In the mood for Zucchini!

Three reasons to look forward to an abundance of 
garden-fresh zucchini this summer.


Grilled Zucchini with Parmesan and Basil

Not really a recipe…but probably my favorite way to enjoy in-season, local zucchini.
Wash and trim zucchini and cut into 1/4 inch slices.  I like to cut them on the diagonal in order to create larger slices that will be easier to grill.  Place zucchini slices in a bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.   Sprinkle with salt and coarse ground black pepper and toss to coat.  Grill over high heat…just 1-2 minutes per side.  I find that by the time I finish getting the zucchini situated on the grill, it is time to turn the first ones.  So while the grilling is labor intensive, it only lasts a few minutes.  Have your serving platter next to the grill so you can place the slices, slightly overlapping, directly on it.  Garnish the zucchini with fresh basil and shaved Parmesan.  (a vegetable peeler works nicely for the Parmesan).  Season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.  Serve hot off the grill or at room temperature.

Sauteed Zucchini with Red Onion, Dill, and Aged Gouda

(serves 4-6)
This recipe is from Smith and Hawkins’ Gardeners Community Cookbook and is attributed to Joan Holmes, from Westminster, MD.  These flavors work perfectly together and I can make a whole meal of this dish.  I’ve changed the cooking technique just a bit from the original recipe because I like to cook onions slowly, over low heat,  and zucchini quickly, over high heat.  So my way, you get sweet caramelized onions and crisp tender zucchini. 
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon thinly sliced garlic
6 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups grated aged  Gouda cheese
Preheat the broiler.
Heat half of the oil in a large skillet.  Add the onions and garlic and saute over medium low heat until they are soft and just beginning to caramelize.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Add remaining oil to the skillet and raise the heat to high.  Add the zucchini and saute until crisp tender.  Remove from the heat and add the reserved onion mixture, dill, salt, pepper, and Parmesan.  Toss gently to distribute the ingredients then transfer everything to a broiler safe gratin dish.  Sprinkle the Gouda over the top and place under the broiler until the cheese melts and turns slightly golden, about 4 minutes.  Serve right away.
This next recipe is so light and fresh and wonderful.  Now, I’ll admit, I’ve come late to the eating raw squash camp.  Probably encountered too many raw squashes on tired crudite platters.  But one day, at the Whole Foods salad bar, I discovered that if fresh, sweet, raw squash has a chance to marinate in a tasty vinaigrette for a bit, it turns into a wonderful thing.  That is why I decided to try this recipe from Bon Appetite this Spring and I was not disappointed.  I did not make my own ricotta although I plan to try that soon.

Zucchini Carpaccio with Homemade Ricotta Cheese

    Bon Appétit | April 2010

by Sisi and Wil Carroll
This beautiful side dish looks complicated but is very easy to assemble. If you don’t have time to make your own ricotta, buy high-quality fresh ricotta.

Yield: 10 servings


5 medium zucchini, trimmed
Coarse kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Homemade Ricotta Cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


Using knife or V-slicer, cut zucchini into paper-thin rounds. Arrange rounds, slightly overlapping, on large platter. Sprinkle lightly with coarse salt and pepper, then green onions. Whisk lemon juice and oil in small bowl. Drizzle dressing evenly over zucchini. Drop small spoonfuls of cheese all over zucchini. Sprinkle with basil and serve.

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Zucchini baby!

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