Zucchini Week: Day 7

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Day 7, a week late. Oops. I’m a bad, bad blogger. Well, the meal was made on day seven, however the picture didn’t make it off the camera until today. Yeah. Anyway, in all of its glory, I present to you my own creation, a zucchini pasta salad. The idea took form after I realized I could make pasta noodles from zucchini using my mandoline. Since I heavily modify recipes anyway, I’m just going to give you the basics of what I did. Onions were browned in some olive oil, then the tomatoes were added along with the zucchini and a bit of homebrewed beer. While that was simmering, I grilled the chicken and portobello mushrooms. The mix on the stove went into the fridge after the liquid was drained and so did the finished chicken and mushrooms. After everything was well chilled, I brought it out, sliced the chicken and mushrooms, added some local blue cheese on top and finished it off with a blackberry vinegarette (Olive oil, crushed blackberries, red wine vinegar, fresh basil). All the flavors worked well together and it made for a light afternoon lunch. Zucchini Pasta Salad – My Own Recipe
Ingredients Used:
*Zucchini – my garden
*Tomatoes – Charlestown Farm
*Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
*Cheese – Birchrun Hills Farm
*Chicken – Eberly Poultry
*Onion – North Star Orchard
*Blackberries – Willow Creek

Zucchini Week: Day 6

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All this zucchini and today is day six. One more to go! Today I tried a big experiment – Zucchini Pickles. I’ve never made pickles and have never canned or preserved anything in jars before, so this was all new territory for me. I actually used a recipe and advice from the Ball Canning Book, but the PickYourOwn.org website had pretty much the same recipe with onions added in, so that’s what I’m sharing with you. The recipe used up three mega-zucchini and filled seven wide-mouth pint jars. The process was much easier than I thought it would be, but does require some odd canning-specific equipment that the average cook won’t have around the house. The pickling solution smelled really good, but I haven’t tried them yet. I think I’ll wait a week to let them soak up more of the pickling juices in the jars first! Zucchini Pickles – Recipe on PickYourOwn.org
Ingredients Used:
*Zucchini – my garden

Zucchini Week: Day 5

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Day five of zucchini week already. I had other plans for today, but the crazy storms that rolled through right around dinner time spoiled the outdoor cooking idea, so I switched days up a little. Today was this neat polenta zucchini tart. I became a big fan of polenta the first time my study abroad Italian host mother made polenta lasagna. MMmmm Cornmeal. So, I’ve been searching for neat recipes that use polenta and came across this one.  Sadly, the recipe didn’t include instructions on how to make polenta from scratch, so I borrowed Alton Brown’s savory polenta recipe with a few changes. The ingredients are ALL local this time (well okay, the olive oil isn’t, but who’s really counting that anyway). The feta cheese added something I think the parmesan wouldn’t quite do in the same way, plus, I didn’t have parmesan cheese on hand. This is absolutely delicious and will probably be made again as tomato season rolls around, using tomatoes in place of zucchini. Zucchini Polenta Tart – Recipe on ChocolateandZucchini.com
Ingredients Used:
*Zucchini – my garden
*Cornmeal – Mill at Anselma
*Feta – Amazing Acres
*Onion – North Star Orchard
*Garlic – Willow Creek

Zucchini Week: Day 4

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We move into day four of Zucchini Week with a heavily modified version of our recipe. My mandoline didn’t have a plate that would slice wide but thin slices of zucchini for proper pappardelle noodles (think wide fettuccine), so i went with the square-spaghetti-sized slicer instead. This gave me these awesome zucchini spaghetti noodles and I was just in total awe. Why hadn’t I thought of this before! Ingenius. Michael Chiarello uses a whole bunch of spices and ingredients that I just didn’t have and was not going to go out and buy just for this recipe, so I improvised. A LOT. Sweet smoked Spanish paprika? Grey Salt?! Yeah. I had regular old paprika and table salt, and those worked out just fine. Instead of arugula, I happened to have some red leaf lettuce in the fridge and went with that. The feta is a goat’s milk feta that I’ve been layering on sandwiches all week. I still had two heirloom tomatoes from last week’s farmer’s market run and used those in place of the cherry tomatoes, sliced thin. I didn’t have olives, so they didn’t make it into this dish. Overall though, I think this worked out well and the idea of the recipe is still there. The warm tomatoes and zucchini noodles over lettuce made for a really great, refreshing and light lunch. Zucchini Pappardelle Salad – Recipe on FoodNetwork.com
Ingredients Used:
*Zucchini – my garden
*Lettuce – Kimberton Whole Foods locally grown
*Tomatoes – North Star Orchard
*Feta – Amazing Acres