I remember exchanging emails with Kimberly a ways back about the book writing process. I was humbled she asked me, as I've known that Kimberly would create a beautiful and inspired book by echoing the same style she shares on her blog. There seems to be a common thread between those who set out to create and photograph their own cookbooks - an equal measure of uncertainty, fear, excitement and determination. Truth is, I am not exactly sure what I am doing either and I stumble over how to guide someone else. We sing a "learn by doing" tune over here. How I respond to those emails asking advice for books or starting a blog, friend or stranger alike, is less with direction and more with encouragement to be more deliberate in doing what you already know. Authenticity is of greater value than you expect. Thankfully... or at least I like to think. I don't believe there is a formula for success with creative work. There are people who have done extremely well, make a nice living off blogs and books, but they cannot tell you how to do the same. The theme I see throughout the books and blogs I am attracted to is they are real people simply sharing an extension of something they are passionate about. Start a blog because you have something to share or make a book because there is a story you need to tell about food. Clearly it's not the end goal, but you should want to create despite how many people read your blog or book. It should begin because YOU need it to. When you hit a wall or get negative reviews, that's what you'll have, a project that nourished you first, and it makes you want to keep going. Sure it takes time and intention to design a beautiful space or a compilation of recipes but I think a desire and hope to create said things is a majority of the key to success. And ok, reading this over I may sound a little hippy dippy but my kumbaya message can apply to a lot of things - just find something that fills you up.
That said, Kimberly's book is a job well done - a real treat for anyone who cooks with a lot of produce. It's colorful and seasonal and delicately assertive if I may use such a juxtaposition. Hats off to you, my friend. These summer squash noodles are simple, quick and super light for how warm it's been. I'm going to grill a big filet of wild salmon this weekend and this will make a perfect side to fish. Happy 4th weekend to you all!
SUMMER SQUASH PASTA WITH GREEN GODDESS DRESSING // Serves 4
Recipe barely adapted from Vibrant Food by Kimberly Hasselbrink
This makes for a cold zucchini salad and the drained shreds have just the right amount of crunch. If you prefer it as a warm side, give the zucchini a quick saute in a slick of olive oil after you press out the excess water to warm through.
I upped the goddess dressing amounts so I'd have enough for leftovers. Extra dressing never goes to waste around here. This is the peeler I consistently recommend, it's great.
- 2 lbs. mixed summer squash
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 cup plain whole milk greek yogurt
- 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup fresh chopped basil, plus more for garnish
- 3 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
- 3 Tbsp. fresh chopped chives
- 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped tarragon
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1 anchovy (minced) OR 1 Tbsp. drained capers
- 1/4 shaved parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup toasted pinenuts
- fresh ground pepper
Cut the squash into thin strips using a julienne peeler or spiralizer. Sprinkle the squash with salt, toss gently, and place in a colander to drain for 20 minutes. Carefully squeeze the squash over the colander to release excess liquid and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.
In a food processor or blender, combine the yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, basil, parsley, chives, tarragon, garlic and anchovy or capers and blend until smooth.
Toss the drained squash with the parmesan, pinenuts and desired amount of dressing.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with more parmesan, pinenuts and basil and serve immediately.