Baked stuffed shells filled with a delicious mix of Swiss chard, fresh basil and ricotta cheese, nestled under a blanket of bubbling, creamy fontina sauce. This is a rich and decadent dish that also happens to be packed with our favorite early summer vegetables. Best eaten outside, with simple roasted tomatoes and crisp white wine.
This post is sponsored by Cakebread Cellars. Thank you for supporting Nerds with Knives’ sponsors!
Whenever we cook for a crowd, baked pasta is our go-to. All the prep can be done ahead of time, so all that we have to do is pop the pan in the oven, make a quick salad and open the wine. This time of year, the farmer’s market is bursting with early summer vegetables like Swiss chard, baby peas, spring onions and basil. So to celebrate the season, we made our stuffed shells with a mix of our favorite greens and paired them with the most delicious fontina cream sauce. And then popped the corks on a couple of bottles of white wine and enjoyed the sunshine!
Our wine of choice to pair with a beautiful early-summer outdoor dinner is something light with a subtle floral and fruit character. We’ve paired up with Cakebread Cellars’ Napa Valley Chardonnay and our garden peonies opened up just in time to help us celebrate the season.
Fudgy chocolate bake-sale brownies kicked up with a pretzel crust and caramel drizzle.
An elegant Fall cocktail made with homemade pear syrup spiced with cinnamon and star anise. A garnish of fresh rosemary adds an herbal note which balances the warm, spicy sweetness.
A bean salad doesn’t have to be boring. Creamy white beans absorb the bright flavor of a vinaigrette in just a few minutes. Paired with briny olives, fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and feta cheese, and served in lettuce cups, they make a quick and substantial dinner.
Mini Dutch Baby Pancakes cooked in individual cast iron skillets. They puff up and turn a beautiful golden brown before we spoon in homemade lemon curd and sprinkle with fresh blueberries.
Grilled chicken doesn’t always need a long marinade to be full of flavor. These spend just a few minutes in a lemony-garlicky mix before they’re grilled to charred perfection. The hot chicken absorbs the flavor of the fresh basil chimichurri, and the grilled cherry tomatoes bring sweetness and acid.
Lemon Sesame Seed Pound Cake! An unconventional combination which really works. Buttermilk keeps the cake tender, and lemon in the cake, syrup and glaze gives it a triple lemon tang.
Crispy tortillas filled with spicy chorizo and gooey cheese, these quesadillas are balanced by the fresh, unusual flavor of a radish and fennel salsa. It's a sophisticated pairing that elevates a familiar comfort food. Note: this recipe also appears on Serious Eats!...
We roasted eggplant until it became soft and silky and topped it with Chermoula (a North African spice mix with garlic and preserved lemon). Sprinkled with tart feta cheese and fresh herbs.
We spiced up our one-pot mussels with Thai curry sauce to make this red curry mussels recipe. It's cheap, it's delicious, and best of all, it's ready in 20 minutes! Note: you can also find this recipe on Serious Eats! Mussels are perhaps not everyone's first choice...
Sweet corn and smoky bacon make a delicious filling to this quick cooking frittata. Studded with cheesy nuggets of gruyere and spicy jalapeños, this is the type of quick dinner you’ll want to make all the time.