Monday, July 27, 2015

Zucchini, Zucchini, Zucchini, Zucchini and Summer

Zucchini chips, zucchini tian, zucchini fries, zucchini roll ups (with prosciutto and provolone - very nice). Zucchini sliced, shaved and spiraled. 20 cups of zucchini chopped up for breads and cakes - later. Much later. Maybe January. I beg my neighbors to take the zucchini, fill bags of zucchini for family members. And I may just wander to a nearby parking lot and put zucchini in the car of anyone with an open car window.

I like the stuff. But we are now empty nesters and 4 zucchini plants is a wee bit excessive these days. Maybe it's time to grow sunflowers....

But for now - I have zucchini. The above zucchini is pasta is really lovely (of course it is! It has carbs!) I spiraled a yellow squash and a large-but-not-club-like zucchini and mixed it with a little pasta. Dressed it with the quintessential olive oil, pepper and Parmesan and five people were very happy at dinner last night. It's an easy, meatless, summer-light meal. And it uses up one large zucchini!

And that's the recipe - all is done to taste. I've done it with pesto and tomato sauce - but those sauces were a wee bit heavy for the delicate squash. 

And these are good. You don't think you're having a potato - but you lap it up anyway. Cut a medium zucchini into 8 pieces. (Slice in half and quarter each half). Dip in an egg wash (1 egg with a little bit of water - beaten). And then roll in 1/2 cup Panko mixed with 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Bake at 425 F for 20 minutes. Serve with Ranch (husband favorite) or marinara sauce (wife favorite).

It's Midsummer.  And it will be Christmas any day now, right? So I am trying to embrace the heat. After being in Minnesota for .... well... that would be decades .... I am no longer wired for heat. When we hit 75 degrees, I think, "'I'm meting." Something tells me I couldn't retire not Florida...

All my recipes this week have been:
a. easy
b. light
c. easy
d. appropriate for "I'm melting weather."

And that would be this: Grilled Swordfish with Lemon Caper Sauce

It does have those scary carbs (breadcrumbs and Panko) but not much. And it's served with a creamy-lemon-caper sauce that is midsummer happiness. It is from both Ciao Chow Linda (find her version here) and Roz's La Bella Vita Cucina (find her version here).

And because it is Midsummer, it's necessary to stay hydrated. I found this recipe for a Cosmopolitan on Kitchen Riff's blog. Don't let the pinky-frou-frou-Sex-and-the-City-association fool you. It's a serious drink. Citron vodka, Cointreau, fresh lime juice and a touch of the cranberry juice.

It was a happy patio last Friday night. Find the recipe here.

We live two blocks off the lake. We picnic on the lake. And inexplicably - we vacation on other lakes.

And when Renegade Theatre selected A Paper Forest as one of their plays for a new Play Reading Series, we used it as an excuse to spend some time at the "Big Lake" (aka Lake Superior).

And while it was wonderful that both husband and son could join me for the reading, I think the highlight for them was the new craft beer Brewery located in Canal Park - right on the lake.

I will embrace the heat because this is Minnesota and by the end of August, our patio might need a little fire for warmth. Wishing you warmth and cool and zucchini and lakes. Happy Midsummer!


Angie's Recipes said...

It has been raining since last Friday..I thought..gosh, it's already autumn? Now the rain stops, but still very cloudy and windy..not single sight of sunshine...last night I took out our winter blanket..enough complaints. These zucchini recipes are fantastic, Claudia, I love esp. those crisp baked zucchini and that sword fish creamy tangy caper sauce looks totally irresistible.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

75 sounds cool to me, although I know it's not. But it's the average daytime temperature in south Florida in the winter and we love it. I also love what you've done with your mountains of zucchini. They say around here "don't leave your car door unlocked or you'll return to find bags of zucchini in the back seat."

Panko crumbs are one of the best things invented and I use them all of the time, just not tons of them. I really like your crispy zucchini fingers and the grilled swordfish with the lemon caper sauce sounds & looks divine.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

You live two blocks off the lake? I think I'd be there all the time in the summer. And I agree, 75 degrees sounds almost fall-like. I love all those zucchini recipes and haven't made the fried zucchini strips yet this summer. But I shall try them with that pretty and delicious sounding drink. Thanks for the shout out too. I just love that creamy lemon caper sauce I found on Roz' blog. I'm glad you tried it too.

Kitchen Riffs said...

We no longer grow zucchini just because of the overload factor. Can usually get some from neighbors, and even our supermarket has local zucchini from small farms. Anyway, this looks terrific -- my kind of dish! And thanks for the Cosmo mention (and link)!

Eleonora Baldwin said...

Beautiful insight in your beautiful midsummer! thank you <3

Ciao from sweltering Roma

Frank said...

Ha! Reminds me of the time I planted zucchini for the first time, not knowing how prolific they were. I could have opened a stand at the local farmers market!

Beth said...

Lovely photos, Claudia.
Yes, the transition from summer to cool weather can be quick, although hopefully you won't need a fire by the end of August! In the meantime, your zucchini pasta looks amazing.

Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina said...

I needed this post to read today, since I haven't made one recipe with zucchini at all this summer. I can't believe it! But I've had a bumpy summer and wanted to thank you for your kind condolences that you gave me in July. I am so glad that you enjoyed the swordfish and lemony caper cream sauce. It's a sure keeper and now with you, Linda (Ciao Chow Linda) and myself enjoying it . . . I guess so. It pays to be a picky eater! It's still on the hot side here, 90-ish, but I was shocked to hear the hot temps in the midwest are still going on today. Hang in there, soon it will be fall and we'll be sipping yummy cider!