Savoring the Seasons: Zucchini — hot or cold

For The Recorder
Published: 8/23/2016 12:56:48 PM

Thanks to Tess Gadwa, Nicole Letourneau and Dominique Beausoleil for creating last Sunday’s Greenfield Community Potluck on the Greenfield Town Common.

They organized the Picnic as a “placeholder” event, since the Free Harvest Supper didn’t happen this year. It was lovely to spend time on the Common, chatting and sharing food with friends and folks I’d never met. Several friends wondered if we could have a Free Harvest Supper every other year and a community picnic on the alternate years. I am in favor of any event that brings us together and promotes locally grown food for everyone. I hope a group will come together to organize a Free Harvest Supper for 2017. Meanwhile, I encourage folks to keep organizing community picnics. If you’d like to help out, email me at: mmcclinto@yahoo.com.

I’ve been wondering about all of the zucchini that was typically given away at the Really, Really Free Market at the Free Harvest Supper. What’s happening with everyone’s zucchini overflow this year?

Perhaps I’d have a different attitude toward zucchini if my mother had made one of these recipes the year I was 9 years old and she grew far too much. I remember eating lots of zucchini that summer. I didn’t start out a zucchini lover, and I was even less of a fan after that summer.

Yet, when Trouble Mandeson sent me this zucchini-lemon sorbet recipe, I thought it sounded mighty fine. Here’s what Trouble had to say: “This is not my recipe, but it is perfect for zucchini time, especially the golden variety. This sorbet is incredible. I have a collection of liquid essences from the Middle East, such as thyme and rose and mint, so I’ve used those, but fresh mint and herbs are great to use, maybe rosemary or basil? I saw raspberry basil popsicles on sale at Hart Farms’ booth at the Greenfield Farmers Market. Naturally, they sold out — it was so hot and they were very refreshing. I suppose one could make this sorbet slightly runnier and put into popsicle molds.”

Wow… zucchini and mint, zucchini and basil, zucchini and rosemary? Many possibilities. Popsicles are easier than making sorbet for those of us without ice cream-making machines. Zucchini sticks, without all of the grease and hassle of frying! There are many times I miss Mom, and learning about this recipe was one of those times. I wish I could talk with her about it.

This week we’re eating …

Zucchini-lemon sorbet

Shared by Trouble Mandeson, Greenfield (http://bit.ly/2b6R2uC)

2 zucchini

½ C. lemon juice

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2/3 C. sugar

2 sprigs mint leaves

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds. Cut zucchini into chunks and place into a blender along with lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, and mint. Puree until smooth, then strain into a bowl through a mesh strainer. Cover, and refrigerate 1-2 hours until cold. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions to your desired consistency.

This week we’re eating …

Oven-fried zucchini sticks

By EatingWell.com (http://bit.ly/2bIvaHA)

Canola or olive oil cooking spray

½ C. whole-wheat flour

½ C. all-purpose flour

2 T. cornmeal

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. freshly ground pepper

1½ pounds zucchini, (about 3 medium), cut into 1/2-by-3-inch sticks

2 large egg whites, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 475°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine flours, cornmeal, salt and pepper in a large sealable plastic bag. Dip zucchini in egg white, shake in the bag to coat, and arrange, not touching, on the baking sheet. Coat all exposed sides with cooking spray. Bake on center rack for 10 minutes. Turn zucchini and coat any floury spots with cooking spray. Continue to bake until golden and just tender, about 8 to 10 minutes more. Serve hot with a side of your favorite marinara sauce for dipping.

Local food advocate and community organizers Mary McClintock lives in Conway and works as a freelance writer for Greenfield Community College, brand promoter for Goshen-based local food company Appalachian Naturals and writer-editor for More Than Sound. Send column suggestions and recipes to: mmclinto@yahoo.com


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