July 31, 2011

Cucumber Gazpacho

In the same vein of the recent zucchini dishes, cucumber has been abundant in the local produce bins.  The 90+ degree weather calls for cold meals, so I came up with a light cucumber gazpacho with coconut milk and greek yogurt to keep it light and tangy.  After making the refreshing base, very finely diced pepper, cucumber, shallots, and celery are added for crunchy texture.  The soup is topped off with crushed and toasted macadamia nuts.

Zucchini Fritters

Caught in the nostalgia of Zucchini Bread, I ended up with two extra cups of shredded zucchini.  The shape and texture reminded me of the packaged shredded potato for homefries, which got my wheels turning from homefries to latkes to fritters!  Zucchini fritters!

Zucchini Bread

Nothing makes me happier than walking into the grocery store and seeing a local produce bin.  The seasonal produce will be at its freshest due to the shorter farm-to-table distance.  Bonus - you can brag about how you care about the environment and call yourself a locavore!  Of course, I will have to call you loco while snickering into a bite of my delicious quick bread.

Zucchini is a summer squash that I love sliced thinly length-wise and grilled.  Despite being treated like a veggie, it is botanically an immature fruit, being the ovary of the oft-sought zucchini flower.  As such, it does well in sweet dishes like this quick bread.

This recipe is a bit of a family heirloom, holding a special place in the cracked yellow recipe box in our cookbook cabinet.  One of my favorite memories is the time that my mother, sister, and I attempted to make this bread one snow day.  We dropped a whole bowl of grated zucchini, went to the grocery store to get more, then dropped a whole carton of eggs after we got back and had to go to the 7-11 to get more eggs!  It was a giggly hott mess, but the bread still turned out delicious!  I didn't mess with the recipe one bit out of nostalgia, although feel free to experiment with any combination of vegetables, fruits, or spices.

July 24, 2011

Roasted Garlic

I’m a garlic lover, it’s no secret.  When a recipe will call for one or two cloves, I want to throw the whole darn head in the pot.   Roasted garlic is just that: and entire head of garlic roasted until it takes on a creamy texture and a subtly sweet taste.

Roasted Garlic Tzatziki

Despite the fact yogurt is so good for you, I have always hated it.  Be it the texture, the sour tang, or the idea that I’m eating bacteria (that I swear I can feel moving) but it just has never been my thing.  However, I have the uncanny ability to eat yogurt ONLY if all liquid has been removed and replaced by garlic and lemon juice.  Hence, this non-yogurt eater is a huge tzatziki fan!

Tzatziki has turned into one of my favorite summer time recipes.   Shredded cucumber, mint, parsley, and lemon give the sauce its fresh taste.  It’s a healthier alternative to onion dip with the garlic and goes great as a side for grilled or roasted lamb.  The only problem with tzatziki is a heavy hand while adding the garlic.  Its a raw sauce, so adding a lot of finely minced garlic will overpower the taste of everything else.  Instead, I roasted an entire head of garlic to impart the flavor of garlic but still let the other ingredients shine.

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