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Late Summer's Harvest

August is an exciting produce month with tomatoes and okra at their peak, and—my daughter’s favorite—melon, coming in season. For me, one of the joys of summertime in Oklahoma is creating dishes that highlight the fresh ingredients available at this time of year. This month’s recipes were inspired by a thriving basil bush in my garden and zucchini from the farmer’s market. I hope you also find inspiration in the abundance of late summer’s harvest to create something delicious!

Late Summer's Harvest

Ganache glazed chocolate-zucchini bundt cake

Yields 1 full-size or 3 mini bundts
Ganache glazed chocolate-zucchini bundt cake


For the cake:

  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut oil 
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

For the ganache: 

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules



Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a large bundt pan or 3 mini bundt pans and dust with cocoa powder; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, instant coffee and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, sugars, eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, along with the shredded zucchini and chocolate chips. Mix until just combined. Transfer to bundt pan(s). Bake until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 23-26 minutes for mini bundt pan and for 60 to 70 minutes for a full-size pan. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and invert onto a cooling rack. To make the ganache, combine chocolate, cream and coffee granules in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds and stir well; repeat until chocolate is fully melted. Allow ganache to cool slightly and drizzle over cooled cake. Garnish with chocolate chips.


Summer salad with pan-fried goat cheese and pesto vinaigrette

Serves 4
Summer salad with pan-fried goat cheese and pesto vinaigrette


For the pesto vinaigrette: 

  • 1/2 cup basil leaves 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 

For the goat cheese:

  • 8 ounces honey-flavored goat cheese
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Kosher salt 
  • 1 tablespoon butter

For the salad: 

  • 8 cups salad greens 
  • 2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced 
  • 6 ounces blackberries
  • 12 strawberries, hulled and halved



For the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. For the goat cheese, cut the log into 16 equal pieces; roll pieces into balls and flatten into disks. Set up 3 bowls: to one add the flour; one the bread crumbs; and one the egg and water, and whisk well. Season the contents of each of the bowls with a pinch of salt. Coat each of the goat cheese disks in flour, then in egg, and finally in breadcrumbs. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Arrange the breaded goat cheese disks in the skillet and cook until golden on both sides, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Remove skillet from the heat. To assemble the salad, place greens into a serving bowl, top with grilled chicken, berries, pecans and warm goat cheese. Dress with vinaigrette just before serving. OKL Article End