Kitchen Chat and more…
Kitchen Chat and more…
2 pounds summer squash (zucchini, pattypan squash, yellow crookneck squash)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon flaked salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the stem ends and slice the squash cross-wise in 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Toss with the olive oil.
In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Arrange the squash rounds in a 9×12-inch rectangular baking dish, or 10-inch pie plate. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over.
Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another five minutes until the top is bubbling and crispy.
4-5 pickling cucumbers
½ cup water, at room temperature or cooler
½ cup rice vinegar or white or cider vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup or sugar
1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for heat)
20 twists of freshly ground black pepper
2 leafy sprigs of fresh dill, roughly chopped (about ¼ cup)
2 cloves garlic or spring garlic, peeled and smashed or diced
1 bay leaf
For pickle rounds (“chips”), slice the cucumber(s) into thin rounds, about ⅛-inch thick. Or, for spears, slice them in half lengthwise, then slice the halves lengthwise into quarters, then slice the quarters lengthwise into eighths. If your spears are long like mine (from one long cucumber), slice them through the middle so they’re not too tall for your jar. Set aside.
In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, combine the water, vinegar, maple syrup, salt, red pepper flakes (if using) and black pepper. Stir until most of the salt has dissolved into the liquid, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Set aside.
Place the cucumbers into a wide-mouth jar about 3 to 4 inches in diameter, tall enough to offer at least 1 inch of extra space on top (for pickle spears, it’s important that all the pickles fit snugly, vertically—a wide-mouth pint-sized mason jar would work well).
Top the cucumbers with the dill and garlic. Tuck the bay leaf into the side of the jar. Pour the all of the liquid over the cucumbers so they’re fully submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (for pickle rounds) or at least 3 hours (for pickle spears). The flavor will continue to develop over the next couple of days. These pickles will keep for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
2 medium zucchini, julienned
1 pound chitarra or spaghetti style pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
10 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, plus more for garnish
1 bunch garlic scapes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup bread crumbs
4 sprigs mint, leaves only, torn
Freshly cracked black pepper
With a mandoline adjusted to a thick setting and fit with a medium julienne tool, slice the zucchini, avoiding the seedy core. Be sure to cut only the green meaty part, stopping on each side before you get to the seeds. Reserve the seedy core of the zucchini for another use.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season generously with salt. Place the pasta in the water and cook until al dente, 7 to 8 minutes (2 to 3 minutes if using fresh pasta).
As the pasta cooks, warm the olive oil in a large sauté pan over low heat. Add the garlic and sweat until fragrant but without color, about 1 minute. Stir in the red pepper flakes.
Use tongs to transfer the pasta to the sauté pan. Add 1 cup pasta water, the garlic scapes, and zucchini. Toss over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until the fettuccine has absorbed the sauce and the zucchini has softened slightly. Add the cheese and toss once more. If needed, add more pasta water to loosen the pasta.
Stir in the lemon juice and zest. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt if desired. To serve, evenly divide the pasta among four bowls. Top each portion with bread crumbs, cheese, mint, cracked black pepper, and extra red pepper flakes.