It was 5’oclock by the time I realized what happened.
After driving around all day, running errands in preparation for our family vacation, I forgot to remove my CSA vegetables from the car!
I was pretty sure everything would be wilted and ruined. It was only 8 million degrees outside.
But surprisingly, the veggies held up which is a good thing because they needed to be used up before we left. Just add that to the never ending to-do list.
So, I took a break from what what needed to be done to let out some much needed steam in the kitchen.
Shaved Carrot & Cucumber Salad
Familiar vegetables speak a whole new language when they’re cut and prepared in unexpected ways.
A quick shave with a vegetable peeler transforms the freshest carrots and cucumbers into a light and simple salad- it will take you only 2 minutes to put this together.
The veggies were dressed with olive oil and splash of apple cider vinegar, and left to sit for a bit to soften. Fresh dill would’ve made this even better but I didn’t have any, although I did contemplate ransacking my neighbor’s garden for a few sprigs.
Isn’t fresh dill so yummy in summer salads?
Tomato Basil Zucchini
Zucchini doesn’t have a very long shelf life.
I grated a few to make this cake (if you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go over the weekend- so good!).
The rest were used to make a giant batch of tomato basil zucchini, which is a lovely summer dish that freezes well.
In fact, the plan is to defrost a container or two for dinner when we return for a quick and effortless meal.
Three large zucchini were rough chopped into chunks, and sautéed in olive with 1 bunch of scallions (white and light green parts only) and thinly sliced baby fennel.
Once the veggies were partially cooked, in went 1x 28 oz. can of whole plum tomatoes. I let the whole thing simmer for about 15-20 minutes or so, seasoning with salt and pepper. Fresh basil and fennel fronds were added at the end.
The fennel compliments the anise-like flavor of the basil (certain varieties are more prominent) and the zucchini become tender and just melt in your mouth.
Serve over pasta with olives, fresh mozzarella and parm, or perhaps with quinoa for a gluten free grain bowl.
PS- make sure to cut the zucchini on the larger side so they hold their shape as they simmer. And, if you are not eating this right away, only cook the zucchini about 3/4’s of the way through factoring in additional cooking time when reheated.
You know zucchini: they can get real mushy when overcooked.
On a creative note, I don’t think I’ve ever photographed food outside around dinnertime for the blog!
I thought I’d spare you from the flattering indoor yellow lighting…
So tell me: how are you using up your summer vegetables? How do you clear out the fridge before vacation? We ended up freezing the swiss chard and parsley (pictured above) for soups and smoothies!
Can you believe this gorgeous head of lettuce survived the heat?