For the rest of the summer, my Wordless Wednesday posts will be replaced by Summer Fest 2010 – a cross-blog food event that celebrates the beautiful fruits and vegetables so readily available from home gardens and farmer’s markets at this time of year. The event is in its third year and I’m thrilled to be a part of it for the first time this summer. Thanks to Margaret Roach and Deb Puchalla for creating this fabulous summer blogging party!
Each Wednesday for the next five weeks a group of us will be sharing tips and recipes centered around a specific garden theme. There are several bloggers participating, new friends and old, and we will be linking to each other and encouraging you to share your favorite tips and recipes as well. It’s a big celebration of summer produce and you’re all invited!
Summer Fest 2010: Cukes and Zukes
The theme for this week is cucumbers and zucchini. Though not as stunningly beautiful as heirloom tomatoes nor as fragrant as plump, vine-ripened peaches, cucumbers and zucchini are high on my list of summer favorites. Yes, you can buy both year-round at the grocery store, but there’s something special about seeing the first Armenian cucumbers and tiny summer squash showing up at the farmer’s market. And what’s more beautiful than the fleeting appearance of delicate orange squash blossoms piled high at a market table? Cucumbers and zucchini deserve to be celebrated and I’m thrilled that they are the starring attraction this week at Summer Fest.
I chose to celebrate zucchini in one of the simplest ways possible – grilled. I like to slice the zucchini lengthwise into long 1/2 – inch thick strips then add a quick squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of kosher salt, and a grind of black pepper. These simple additions along with a quick sear on a hot grill will turn your ho-hum, boring zucchini into something magical.
The entire process takes less than ten minutes once you have the grill (or even a grill pan) preheated. And once the zucchini is grilled you can eat it warm or cold, alone or chopped and combined with other grilled veggies. It’s great served alongside grilled meats, but can also make an interesting sandwich addition, or even layered into lasagna.
Grilled Zucchini with Lemon and Olive Oil
zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices (allow one small zucchini or half a large zucchini per person)
fresh lemon (allow 1/2 lemon for 2 – 3 large zucchini)
fresh ground black pepper
Preheat gas or charcoal grill. Place zucchini slices in a large bowl then squeeze lemon juice over the zucchini and toss to coat. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and rub the slices with your fingers to make sure all sides are coated with the oil and lemon. Arrange slices on a platter and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Turn the slices over and season the other sides with salt and pepper as well. Grill the slices over direct medium-high heat for a few minutes per side or until nice grill marks appear and zucchini is tender. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Other Ways with Cucumber and Zucchini
- Sweet and Spicy Cucumber Salad with Fresh Dill
- Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
- Zucchini and Tomato Gratin
Cukes and Zukes from other Summer Fest Attendees:
- Margaret from A Way to Garden talks about Refrigerator Zucchini Pickles
- Zucchini Appetizers from Alison at the Food2 Blog
- Jennifer and Mark of The Gilded Fork share information on summer squash and a recipe for Chilled Cucumber Mint Soup and Jennifer discusses cucumber as a beauty treatment at Food Philosophy
- 10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Make with Zucchini from Michelle at Devour The Blog
- Liz from Food Network’s Healthy Eats discusses Health Benefits of Cucumbers and Zucchini
- Caron from San Diego Foodstuff discusses cucumber varieties and shares recipes for Cucumber and Radish Confetti Soup and Zucchini Pancakes
- Kirsten at The FN Dish is in love with Paula’s Zucchini Bread
- Prosciutto, Sour Cream, and Feta Stuffed Cucumbers from Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple
- Paige at The Sister Project is overrun with zucchini and making Summer Squash Bread Pudding
- Cucumber and Sesame Salad from Kelly at Just a Taste
- Tara at Tea & Cookies shares recipes for Stuffed Zucchini, Zucchini “Noodles”, and Zucchini Pickles
- Cucumber Mint Sorbet with Lime Shortbread is brought to us by Alana at Eating from the Ground Up
- Caroline from The Wright Recipes shares Cucumber Salad with Lemons and Poppy Seeds and Marinated Summer Squash Salad
- 50 Ways with Cucurbits from Tigress in a Pickle
- Cate from Sweetnicks shares a recipe for Indian Cucumber Wraps
- Tips, tricks, and recipes for cucumbers and zucchini including Fried Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms from Judy at Over a Tuscan Stove
- Shauna from Gluten-Free Girl and The Chef discusses how she came to love cucumbers and shares a recipe for Cucumber Soup that can be frozen as popsicles.
How You Can Join in Summer Fest 2010
Have a recipe or tip that fits any of our weekly themes? Starting with our posts of Wednesday, July 28, for five Wednesdays, you can contribute in various ways, big or small.
Contribute a whole post, or a comment—whatever you wish. It’s meant to be fun, viral, fluid. No pressure, just delicious. Simply leave your tip or recipe or favorite links in the comments below a Summer Fest post on my blog, and then go visit my collaborators and do the same.
The cross-blog event idea works best when you leave your recipe or favorite links (whether to your own blog or someone else’s) at all the host blogs. Yes, copy and paste them everywhere! That way, they are likely to be seen by the widest audience. Everyone benefits, and some pretty great dialog starts simmering.
Or think bigger: Publish entire posts of your own, if you wish, and grab the juicy Summer Fest 2010 tomato badge (illustrated by Matt of Mattbites.com).
Upcoming Summer Fest 2010 Posting Schedule