All of our dinners have been "farm to table" the last few weeks. Pete's garden has been so plentiful. A friend is coming to dinner tonight and what's in the picture above, plus a couple of ears of corn and grilled salmon, is what I'm serving. Pete's Slovenian heritage makes him crave lots of salads with vinegar. He makes a tomato salad with thinly sliced onions, basil, and oil and vinegar, just like his mother and grandmother use to make. He likes to do the green beans like that, too, minus the basil. His new salad this year is an Asian cucumber salad. He slices the cukes and onions on a mandolin and tosses them with oil and rice wine vinegar and a tiny pinch of sugar. All a variation on a single Slovenian theme. They are all delicious.
I am a little more adventurous in the kitchen. I made us bruschetta one night -- chopped Brandywine tomatoes, chopped red onion, basil, and balsamic vinegar and olive oil -- on slabs of bread I toasted in a cast iron pan on the stove top with some olive oil. I rubbed the grilled bread with a clove of raw garlic before putting the tomato topping on. Lord, was that delicious.
I used the zucchini to make what Pete calls "Zucchini Boats." These are great, especially left over for lunch the next day. I take four or five 6 inch zucchinis and halve them horizontally. Then I scoop out the innards and chop them up and set them aside. I chop up a nice big onion and sauté it in a little love oil. I add to that one chopped red pepper and one chopped fennel bulb and a couple of cloves of crushed garlic. (The fennel really makes this -- so don't leave it out.) Cook those up with the onions until they start to wilt. Add the zucchini innards, salt, pepper, and some chopped herbs -- oregano is good or basil -- whatever you have fresh. Cook it until it is all wilted and the flavors have melded together. Let this mixture cool a little and add half a cup of freshly grated romano or parmesan cheese. Stuff into the hollowed out zucchini halves. Mix another half a cup of grated cheese with a half cup of bread crumbs and a tiny drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle on top of the boats. Place in a pan with at least two inch sides. Pour about a half inch of water in the pan with the boats. Bake at 350 for about half an hour. Yummy.
Are you hungry yet? Come on over -- we have enough veggies for everyone!