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Showing posts from July, 2012

Summer Pasta with Fried Zucchini Flowers and Radicchio

My last post was called Here Come the Zucchini. Well, they're here -- in full force, and like many of you, we're always looking for great new ways to use them. This week for Meatless Monday, Cyn put together a wonderful pasta dish using not only the zucchini but garlic, Greek oregano, Tuscan rosemary, Thai basil, Italian parsley, chives and zucchini flowers all from our garden!

If you've never cooked with or had zucchini flowers you really need to give them a try. If you grow your own zucchini, you will have these beautiful yellow flowers on every vine.

They're used in a variety of ways in Italian cooking and we've done one of the simplest but most delicious preparations here -- a light batter deep fry.




Ingredients 


Pasta
3 tbsp butter, divided2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil2-3 tbsp shallots, sliced thin (half a medium)salt2 big pinched of crushed red pepper (or to taste)5 cloves of garlic, sliced thin 1 cup of white wine -- we used an un-oaked Chardonnay1 medium zucchin…

Here Come the Zucchini

Last time I wrote about our garden, the zucchini were still in their infancy. Now, as zucchini always does, they're coming fast and furious. This year we decided to grow an heirloom variety called Cocozelle, which are shaped entirely different than the more typical long style. These guys are nearly round when they're grown out!

This past Monday, as a part of our regular Meatless Monday, Cyn put together a side dish that turned out so well I wanted to devote this blog entry to it. It was simple, quick to put together and really tasty. It even reheated well the next day when I took the leftovers to work for lunch.

Ingredients
1/3 cup breadcrumbs1/2 cup shredded parmigiano cheese (almost any good melting cheese would work well)1 small shallot, minced1 small hot pepper, minced (optional, but we like it hot)minced fresh herbs (optional - summer or winter savory, oregano, parsley and thyme all work)melted butter1 pound of zucchini cut into 1/4 inch rounds, slices, or strips (your ch…

Cyn's Summer Pasta Salad

It's been hot in Northern Virginia this Spring and early Summer. So far in July we've had 6 days over 100F (38C) and the prediction is that we will end this month as the hottest ever on record for the Washington DC area. This past Monday was no exception, very hot, humid and sticky. When it's that uncomfortable, the thought of eating something hot just isn't that appealing. So I was pleasantly surprised when Cynthia told me we were having a cold pasta salad for our Meatless Monday dinner. Here is her recipe for this delicious and refreshing dish.

Ingredients (the dressing)
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice1/4 cup white balsamic (can substitute white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar)heaping tsp sugar1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper1/4 cup oil, I like EVOO Ingredients (the salad)
about 1 cup corn, cut from two ears or cheat and use a can of corn, we grilled our corn before use here  1 1/2 pounds zucchini, julienne, placed in colander and tossed with 2 tsp kosher salt.  …

Oven Roasting Fresh Tomatoes for Pasta Sauce

A while back I wrote a post about using the preserved tomato sauce from 2008 that we still had in our pantry. It was the last jar of what was the best tomato crop we have grown -- to date. This weekend we picked and roasted the first batch from this year's garden with high hopes that we could match the richness of flavor from that magical year.

I wanted to share the process, especially since it's so simple, at least up to the canning, which I won't cover here. Those of you that can know it's not really hard, just a little time consuming.

The first step is pretty obvious, get yourself some tomatoes. We like to grow our own, but you can also buy them from a farm or farm market. Here's a little tip if you decide to buy -- offer to buy the "seconds", you know, the less than perfect tomatoes that everyone else has passed on. They can have blemishes, partial spoilage and even the occasionally bug hole. Don't worry, you're going to cut away any bad par…

Nine Wonderful Days In Ireland

It's been more than 2 weeks since I posted anything and I'm feeling a little guilty about it. If it matters, I do have an excuse -- I've just returned from a 9 day trip to Ireland! It was part holiday and part business, both of which went well. Cynthia was with me and we thoroughly enjoyed the people, the golf, the culture, the scenery and the beer.

During our visit we managed to rent a car and drive to two of our three rounds of golf. For those of you who have never driven on the "wrong side of the road", it's not as intimidating as it sounds. After about 15 minutes it seemed pretty natural. I should mention that the vehicle we rented was a standard transmission so shifting with the left hand added a little spice to the equation.  Some of the roads are pretty narrow, more like a lane and a half than two but there seems to be way more courtesy on Irish roads than in the US, so things have a way of working themselves out.



For those of you that might be golfers, …