Vancouver’s early fall weather has been typically erratic. Sunny and gorgeous some days and pouring down rain on others. This past Sunday, I woke up to Mr. Sunshine beating down on my face so I took advantage of the dry weather to get into the vegetable garden to forage for the end bits of my harvest.
Since I hadn’t been in the garden in over a week, I discovered gargantuan sized cucumbers, zucchini and spinach. I guess the rain help feed what Ben and I refer to as our “nuclear garden” and created monsters and although I know my culinary skills should be open to all of Mother Nature’s bounty, giant vegetables freak me out and I cannot bring myself to cook with them.
So with much guilt, I pick all the monsters and packed them to give away to willing takers at work and searched for the “‘perfect” specimens to use for myself.
With the perfect-sized zucchini and blossoms in hand I decided to make a frittata for breakfast. I used the last of the potatoes in the garden to make some hash browns to accompany the meal.
Don’t ask me when I took a liking to frittatas because before this year I don’t think I’ve ever had one. This summer, they’ve been my quick go-to meal. I just saute up whatever veggies, (or prawns) I have on hand, whisk up a bunch of eggs, whatever cheese I can find, add some lemon zest and a squeeze of juice and then pour it all in a smoking hot buttered pan. A quick swirl of the pan and then I throw it in the bottom of the oven at 425° until it’s almost set and then under a broiler until the top colours.
The potatoes were chopped up, quickly boiled and then fried over high heat. A dash of s&p, some garlic and celery salt and Voila! Home fries!
I found another zucchini a bit bigger than my perfect one above and decided that it should be eaten as well. I needed a quick “clean” pre-hockey meal so I whipped up a quick green sauce to put on top of pasta.
This recipe was inspired by a zucchini dip that I saw Jamie Oliver make back when he was the cool Naked Chef, (as opposed to the Pious Chef he is now):
Slice a zucchini in half or quarter lengthwise depending on the size. Chop into 1/2″ pieces. Add olive oil to a hot pan and sprinkle in chili flakes, after a moment add the zucchini, minced garlic clove and some finely diced onion or shallots if you have them. Cover and leave over medium heat for around 10-15 minutes. Add some lemon juice and with the back of a wooden spoon smash the zucchini. Add the pasta with some pasta water to make a sauce. Season with salt and pepper and grate in some parmesan. Enjoy!