Reminder: Labor day may have come and gone, but it is still summer until the Autumnal Equinox on September 22! Thus, tomato season continues on. Once tomato season arrives, tomatoes seem to appear in nearly every meal or snack I eat. Cucumber peach and yellow tomato salad is a bright, colorful summer salad, so light and fresh you could eat it all day long. It’s kind of like a riff on a classic caprese salad with some extra sweetness and crunch. 

Two varieties of cucumbers bring the crunch and the juicy yellow tomatoes and summer peaches bring the light sweetness. A touch of fish sauce enhances the unique umami of the tomatoes and adds a salty touch. Polished off with bits of shaved Parmesan and mozzarella, this cucumber peach and yellow tomato salad is a medley of some of my favorite summer produce.


  • 1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large cucumber, sliced diagonally into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Persian cucumbers 
  • 2 medium-large yellow tomatoes, halved and sliced ½-inch thick
  • 1 large peach, halved and sliced
  • ½ cup basil leaves, loosely packed
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved
  • 2 ounces mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced 
  • 1 teaspoon flaky salt, like maldon


In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the fish sauce and olive oil. Set aside.

Choose a large plate or platter and scatter the cucumbers, tomatoes, peach, basil, and mozzarella in layers. Drizzle the fish sauce and olive oil mixture on top. Sprinkle shaved parmesan and flaky salt on top. Allow to sit for 1 hour before serving so that the flavors marinate. 

Sourdough discard gives these sourdough sun-dried tomato, olive, and parmesan biscuits a nice tang and depth of flavor. Sun-dried tomatoes and olives seem to go hand in hand, made even better with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

These sourdough biscuits are fluffy, but not too big that they are overwhelming, and can be eaten plain, with a pat of butter, some ricotta, or made into a delectable sandwich. Sourdough biscuits are a perfect use for extra sourdough discard. 


  • 1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda 
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, cold and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • ½ cup whole milk or half & half
  • ¾ cup sun dried tomatoes, sliced
  • ½ cup olives, sliced
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated and divided
  • 1 cup sourdough starter discard


In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and dried herbs and mix. Add in the butter and using a pastry blender, cut and press the butter into the flour/herb mixture until it is the size of peas. Slowly pour in the milk and mix using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, taking care to be gentle with the dough. Add in the sun dried tomatoes, olives, and ¼ cup of the parmesan cheese, reserving the rest to sprinkle on top later. Gently stir until combined then slowly pour in the sourdough discard. Mix the dough until it is combined and not too sticky. If it seems too sticky, add in more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. 

Carefully transfer the dough to a floured surface and pat it down then fold it like a letter, then pat it down, rotate it and fold it like a letter once more. Flatten the dough onto the surface and using a 2 ¾-inch round cutter, cut 12 biscuits out of the dough. Do this by cutting out as many as you can at first, then folding the remaining dough scraps into each other, flattening it, then cutting out the remaining biscuits. Be careful not too handle the dough too much as this will melt the butter.

Transfer the biscuits to a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425°F. Remove the biscuits from the freezer and place them directly into the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes until fluffy and golden.

I remember when, as a child growing up in Northern New Jersey, I first discovered garlic knots. I was introduced to them by my neighbors who ordered them at a local pizza place, and my young mind was truly blown. Fluffy dough tied in a knot, slathered in olive oil and tons of aromatic garlic, baked to golden perfection, and topped with parsley and parmesan was an ideal situation.

Years later, I now realize that the toppings for garlic knots are among the ingredients for pesto, so I set off to make these sourdough kale pesto knots, as a sort of homage to garlic knots.

Kale is a reliable base for pesto when you want to maximize your green intake and flavor it to your liking. This kale pesto is filled with classic toasted pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and plenty of olive oil. Sourdough kale pesto knots are rolled, twisted, and knotted into sweet little buns packed with a magnitude of savory, cheesy, nutty flavor. 


for the dough

  • ¼ cup sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk, cream, or half & half
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

for the kale pesto

  • 2 cups kale
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ pine nuts, toasted
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

dough steps

The night before you plan to bake your knots, place the sourdough starter, sugar, and oil in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle, and mix on medium speed to combine. Add in the eggs one at a time, then add in the milk and mix until all is incorporated. Switch to the dough hook and slowly add in the flour and salt. Mix for 3-5 minutes on medium-high speed until the dough is smooth. (You can of course do all of this by hand as well).

