Archive for August, 2012

fried zucchini sticks

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raw zucchini salad

Another day, another zucchini recipe, there is no end in site. This one is one of my favorites. It takes a couple of minutes to prepare and the big bonus is that there is no cooking involved.

Slice the zucchini paper thin.

(This step is not necessary, but if you want a softer texture sprinkle the zucchini with some salt and set in a colander to drain for about 10-15 minutes. This removes some of the moisture from the zucchini and gives it a soft texture. Rinse under cold water to remove excess salt and dry on a layer of paper towels.)

Place zucchini in a bowl or flat plate. Add your favorite herbs and spices.

I added a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a few pieces of a zucchini flower and a couple of greek basil tops

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop.

Before serving you can add some chopped nuts or breadcrumbs, or just serve plain. The transparency of the zucchini and the solid chopped herbs look fabulous.

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The zucchini flowers have to be picked before noon so they are still opened. They are fun to make but do take a little time. The best thing to do is prepare the stuffing the day before you plan to make them.

The stuffing I made here is with rice. But you can easily use ground beef or veal. I also use this stuffing to stuff peppers, tomatoes and eggplants.

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ingredients

1 cup rice

16 zucchini blossoms, stemmed & pistils removed

bunch of parsley, basil and other choice herbs, minced

garlic cloves minced

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup grated mozzarella

2 large eggs

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Zucchini flowers from Maria & Ferruccio’s garden!

Preheat oven to 350*

Cook rice whichever method you prefer

Combine cooked rice and all other ingredients (except the flowers) in a bowl and mix thoroughly

Fill zucchini flowers to top and gather petals together

Lay the zucchini blossoms on a lightly oiled oven-proof dish and  drizzle a little more oil over them and bake them for about 15 minutes
Turn blossoms over and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes

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strawberry rhubarb jam

My friend Cecilia brought me a jar of delicious rhubarb and strawberry jam that her husband, Gerd, makes every year. The consistency is quite thick and surprisingly not too sweet. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you, Gerd for the recipe.

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ingredients

2 cups strawberries

1 1/2 cups rhubarb

7 cups sugar

1 pouch CERTO liquid

¼ cup lemon juice

½ teaspoon butter

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Hull and throughly crush berries, one layer at a time

Thinly slice or chop 1 pound of rhubarb

Measure fruit into a large 4 to 8 quart saucepan

Add lemon juice

Pan should be only half full to allow mixture to reach full boiling

To reduce foaming, add ½ teaspoon butter

Add sugar to  fruit and mix well. DO NO REDUCE SUGAR (That is the indication, but Gerd reduces it by 1/3 because he doesn’t like it too sweet)

Place saucepan over high heat and bring to boil, stirring constantly

Boil for 1 minute and remove from heat

Immediately stir in the liquid fruit pectin CERTO

Stir and skim for 5 minutes to prevent floating fruit

Pour quickly into the jars to ¼” from the rim. (Gerd leaves only 1/8” free)

He lets it cool some time, not completely, and covers it with Saran Wrap and puts the lids on, then turns them upside down, and puts them on a rack in the cool room of the basement

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Today was pizza day at my mom’s.

 

 

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strawberry peach pie

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The zucchini rampicante plants in the garden are growing very well. This versatile and amazing plant is nothing like your regular zucchini. The bigger it grows the tastier it gets. It grows big very fast. The one I used for this recipe grew to 28″ and 8.5 lbs  in about 10 days. This zucchini stays firm and does not mush up after cooking like regular zucchini.

I made different cuts for different uses. I sliced the bottom part of the zucchini lengthwise in order to get long slices and discarded the middle part that contained the seeds. I used eight slices to make the layered casserole, so I cut the rest french fry style and will bread them and roast them in the oven tomorrow. The top part of the zucchini will go in the fridge to be used later in the week.  __________________________________________________________________________

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, sliced

few garlic cloves minced

2 red peppers cut lengthwise

Salt and freshly ground pepper

8 slices (3″ by 6″ approximately)

3 medium garden tomatoes, sliced

bunch of parsley & basil chopped

parmesan cheese

1/4 cup chicken broth

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Heat oil in a heavy frying pan over medium heat and cook onion for about 5 minutes then add garlic and peppers and cook for another 5 minutes

Spread half of the onion mixture evenly in the bottom of a shallow 2-quart (9-inch) oiled baking dish.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Arrange alternating rows of zucchini and tomatoes on top of the onion

Sprinkle with parsley, basil, parmesan cheese and more salt and pepper

Spread rest of the onion mixture on top

Pour broth evenly over the top

Sprinkle more parmesan cheese

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in  350*F  preheated oven

for about 40 minutes, or until zucchini is tender to the fork

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peach and strawberry pie

Peaches and strawberries!
What a combination! The colors are amazing and the taste is superb. The incredibly warm summer we are having is great for fruits. Farmer’s markets all over the city are overflowing with fresh produce. There is no need to do anything with the juicy peaches and amazing strawberries, they are delicious alone, cut up in a salsa, smoothie or on top of ice cream or yogurt. But it is very tempting to cut them up and make pies, tarts, and cakes for a special dessert.
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ingredients
4 medium peaches, pitted, peeled and sliced
2 cups strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cornstarch
few leaves of fresh mint
1 pie crust  9″
heat oven to 400*
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Combine peaches, stawberries, sugar, nutmeg and mint in medium skillet.
Cook over medium-high heat, stirring gently, until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes.
Let cool slightly.
Mound peaches in center of pie crust
Fold edges up and over filling, leaving center exposed.
Sprinkle with 1 tbsp sugar and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
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