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Laurie Wolf's Recipes: Easy Summer Meals

These recipes are simple, wholesome and seasonal, with many ingredients you probably have on hand.

They are flexible recipes, welcoming the additions of things like sausage or perhaps rice instead of pasta.

No hard and fast rules, no precision baking. Instead, these are simple, summer-is-winding-down meals that are focused on enjoying seasonal flavors and ingredients without too much fussing in the kitchen. One recipe calls for turning on the oven for just a short time, and otherwise you are cooking on the stove top, not heating up your already-heated kitchen!

And the kale chips are just an anytime snack.

Roasted Cauliflower with Couscous

When you roast cauliflower you get that caramelization that takes the already-wonderful vegetable to a heightened level of delicious. This is healthy comfort food with Mediterranean spice and love.

Bruce Wolf

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)  

  • 2 medium heads cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced in wedges
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups drained canned white beans
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Dash salt
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 cups cooked couscous, Israeli preferred
  • ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

  1. Place the cauliflower and the onion wedges on a baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Roast until tender, 35-40 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  2. In a large skillet heat the remaining oil and sauté the beans, garlic and the spices.
  3. Add the raisins and cook an additional 3-5 minutes. Add the spinach and allow to wilt, 2-3 minutes.   
  4. In a large bowl combine everything, including the couscous, and toss gently. Serve hot or at room temperature.
  5. In a small bowl combine the yogurt with the cumin, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve alongside the cauliflower. 

Three Mushroom Stew with Pasta  

The earthy mushrooms and their perfumed broth pair well with a whole wheat or whole grain pasta or rice. There is a depth of flavor that has hints of rosemary along with the subtle and fantastic flavor of the sautéed leeks and carrots.

Bruce Wolf

Ingredients (Serves 4-6) 

  • ½ oz. dried shitake mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 leeks, rinsed and chopped, do not use tough green tops
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 lbs. assorted mushrooms, cut in uniform sizes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 16 oz. pasta, any shape


  1. In a small bowl combine the dried mushrooms with 1 cup of hot water. Allow to sit for 20 minutes.
  2. In a large skillet heat the olive oil. Sauté the leeks and the carrots until cooked and tender, 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Place in a bowl. Add the fresh mushrooms to the pan and cook until the moisture from the mushrooms is released, 8-10 minutes. Add the rosemary and the salt and pepper and return the vegetables to the pan along with the mushrooms and their liquid.
  3. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.
  4. Divide the cooked pasta among the 4-6 plates. Place the mushrooms on top of each serving of pasta. Keep warm.

Easy Paella with Shrimp  

This recipe takes a few shortcuts to get to the end result. This paella comes together quickly; feel free to add sausage or chicken as well.

Bruce Wolf

Ingredients (Serves 4-6) 

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped or sliced bell peppers
  • 1 cup green beans, ends removed and cut in half
  • 1 cup sliced fennel bulb
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1 cup baby carrots, cut in half horizontally
  • 1 cup sliced zucchini
  • 1 cup sliced yellow squash
  • 2 cups frozen lima beans
  • 1  ½ cups canned garbanzo beans, drained
  • 16 large shrimp, peeled and cleaned
  • ½ cup vegetable broth, low sodium
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cups cooked short grain rice


  1. In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the peppers, beans, fennel, onion and carrot and cook until almost tender, 10-12 minutes. Remove to a large bowl.
  2. Add the remaining tablespoons of oil and add the zucchini, yellow squash and the lima beans and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add the garbanzos and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add to the bowl of vegetables.
  3. In the same pan sauté the shrimp over medium/high heat and cook the shrimp quickly for 4-5 minutes. If necessary, add more oil. Cut in half when cooked. 
  4. In a small bowl combine the saffron and turmeric with the vegetable broth and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Return everything to the skillet along with the parsley, rice and the broth. Heat through, stirring gently, divide among plates and serve. 

Many Vegetable Frittata    

My favorite is a frittata supper, served room temp, with a simple but well-dressed salad. A frittata sandwich on a toasted roll is pretty sweet, too.

Bruce Wolf

Ingredients (Serves 2-4)

  • Vegetable spray
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup chopped green onion
  • 6 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups clean, fresh spinach
  • 2 oz. goat cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees. 

  1. Spray a non-stick ovenproof pan with the vegetable spray. Add a tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté the peppers until tender, about 6-7 minutes. Add the corn and the green onion and sauté until cooked, 3-4 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl beat the eggs. Add the salt and pepper.
  3. Place the pan with the vegetables back on the heat. Add more oil as needed. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, 4-5 minutes. Pour the egg mixture into the pan; try to evenly distribute the vegetables. Place the goat cheese over the frittata and place the pan in the oven. Cook until set and golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Cut in wedges to serve. 

Kale Chips 

Who doesn’t love a kale chip? And who knew? Kale is so healthy and has great taste and texture. The chips are as good as potato chips. Or almost as good. 

Bruce Wolf

Ingredients (Serves 4) 

  • 1 bunch kale, cleaned and torn into pieces, tough ribs removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika

Heat oven to 350 degrees. 

  1. In a large bowl toss the kale with the oil and the spices. Massage into the kale.
  2. Place the kale on baking sheets in a single layer. Bake until the edges become crisp, 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool.
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