One of my favorite mid-summer meals is a lamb burger. Inspired by the flavors of the Mediterranean, this burger is a perfect fit for grilling season and offers a nice change of pace to the traditional ground beef patty. Although I am partial to the ground lamb from Crestwood’s Foxhollow Farm, we are lucky to have a variety of Kentucky farms raising lamb, making this an easy dinner to keep local. Studded with red onion, garlic and oregano, feta cheese is crumbled into the grind before the burgers are seared, melting just so and adding great flavor to each and every bite. Strips of grilled local eggplant along with fresh, peppery arugula crown the patty, with a creamy mayo flavored with parsley and mint fresh from the garden rounding out this tasty summer dish.
Get the recipe: Lamb Burgers with Grilled Eggplant & Arugula (Photo above)
Let’s be honest: Do we all not count down the days until caprese season officially begins? As soon as the first tomatoes ripen I am all in, working the magic trinity of mozzarella, basil and tomato into every meal possible. This sandwich is one of my favorite compilations, taking a locally raised, well-spiced breaded chicken breast and topping it with slices of fresh mozzarella, the best-looking tomato at the farmers’ market and a lightly dressed salad of arugula and basil. Sandwiched between a locally baked roll (I’m partial to Blue Dog Bakery’s bread), this sandwich offers a tasty platform from which to feature the holy caprese.
Get the recipe: Fried Chicken Caprese Sandwich (Photo above)
Come summer, it doesn’t take long for my CSA haul to look like an embarrassment of summer squash and zucchini riches. Be they kissed by the grill, roasted until browned or simply served raw with hummus, I adore these versatile veggies. I do find myself searching for creative ways to put my bounty to use, however, and this summer squash and tomato gratin has become a staple of our dinner table. Paired with potatoes and topped with slices of the first tomatoes of the season, this multilayered gratin is colorful and full of flavor, a rosemary- and garlic-infused cream sauce ensuring the veggies cook until tender and browned. Easy to make in advance, this gratin both feeds and impresses a crowd and is the perfect match for backyard gatherings.
Get the recipe: Summer Squash & Tomato Gratin (Photo above)