When I went to my oldest son’s college orientation, one of the speakers shared a story about how she was new to Minnesota and that she’d been told to be sure to lock her car doors in August. Not really understanding why, she ignored this advice and returned to her car after work one day to find it stuffed full of zucchini. That’s a LOT of zucchini!! I doubt she’s left it unlocked for one day since that time.
My friend who grows a lot of her own vegetables talks about how she’s always giving away zucchini because apparently, they are very prolific. And though I’ve heard some people say that this was a bad year for zucchini, my friend was still trying to find homes for all of hers. If only she lived a little bit closer, I could have my very own zucchini fairy!
In years past I wouldn’t have appreciated a zucchini drop so much, but this summer that all changed. In June, I had the opportunity to try a new vegetable dish (complete with plenty of that prolific green veggie) at a friend’s house. Those who know me know that I’m not a candidate for vegetarianism due to my strong dislike of the nutritious little wonders. But, I have to say that I was pretty much wowed by this particular creation. Apparently, when my friend’s sister-in-law is in town (as she was on this particular occasion) her veggie dish is always requested; it isn’t hard to see why. I asked her permission to share it with you . . . for the times when the Zucchini Fairy visits your house.
For lack of a better title, let’s call it Vegetable Pasta. Please note that there are no exact measurements, which, in general, I’m a huge fan of but trust me, it’s not too challenging.
- Olive Oil
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 medium yellow squash
- 1 package mushrooms
- Garlic (lots of garlic)
- Grape tomatoes
- 1 can of diced tomatoes with basil (the brand isn’t really important and some include garlic and oregano)
- Pasta noodles
- Parmesan cheese
- Slice the zucchini and yellow squash lengthwise down the middle. Then slice into ¼ inch sections.
- Slice mushrooms into quarters (or you can use pre-sliced mushrooms, whichever you prefer.)
- Starting with a fairly high heat setting, add some olive oil to a large skillet. You want it hot to cook the water out of the mushrooms quickly.
- Cook for a few minutes and then add 6 – 10 cloves of minced garlic. (I LOVE garlic so I generally use 8 – 10 cloves. Once I used only four and was very disappointed. Let your taste buds – and perhaps your appointment book – dictate your own level of garlic comfort)
- Cook the zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms and garlic until the vegetables are almost tender but not mushy.
- Add halved grape tomatoes (maybe ½ – 1 cup)
- Add canned diced tomatoes with basil.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat through and serve over pasta noodles.
- Cover with Parmesan cheese.
I usually cook a variation of the above recipe that my husband has decided to name Miscellaneous Vegetables. It is shown in the picture above.
Follow steps 1 – 6 above with these changes. You might want to add some basil to the ingredients, fresh or flakes. I’ve never added basil directly, but I do use a basil infused olive oil when I have it on hand.
Once you add the tomatoes you just need to heat them through, and then your dish is complete. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve and enjoy.
Nancy loves to laugh and considers laughter a critical part of human survival. If you were to ask, most days she would say her glass is half full but when it starts reaching the half-empty level, she reaches for a funny book or movie knowing that indeed “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Nancy has three married sons and five grandchildren. To read more from Nancy find her at www.nancyholte.com.