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Local ingredients: Zucchini, tomatoes

Zucchini and summer squash are so delicious, especially when they are fresh (and cheap!) during the summer. When I was little I ate them with mounds of butter, seasoned breadcrumbs, and sour cream—all delicious, but a ridiculous amount of fat for a very regular amount of flavor.

While I was reading Mark Bittman’s “Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating,” I discovered a small suggestion about how to cook zucchini in the recipe section that was really intriguing. Bittman’s recipe for ‘Pan-Cooked Grated Vegetables and Crunchy Fish’ describes how most veggies cook quickly and retain a crunchiness if you grate them first. While the zucchini may not be “crunchy”, especially if you add liquid flavor like balsamic, it is for sure not watery as it would be steamed or boiled. I also happen to think that grated vegetables look quite fancy when plated!

Here are my two summer zucchini stir-fry salads which are inspired by Mark Bittman’s recipe for Pan-Cooked Grated Vegetables: (more…)

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Here is one of many possible versions of a simple local summer salad!

Local ingredients: lettuce, chevre, and tomatoes

I brought this to a dinner with my sister-in-law and her family and it was the perfect salad to accompany turkey cheeseburgers on a hot day. A suggestion from one of my diners: “feta would have been better than chevre to bring some texture to the salad.” Personally, I think both would be  yummy, it just depends on preference. To take this salad to the next level you could even throw some caramelized onions  and walnuts in there!

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