The heat of late summer inevitably welcomes the same conversations every year. First, it’s all about the weather: “Is it hot enough for you?” or “Oh my goodness, it’s soooo hot out!” or “It’s too hot to cook.” Then, if you have friends who garden, the next comment (plea) is usually, “Would you like some zucchini? I have way too much!”
Yes, friends, it’s zucchini time again and we have the perfect recipe for an easy, no-cook way to use all the zucchini you can score this summer.
We’ve taken simple garden-fresh ingredients, dressed them lightly, added seeds for crunch, blackberries for sweet tartness and to finish, the lively flavors of mint and basil. I believe both herbs are important, and I think you will find the combination addictive. In the video, we used chive blossoms for color, but you can easily use the budding blossoms from your mint or basil plants as they have a wonderful punch of color and texture.
So, say YES to zucchini this summer, and ask your gardening friends to include mint and basil in the delivery. You are about to make those friends (and your dinner guests) very happy!!
- juice of 1 large lemon, about ¼ cup
- 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, lightly torn
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, lightly torn
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4-5 medium zucchini, peeled into wide ribbons, stop when you get to the seeds*
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, lightly torn
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, lightly torn
- 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/3 cup toasted and salted sunflower seeds
- 1 cup blackberries or other berries
- chive blossoms (or mint or basil blossoms), optional
Combine the lemon, olive oil, half of the mint and basil and some salt and pepper in a small bowl, set aside.
In a large chilled bowl combine zucchini, remaining mint and basil leaves, goat cheese and blackberries in a bowl. When ready to serve, toss with lemon dressing and sprinkle with sunflower seeds, blossoms (if using), and additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately on chilled plates or in chilled bowls.
*Use the cores of zucchini for gazpacho, or to add creaminess to pureed soups without adding dairy. As a dairy substitute, combine 1 zucchini core, ½ cup water, a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt then puree until smooth. It’s a great, non-dairy way to finish cold soups.