Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.
As most of you know, Mr. BFR and I have been members of a CSA since the last century. And this is the time when summer squash, especially zucchini, fills up our market basket. Fortunately for us, we love squash, and usually have no trouble eating it almost every night while it's garden fresh. What we can't use up, gets grated, measured, and put in the freezer for winter baking and soups.
This summer, I've already made zucchini bake, and we've eaten squash simply sauteed with onion and as part of stir-fries. So this week I decided to experiment a bit and came up with three new (to us) dishes. Unlike my usual bad habits, I actually wrote down what I did and remembered to take photos.
A note on the recipes: My recipes are inspired by the ingredients I have in my kitchen. Once I come up with an idea, I generally do a quick cookbook or Internet search to see some variations on my basic formula. Sometimes I tweak my recipe based on what I find. The following were all developed in my head and in my kitchen; as far as I know, they are unique.
Simple Grilled Zucchini (© Beth Fish Reads)
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 tablespoons canola oil
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tablespoon coarse-ground mustard
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- Pepper and salt to taste
- 2 medium zucchini, cut into 3/8-inch slices, longitudinally
Preheat your grill to medium high. Remove the zucchini from the marinade and grill 11 minutes total, turning once, or until crisp-tender.
Notes: We loved this and ate every bite. By the way, the marinade is my favorite salad dressing. I vary the herb (oregano, basil, thyme . . .) and don't use salt. Adjust the grilling time if you slice your zucchini thinner or thicker.
Zucchini and Pasta in Spicy Peanut Sauce (© Beth Fish Reads)
- 1 pound dried pasta (any shape)
- 2 medium zucchini, cut into bite-size pieces
- 3 garlic scapes, minced (or use, um, say 2 garlic cloves)
- 2 tablespoons water + 1/3 cup hot water
- ½ cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- Juice of ½ lime
- 1½ teaspoons sesame oil
- 1½ teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
Meanwhile, place the zucchini and garlic scapes in a microwave-safe bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of water and microwave on high about 5 minutes, stopping and stirring once, until just softened. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix the peanut butter with the 1/3 cup hot water (I used the pasta cooking water) until well blended. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring until well blended.
Place the cooled pasta in a large bowl, add the zucchini mixture (and any residual liquid). Mix. Then add the peanut sauce and mix until the pasta is well coated. Serve at room temperature.
Notes: I'm slightly allergic to peanuts, so I used Sunbutter (a fake peanut butter). If you use real peanut butter, you may have to adjust the amount of added water to get the right consistency (thick, but loose enough to coat the pasta). This may sound like an odd combo, but it was delicious. Next time, I'll add some red bell peppers (cooked with the zucchini) for color; the finished dish was a little bland looking.
Crustless Spicy Zucchini Quiche (© Beth Fish Reads)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Hungarian wax peppers, coarsely chopped
- 2 medium zucchini, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 2 small andouille sausages, already cooked, diced
- 4 eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk (or whatever you use for milk)
- 1 tablespoon chili spice mix (I use one from Penzeys), or to taste
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and peppers, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the zucchini, and continue cooking and stirring until the zucchini begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the sausage, and continue cooking and stirring until the meat is heated through, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the milk and chili spice until well blended. Stir in the zucchini mixture and the cheese. (If the zucchini mixture is hot, stir in a little at a time to temper the eggs.) Pour into the prepared pan and bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the egg mixture has set up.
Cut into squares and serve warm.
Notes: I didn't add salt or pepper because there were enough spices in the chili mixture and sausage. Mr. BFR spooned salsa over his portions.