I can’t believe we’re halfway through September already! We’ve had amazing weather this summer and it just seems to be continuing into the fall. Today was one of those perfect fall days-sunny and hot but with a refreshing breeze just at the right moments. I’m not sure if I’ve shared with all of you my love for walking. I don’t get out nearly as much as I should because of work, errands, cooking, cleaning….well you get the picture but this week I made a commitment to myself to enjoy this fantastic time of year everyday. I knew I had to pick up a couple of items at the grocery store so I decided to grab my backpack and walk there! I am SO glad I did. The walk was one of the best one’s I’ve had since we came back from Vegas (sorry I just realized I haven’t even shared that adventure with you yet). I felt like a kid in highschool walking home from school…seriously…the backpack just set the mood. Normally when I’m driving around doing errands I don’t relish having to make multiple stops but with walking I really did. I walked by an outdoor Italian restaurant patio and took in the smells of fresh pasta dishes. I even spotted a monarch butterfly over my head going in the opposite direction. Simply priceless. Now for the downside…I bought a little too much at the grocery store and my backpack was so heavy that I know I’m going to really pay for it tomorrow…the whole situation made my walk home not as enjoyable…sigh.
So, it’s that time of year where there’s vegetables by the boxes everywhere. Zucchini is always on overload so finding new recipes to turn this veggie into something delicious and different is something I love. Last weekend we were headed over to my Niece’s new apartment and she made me in charge of the appetizers…yipee!!! We made a few different platters but I thought this one was the best to share first with you. I’m sure you noticed that I also decided to embellish these little treats with edible flowers from my garden. Note to self…make sure to wash them well and either pick them shortly before serving your dish or place them in water until you’re ready to use them. I of course used them right away and although the snapdragons held up pretty good, by the time I was able to grab a picture the calendulas had started to close! Tres disappointing. Pep decided to top each one with roasted red pepper tapenade (but not a must) and we marinated cocktail bocconcini in our homemade pesto and olive oil blend and placed them around the crostini. They were a hit!
Now for a pic of some of the ingredients
And the recipe
3 zucchini, coarsely grated
2 tablespoons butter
2 clove garlic, minced
2 medium diced shallots or 1 medium onion
kosher or sea salt, to taste
fresh grated black pepper, to taste
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese.
zest of 1 medium lemon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
about 1/2 package of cream cheese
1 heaping spoonful of horseradish
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Slices of crusty bread, grilled
Marinated sundried tomatoes
Roasted red pepper tapenade
Lay grated zucchini on paper towels to squeeze out excess moisture.
Heat a pan on medium-high heat. Melt butter, and then add garlic and shallots. Cook until translucent.
Add zucchini. Cook until tender.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for additional minute, and then remove from heat. Allow zucchini to cool and release moisture, should be about 10 minutes, then drain excess liquid from the zucchini.
Stir in parmesan cheese, lemon zest and lemon juice.
Mix the cream cheese, horseradish and capers and lemon juice in a food processor. Add some grated black pepper, to taste. Add more horseradish if necessary.
Spread the cream cheese blend on the grilled bread and spoon over zucchini. Top with a few thin slices of marinated sundried tomatoes or red pepper tapenade and serve warm.
Buon Appetito everyone!