Coat a large bowl with neutral oil, swirl the dough around then flip it and cover in plastic wrap. Let sit 10-12 hours overnight until it is doubled. The longer the dough sits, the more developed the flavor will be. 

kale pesto steps

Place the kale, salt, and pepper in a food processor, and blend for about 2 minutes until finely chopped. Add the pine nuts and pulse. Add the parmesan cheese and pulse more, then slowly add the olive oil, one tablespoon at a time until all the ingredients are combined and the pesto is smooth. Alternatively, you can do this by hand using a mortar and pestle.

assembly and baking steps

Roll the dough out into a large rectangle and spread the pesto in an even layer over the dough. Cut the dough into 12-16 pieces depending on the size you would like your knots to be. Working with one piece at a time, roll it up from the long end of the dough in the direction away from you then tie it into a knot and twist and tuck the ends underneath. Place each knot in a cookie sheet and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake for 23-25 minutes until the cheese and crust are both golden.

The weather on the East Coast is currently doing the thing where it dangles spring right in front of you with the respite of a beautifully sunny day then quickly retracts it and throws some cold, rainy weather in your face. It was during one of those recent days when I had the idea for strawberry pasta with lemon and parmesan. Visions of summer seemed not far off, and I was craving the comfort of some delicious carbs and the vibrant colors of a summery vegetable spread. Thus, strawberry pasta with lemon and parmesan emerged.

I have included two different options for making the strawberry pasta dough – one using freeze-dried strawberries and one using fresh strawberries. The results differ slightly with the freeze-dried strawberry pasta being darker in color and more robust in flavor, but both are delicious. It’s a matter of what you have access to, and both versions of strawberry pasta dough are beautiful shades of pink!

You’ll notice that cooking the strawberry pasta in the lemon sauce magically enhances its color, like how lemon juice keeps apples or avocado from turning brown when exposed to the air (oxidation). It’s a fun little science experiment, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

serves 4


  • dough using freeze-dried strawberries
  • (makes 10-11 ounces of pasta)
  • 3 tablespoons freeze dried strawberry powder OR ¾ cup freeze dried strawberries
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons tipo “00” flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • All-purpose flour for rolling out dough
  • dough using fresh strawberries
  • (makes 12-13 ounces of pasta)
  • ½ cup fresh strawberries
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon tipo “00” flour
  • 1 egg
  • All-purpose flour for rolling out dough

for the sauce + garnish

  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 cup lemon juice (from about 4 lemons)
  • 1 cup basil
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

dough with freeze-dried strawberries steps

Place the strawberries in a food processor and pulse until they become a powder. Add the flour ¼ cup at a time and pulse until it is fully incorporated. Then add the salt and pulse. Add the eggs, one at a time and pulse until combined, then add the olive oil. The dough should form into a ball and un-stick itself from the sides of the food processor.

dough with fresh strawberries steps

Place the strawberries in a food processor and add the salt. Pulse until the strawberries are totally pureed. Then add the flour, ¼ cup at a time, then the egg. Pulse until the dough forms a smooth ball, transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour.

rolling + cutting steps

Divide the dough into four pieces and roll one piece at a time out as thinly as you can using a rolling pin on a floured surface or a pasta machine. Cut the dough into ¼ strips using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife. Let sit for 20-30 minutes to let the pasta dry slightly.

cooking, sauce, and assembly steps

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden. Add the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

Add the pasta to the salted boiling water and cook for 3 minutes then using tongs, transfer to the skillet. Using tongs will allow you to transfer some of the pasta water along with the noodles. Feel free to add additional pasta water, but the amount that comes from transferring it should suffice. Cook in the pan for another 4 minutes until the pasta brightens in color (the lemon interacts with the strawberry to do this) and the sauce cooks down a bit.

Transfer to a plate and top with basil and freshly grated parmesan cheese. 

dough made with freeze-dried strawberries
dough made with fresh strawberries

Farfalle with broccoli and toasted pine nuts is a classic dish in my family, we had it probably once a month growing up. Typically, my parents made it with cavatelli, and we called it “cavatelli and broccoli.” Today, I decided to use farfalle. 

This pasta is so quick + easy to prepare, yet it tastes like it has been marinating for hours. Sometimes simple recipes really are the best, and this nostalgic recipe is one of my favorites. The recipe for farfalle with broccoli and toasted pine nuts begins with infusing garlic and olive oil which unite with the broccoli, toasted pine nuts and parmesan cheese for a full-fledged flavor explosion.

Serves 2-4 


  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ pound farfalle pasta
  • 2-3 cups broccoli, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the pine nuts and toast until nutty and fragrant, shaking the pan to ensure even heat distribution. Remove the nuts from the pan and set aside to cool.

Pour the olive oil into the skillet and heat on medium. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes until fragrant and golden.

Meanwhile, add the farfalle to the boiling salted water and let cook for ~7 minutes. 

While the pasta cooks, add the broccoli to the pan with the garlic and cook for another 4 minutes.

When the pasta is al dente (6-7 minutes) immediately transfer it to the pan with the garlic and broccoli, bringing about 2 tablespoons of the pasta water with it. Cook for 2 minutes then add the toasted pine nuts and cook for another 2 minutes. Serve with a generous amount of grated parmesan cheese on top!