web analytics

Archive | zucchini RSS feed for this section

roasted vegetable stacks with goat cheese

roasted veggie stacks with goat cheeseI am in veggie heaven with these roasted vegetable stacks and in one recipe I get the daily recommended servings of vegetables; my kind of dish.  Although the end of Summer means goodbye to warmer days (sigh), its departure signals the bounty of the harvest (yay!).  It’s the perfect time of the year to grab all the locally grown goodies from markets and farmers roadside stands.  Continue Reading →

grilled zucchini roll-ups – a summer snack

grilled zucchini roll-upsThe farmers’ markets these days are showing off the bounty of the harvest.  It’s a favourite time of the year for me and for all who enjoy eating locally produced food.  The market is a perfect way to re-engage with the farmers, to ask questions about their produce, meat or fish and leave with a sense of being part of the community.  These farmers love to talk about the food they help put on your table.   Continue Reading →

baked summer squash – stuffed to perfection!

baked summer squash stuffed with porkSummer squash is available all year round which sounds a bit confusing.  The name refers to a squash harvested when it’s not fully mature.  The skin is soft and thin while the flesh is a softer texture.  Some of the most popular and familiar varieties are:  zucchini, pattypan squash, cousa squash, crookneck squash.  Summer squash is perfect roasted, grilled, sautéed, or stuffed.  This recipe is inspired by my mother in-law’s mom, Angelina Bocarisa, but I only knew of her as mama nini which was what all her grandchildren called her. Continue Reading →

stuffed zucchini blossoms

stuffed zucchini flowers Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms…sounds so heavenly.  Summer squash which includes zucchini, is now available in local markets and food shops – they are for me, one of the highlights of the season.  They’re delicate, come in different varieties, tender, juicy, and sweet.  But before the summer squash is formed, the plant produces blossoms. If you’re lucky to find zucchini blossoms, grab them!  They’re a delight to eat.  The flower, though delicate, is wonderful stuffed with ricotta or goat cheese, dipped in a tempura-like batter, and deep-fried. Continue Reading →

Baked Vegetable Custard

Vegetable CustardYears ago I bought a book to hold all my scraps of paper that I scribbled recipes on or ones I cut from magazines and newspapers.  I remember, after the last recipe was glued down, how triumphant it felt to see my collection in one place.   The other day I went through one I started back in 2005.  I had forgotten these recipes.  The baked vegetable custard is one I made once before, most probably in 2005, and it’s a pity I forgot about it as it’s darn delicious and relatively easy to make.  As much as I like to view recipes online, I still enjoy the tactile nature of paper. Continue Reading →

Zucchini Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Zucchini & Goat Cheese BruschettaBruschetta (pronounced brusketta), is an Italian antipasto where grilled slices of bread are rubbed with garlic and a splash of olive oil added.  Who would have thought a simple Tuscan recipe of grilled bread could turn out to be so magical.  Continue Reading →

Zucchini Noodles and Avocado Dressing

zucchini noodle salad with avocado dressingI love pasta and could eat tons of it and not gain an ounce when I was younger – attributed to a high metabolism and being very active.  However, this menopausal woman isn’t able to boast that statement any longer without increasing my waistline.  Sooo, I cook it when I am craving it leaving me to think of ways for a pasta substitute.  Continue Reading →

Zucchini Tomato Pizzas

zucchini & tomato pizzaI had pizza on the brain the other day but wasn’t in the mood to make the dough and prep the toppings.  While I was at the grocery store trying to figure out how I could satisfy my pizza craving without doing too much work, I spotted a lovely display of zucchinis.  And there was the answer!   It occurred to me that I could use the zucchini as a base.   Inspiration for cooking comes from the most interesting or the least expected places.  What inspires you?  These zucchini tomato pizzas are a cinch to make.  I ended up making these as an appetizer followed by grilled veggies and a quinoa salad.  Zucchini is part of the summer squash family and is full of nutrients and vitamins.   It helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and is anti-inflammatory.

zucchini, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
oven roasted cherry or plum tomatoes
grated Parmesan
dried basil or oregano

Preheat oven to 375f (190c).
zucchini collageArrange zucchini slices on a greased baking tray. Lightly sprinkle dried basil over the slices.

zucchini & tomato pizza roundsAdd a pinch of Parmesan to each zucchini round and top with roasted tomato.

zucchini tomato pizza roundsBake in the oven 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese has melted.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:
Allow the zucchini pizzas to cool slightly before serving.  Use sliced fresh cherry tomatoes if you don’t have roasted and for added flavor, try a small sprinkling of truffle sea salt on top of the tomato. Enjoy!

Grilled Vegetable Stacks with a Feta Salsa

grilled vegetable stacks with feta salsaIt’s been a scorcher the last two weeks but that hasn’t stopped us from being outdoors.  Summer for us automatically means using the barbeque more – and we grill anything! Of course we grill the usual suspects such as meat, chicken, fish and veggies.  But we also love grilled bread, pizza, artichokes, onions, romaine lettuce, radicchio, Belgium endive, peaches, pineapple, corn on the cob, flatbread, lemons, halloumi cheese…phew! and that’s only the beginning.  Just about anything you cook inside can be taken outdoors.  For dessert think outside the kitchen box and try grilling pound cake slices, banana nutella s’mores, banana split, watermelon etc.  All stone fruits work well on the grill and they end up with a sweeter taste.

Serves 4 as a side
1 cup Greek feta cheese, crumbled
zest of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
olive oil
zucchini, sliced
eggplant, sliced
yellow summer squash, sliced

Combine feta, lemon zest, garlic, and olives in a small bowl. Add enough olive oil to moisten the feta mixture; stir to combine. Preheat bbq to 350f. Lightly brush olive oil on the veggies, season and grill both sides until cooked – about 5 minutes depending on how thick the slices are. Remove from heat. To serve, place an eggplant slice on a plate followed by a spoonful of feta salsa, slice of zucchini, another spoonful of feta salsa and topped with summer squash slice. Top the summer squash with a small spoonful of the feta salsa. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

feta salsaThe Culinary Chase’s Note: These grilled vegetable stacks can be prepared straight from the grill or served at room temperature. Either way you’re going to love the flavors. Enjoy!

Stuffed Round Zucchini (zucchine tonde ripiene)

Stuffed Round ZucchiniFarmers’ markets always provide interesting selections of fruits and vegetables and most vendors are happy to share their knowledge of their produce.  I spotted these round zucchinis at the Ridge Hill Yonkers’ Down to Earth Farmers’ Market – aren’t they adorable?

Serves 4

4 round zucchinis
1 garlic clove, minced
3 or 4 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 anchovy fillets, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
olive oil
feta cheese

round zucchiniPreheat oven to 350f. Cut the tops off the zucchini and set aside. Using a teaspoon, scoop out flesh but not too close to the skin. Roughly chop the zucchini flesh. Rub olive oil all over the zucchini rounds. In a large sauté pan, add one tablespoon of olive oil and place over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, and anchovies and sauté until onion is soft. Then add zucchini flesh and cook until soft. Remove from heat; add sun dried tomatoes, feta, and parsley. Stir to combine and then stuff zucchini. Place zucchini tops on top.  Add a splash of olive oil in a baking dish and add zucchini rounds. Bake for 30 minutes or until zucchini looks soft. Serve immediately.

zucchiniThe Culinary Chase’s Note: Any leftover stuffing can be used in another dish such as a frittata.  The ingredients are approximate so play around to suit your palate.  Enjoy!