Thursday, July 2, 2009

It's Zucchini Time!

If you have your own garden or have been to the farmer’s market lately, you have surely noticed the influx of zucchini that has recently arrived. I have been waiting for this time of year for quite awhile. Growing up, I disliked zucchini for some reason, but it is now one of my favorite foods.

I enjoy all the different varieties of zucchini that are out there. From dark to pale green, yellow, green and yellow, long and skinny and even round. My favorite variety of zucchini is Costata Romanesco. It is a paler green/gray in color, with green flecks and it is ribbed. It is an heirloom variety that does not yield as well as most of the hybrids do, but it sure is delicious!

I love zucchini and yellow squash sautéed, grilled and in bread. My favorite zucchini recipe is Zucchini and Yellow Squash Gratin. I cook it as much as possible. I could eat the entire dish by myself. In fact one of my friends and I regularly split it between the two of us, despite the fact it is supposed to feed four people. I even made it for the family I stayed with in New Zealand (where they call zucchini ‘courgettes’) and the kids actually begged their mother to make it for them the next week! It has the stamp of approval from some of the pickiest eaters I know. Click HERE for the Everyday Food recipe.

Zucchini and Yellow Squash Gratin

2 tablespoons butter
2 medium zucchini (about 7 oz each) sliced crosswise ½ in thick
2 medium yellow squash (can use zucchini instead) sliced ½ in thick
2 shallots (or small onions) minced
2 garlic cloves minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
½ cup heavy cream
1cup panko (or breadcrumbs)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 450 F. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat; add zucchini, yellow squash, shallots and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini and squash are crisp tender, 4-6 minutes.
2. Add cream and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; stir in ½ cup panko and ½ cup Parmesan
3. Spoon mixture into a shallow, 2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining panko and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Bake until top is golden brown, 8-10 minutes.
4. Enjoy!



mags i love zucchini! and you!

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