LifestyleSonoran Living


Chef Jason of Casa Terra prepares vegan dishes

Posted at 7:57 AM, Jul 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-03 13:53:22-04

Summer Pasta with Avocado Salsa Verde

Makes 3 servings
This pasta balances creaminess and lightness, perfect for a summer lunch. It's loaded with seared squash and chickpeas for a healthy plant-forward, protein packed meal.

The Sauce
4 tomatillos
½ of an avocado
2 cloves of garlic
1 small serrano chile, destemmed and deseeded
¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon of salt

The Squash and Chickpeas
1 zucchini or gray squash, cut into half moons
½ cup of purple cauliflower florets
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Dash of salt
2/3 cup of cooked, rinsed chickpeas

The Pasta
7 to 8 ounces of pasta, preferably a short pasta like orecchiette or penne

The Garnish
Toasted pepitas
Puree all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
Over medium high heat, saute the zucchini and cauliflower until just browned, but don't overcook. This works best in a large skillet. Set aside.
Cook the pasta until al dente, then drain but don't rinse. Immediately toss the pasta with the sauce, then mix in the squash, cauliflower, and chickpeas. Garnish with toasted pepitas.

Garnachas with Guacamole and Toasted Pepitas
Makes 10 to 12 garnachas
I love these because they're perfect handheld snacks. They take a bit of time to prepare, but not much actual work. If you want to make a super healthy version, you can toast the garnachas instead of pan-frying them.

The Garnachas
1 ½ cups of mashed sweet potato
1 cup of masa harina
½ teaspoon of salt

The Guacamole
2 large avocadoes
3 limes
¼ teaspoon of coarse salt

The Garnishes
Minced pickled onion
Toasted pepitas

Fried chiles de arbol

Mash the guacamole ingredients together until you have a rough textured guacamole and set aside.
Combine the sweet potato, masa harina, and salt into a dough. Pat into 10 to 12 disks about ¼" thick that fit in the palm of your hand. Heat about 1/8 to ¼ inch oil in a skillet to medium heat. Lay 3 to 4 garnachas in the oil and fry on each side until crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Top with the guacamole, then ad the garnishes to your desired amount. Be careful because those chiles can be spicy!
Mezcal-soaked Figs with Almond Ricotta and Agave

Figs are in season! I love these as a finish to a meal. They're sweet, but they have a bite from the mezcal and a bit of creamy decadence from the ricotta. It's an easy to make dessert that's complex and a nice surprise for your guests. I use Carreño mezcal with these. This is one of the best mezcals I've tasted and it pairs perfectly with the figs. Don't oversoak your figs unless you want these super potent. The figs absorb the alcohol quickly. I keep the remaining fig-infused mezcal for sipping later! You'll be able to purchase almond ricotta from Casa Terra very soon, or you can head to the store and buy the Kite Hill brand in the meantime.

Figs, stem removed and split in half
½ teaspoon of almond ricotta per fig half
Drizzle of agave
Light sprinkle of minced mint
Light sprinkle of a flaky sea salt
Sprinkle of Aleppo chiles

Cut the figs in half and scoop out a very shallow boat. Place the figs in a jar and cover with mezcal. Let these sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Remove from the jar and lay flat.
Fill with almond ricotta, then transfer to your serving plate. Drizzle with agave syrup, then top with the mint, salt, and chiles. Serve immediately.
Recipes by Chef Jason Wyrick