I love October. I really do. The colors are magnificent. The weather, delightful. The only part that makes me sad is that the garden winds down and stops producing in the early fall. We still have a few cherry tomatoes coming up, and some green onions. There were three small zucchini on two of our plants, but the last time I checked they were looking a bit on the shriveled side. 🙂
However! We still have some gorgeous produce to use up. Some cukes and tomatoes, and some very large zucchini which sneaked up on me! Last night, we had part of one zucchini with a fantastic pizza-esque recipe I found on Pinterest. (More on that later.) But, the zucchini had gotten so big before I discovered it (we were out of town) that the rind was a bit on the tough side. The insides were perfect, though, and I wanted to use it, so I made one of our family favorites today at lunchtime; Marie from Proud Italian Cook’s Zucchini Tomato Gratin. I figured that baking the zucchini for awhile would soften them up. This is such an incredible recipe; the flavor absolutely explodes in your mouth. Yet it’s so simple to prepare!You can’t see the zucchini at all, but trust me, it’s in there! Layers of zucchini and tomato slices, with some sauteed onions tucked in one layer, along with other layers of bread crumbs and fresh shredded Parmesan cheese. We’ll have this as a side to our chicken, broccoli and brown rice dish later tonight, for dinner.
Another way I used up our zucchini was a fresh veggie saute. This was super-simple. First, I sauteed chopped onion in a little olive oil. Then I added sliced zucchini and let it cook until the zucchini softened a bit and was starting to look a bit translucent.Then, I added sliced mushrooms and cooked a bit more. Lastly, for both some pop for the eyes and the taste buds, I threw in some cherry tomatoes, sliced into halves. I left those in the pan just long enough to heat the tomatoes somewhat.
Then, I dished them onto plates and added a little grated Parmesan cheese (for a little more pop!). You would not believe how meaty (so to speak) and satisfying this was! Normally I try to eat meat protein a couple of times a day, just because my energy level tends to crater if I don’t. But this kept me going all afternoon, until dinner, the days I made it!
Do you have any amazing things you’re doing with the remainder of your garden produce? I’d love to hear about it, if you do!