, and a great way to use those squash blossoms that never turned into squash.
- 8oz uncooked penne pasta
- 3 T olive oil, divided
- 1-10oz halibut steak
- ¾ tsp salt, divided
- ¾ tsp fresh ground black pepper, divided
- 2 medium yellow squash, quartered lengthwise
- 1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise
- 8 squash blossoms, divided
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about ½ cup)
- Preheat grill to high heat.
- Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta.
- Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil evenly over fish; sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Grill fish 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from grill; let stand 5 minutes. Break into ¾-inch pieces.
- Combine 1 tablespoon oil, squash, and zucchini in a large bowl; toss to coat. Sprinkle evenly with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Place vegetables, cut sides down, on grill rack; grill 3 minutes or until lightly charred and just tender. Cool slightly. Cut into 1-inch lengths.
- Cut 4 squash blossoms into ¼-inch-wide strips. Combine blossom strips, pasta, fish, squash, zucchini, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper, herbs, and juice in a large bowl; toss to coat. Top with feta; garnish with remaining squash blossoms.