They were so fresh and so beautiful that I decided to make a "carpaccio" out of them. I know, "carpaccio" invokes images of raw beef--but raw, fresh summer squash makes a delcious treat.
Thin thin slices, some crumbled feta cheese, toasted pine nuts, a squirt of lemon, a drizzling of olive oil, and a sprinkling of mint. Delicious. I have also turned the squash into large thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler, tossed in some arugula, added lemon juice and olive oil and topped them with creamy shards of Parmesan cheese. Beautiful.
One of my favorite lunches when I was a kid was one my grandmother would make. She would go to the garden to pick some zucchini, green peppers and basil. After sauteing the peppers, she would add zucchini slices and either fresh tomatoes, cut up, or a bit of tomato puree along with a sprig of basil. There was no such thing as crunchy vegetables in our family, but the slow stewing did not seem to make this dish any less tasty.
And one of my favorite zucchini dishes comes from a young friend who teaches at an outdoor environmental education center in the Santa Cruz mountains of Northern California. In the summer when the education center is closed, her job is to tend the large garden along with her cat who thinks he's not, Wolfie. Despite her gofer problem this year, her zucchini harvest was overwhelming. Her fabulous recipe for Zucchini Feta Pancakes is a great way to use up excess harvest.
Cypress' Zucchini Feta Pancakes
4 cups coarsely grated zucchini
4 eggs, separated
1 heaping cup finely crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup minced scallions
3/4 teaspoon dried mint, or equivalent of fresh
1/3 cup flour
salt and pepper
Place grated zucchini in a colander and salt lightly. Let stand for 15 minutes to drain. Rinse and squeeze out all of the excess water.
Combine the zucchini, egg yolks, feta cheese, scallions, flour and salt and pepper. Mix well.
Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks; then fold them into zucchini mixture.
Fry spoonfuls of this mixture on both sides in butter until golden and crisp.
These are good topped with plain yogurt mixed with some minced scallion and a pinch of cumin or curry powder.
Sounds perfect to me.