One of the problems with all this rain we’ve been having is that the four hills of green and yellow zucchini I planted have exploded, turning the garden into a dense warren of leaves and swelling zukes. Four. Fricking. Hills. Five plants each.
What was she thinking?
Apparently not much at the time. So, today the tree guys finally showed up (in the rain, bless ’em) to tackle the dead and damaged trees from this past winter and the depredations of herds of deer. That means chain saws, chattering, sounds of limbs crashing. Not exactly conductive to writing.
I know what to do when events conspire against… Head for the kitchen and cook up some meals using whatever is on hand. That’s blueberries, red/black/golden raspberries, and produce. To be honest, I’m kind of sick of berries. I’ve been freezing them for later. Zukes you can freeze but they defrost into a mushy mess so I’d rather use them fresh when I can.
Zukes in soup: Recipe #1
It’s not really a recipe. It’s more like: open the fridge, stare at the produce bin, decide on what is verging on icky, then gather an armful and chop it fine enough to go into the slow cooker with a large can of chicken stock. Presto bingo, 3-4 hours later, you have tasty soup for now and to freeze for another meal or two.
Soup ingredients: large can of chicken stock (with fat, salt, the works – it just tastes better), 1/2 white onion, handful of green onions, celery, carrot, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, small green zucchini, handful of snow peas, handful of barley, handful of rice pasta (it’s really pasta but it looks like rice), salt/pepper/ground garlic (mill), a few shakes of Tuscan mix (sun-dried tomatoes/thyme). Slow cook for 3-4 hours. Yummo!
Zukes masquerading as lasagna: Recipe #2
I like this version of lasagna much better than using those thick lasagna noodles. I think it’s way more flavorful and much healthier.
2 medium yellow zucchini cut into 1/2″ slices
1 package loose sweet Italian sausage
1/2 white onion, diced
1/2 package sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 jar spaghetti sauce (garlic/basil variety)
salt/pepper/ground garlic (mill) to taste
Grated Italian 4-cheese mix
Stir fry the sausage in EVOO until browned, then add the onion, mushrooms, salt, pepper and garlic.
In a 9×9″ pan, spread some of the tomato sauce to coat the bottom, then layer the zucchini slices and sausage mix, ending with a layer of zucchini. Sprinkle Tuscan mix (sun-dried tomatoes/thyme) over the last layer, then finish off with the remainder of the tomato sauce.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 deg F for 30-40 minutes. Add the grated cheese to cover the top and heat until melted and bubbly.
Before serving shred some fresh basil leaves across the top.