3 Ways to Use Up Summer’s Bounty!

zucchiniGot zucchini coming out of your ears? No problem, make a huge platter of Zucchini Carpaccio! Thinly sliced raw zucchini that gets slightly “cooked” by a lemon and olive oil dressing.  I recently brought this to a party on the biggest platter I could find. It looks very impressive, quite the show stopper with all the zucchini slices neatly layered on top of each other. I think I used 5 zucchini  and 1 yellow squash. Try and pick squash that is similar in size, it will visually look better on the platter.
zucchini carpacio I used a mandoline to slice all the squash nice and thin, then shaved Parmigiano Reggiano all over the slices, I added chopped fresh basil, parsley, and a little salt and pepper.party tray When I got to the party I dressed the whole thing with a fresh lemon and olive oil dressing that I had pre-made in a jar and brought along. It was a big hit and a great way to use up my zucchini!fresh corn Whether you grow your own corn or just buy a ton like I do during the summer, this is something you just have to make! Grilled Corn Planks with Creme Fraiche and Tarragon. Three simple ingredients that go so amazing together, we just can’t get enough of it, it’s that good!corn planks Use a good serrated knife and cut off your kernels in a sawing motion to assure nice “planks” of corn.creme fresh Even if you don’t quite care for tarragon, ( I admit I was one of those) I promise you, it makes the whole dish spectacular, I can’t imagine it with out!corn with tarragon I found this in Fine Cooking magazine, here’s the recipe. I did not use the vinegar, but followed everything else exactly.  Hurry and make this while sweet corn is still in abundance!

grilling kale I’m ending this post with kale, Grilled Kale, we grow a ton of it. I’ve froze some, made a bunch of salads, made pesto, but sometimes I just get lazy so I walk out to the garden, pick a gigantic bunch, bring it in the house, wash it and pick the tough stems off then pat dry. Throw the cleaned kale into a huge bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss until well coated, then pile it all directly on top of the grill.

grilled kale It only takes a few minutes to cook down and you’ll have a large bowl full to do whatever you want with it. It’s a great way to cook up massive amounts and besides, the nice smoky flavor adds another dimension. I like to saute shaved garlic in olive oil, add a pinch of red pepper flakes, pour it over the grilled kale and toss. Finish it by squeezing fresh lemon all over. I’m going to miss all this goodness!

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Patty Pan Squash Carpaccio for a Hot Summer Night

patty pan squash carpaccioSometimes on a hot summer night or when I’m just being lazy, I’ll put together a nice antipasto platter and we’ll have that for our main meal. My refrigerator is never without a variety of olives and cheeses and either salami or prosciutto of some sort, so it’s pretty quick for me to whip this up. This is casual dining at it’s best, just open a chilled bottle of wine, add some crusty bread then relax and enjoy!
farmers marketpatty pan squashOver the weekend I went to our local farmers market and couldn’t resist taking home a bag of these tiny saucer shaped squash and a few 8-ball zucchini, even though I had no clue how I was going to prepare them!
patty pan squash I’ve seen these tiny squash stuffed before and roasted, but because it’s been so hot outside I decided to make mine carpaccio style, raw uncooked thin slices tossed in olive oil and lemon with shaved parmesan and parsley, it was the perfect addition to my cool and refreshing antipasto platter. I just love the scalloped edges and the tops on the patty pan squash, it’s all edible and it makes for a nice presentation.

italian antipastoI also made a caprese salad to go along with everything, because in the summer that’s a staple at my house and besides I have basil growing like crazy all over my backyard!
antipasto Aaaah summertime, when the living is easy!  Don’t you love it?

Patty Pan Squash Carpaccio for a Hot Summer Night
 
Ingredients
  • patty pan squash
  • 8-ball zucchini
  • fresh chopped parsley
  • arugula, optional
  • shaved parmesan
  • salt and pepper
  • Lemon zest
  • fresh lemon and olive oil dressing
Instructions
  1. Slice the tops off of the patty pan squash with a knife, set aside.
  2. Slice tops off of the 8-ball zucchini, discard.
  3. Thinly slice remaining squash with a mandolin if possible, slices should be thin.
  4. Add sliced squash, plus the tops of the patty pan squash into a bowl and add parsley, zest, shaved parmesan, arugula, use as much as you want, to taste.
  5. Whisk together a fresh lemon and olive oil dressing then pour over the squash and toss very gently.
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Easy Labor Day Weekend Ideas

Couscous salad topped with grilled veggies, serve with grilled pita and you’ll have the perfect lunch,

or serve it as a side with any roast you might be putting on the grill.

Nothing makes me happier than seeing a platter filled with grilled veggies drizzled with olive oil and balsamic glaze!

A perfect side dish with any grilled meats.

Or slabs of grilled sweet onions with dollops of warm gorgonzola.

For an extremely fresh salad that you can’t stop eating, try this Zucchini Carpaccio

Salad. Paper thin slices of fresh zucchini tossed with baby arugula, shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, garlic, lemon zest and olive oil. Topped with toasted walnuts.

For a quick dessert take advantage of all the beautiful apricots that are still available.

Stuff them with sweetened mascarpone and plop a blackberry on top, drizzle with honey or agave and stick them under your broiler. Garnish with pistachio’s.

Keep it simple and savor every last bit of all the beautiful summer produce.

Buon Appetito!

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