Taverna Zucchini and Potato-Raddichio Gratin

Well, I was all set to write a lovely post, waxing rhapsodical as usual about how much I love radicchio, and the fun things I did with my first zucchini of summer. But on our way home from the airport today, Duck and I got in a pretty serious car accident on the Bay Bridge. Everyone’s fine, but my beloved car is totaled (and I only have liability insurance, so I’m pretty much on my own there), and my body hurts a lot and is stiff and queasy and well, I just don’t have it in me to be lyrical about food.

But zucchini season is here, and I really do want to share with you my very most favorite, super simple and super awesome way to prepare it. So forgive me if I sound flatter than usual, but please enjoy this recipe which is going to taste a million times better than I’ll be able to make it sound.

I ate my yummy, garlicky zucchini with a radicchio and potato gratin from Deborah Madison’s great simple-foods cookbook Vegetarian Suppers. The gratin had radicchio and little red and yellow potatoes and baby red onions and Laura Chenel aged goat cheese and olive oil and salt and pepper. It was a bit bland the first night, but after sitting for a day it was delicious.

Taverna Zucchini (from the San Francisco Chronicle, a million years ago)

Fresh lemon juice
Olive oil
Crushed garlic
Herbes de Provence

Slice each zucchini (I always feel weird not calling it a zucchino – I wonder why we changed that?) in half lengthwise. Using a knife, gently score the cut face of the zucchini in a large cross-hatch pattern. That is, make a few shallow, diagonal cuts across the zucchini, and then make a few more in the opposite direction.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Boil the zucchini until it is your desired texture (I hate undercooked zucchini, but I hate mushy, overcooked zucchini, too!).

While the zucchini is boiling, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and herbs. When the zucchini is cooked, drain it and spread some of the mixture over the face of each half. Eat warm, or enjoy as a cold appetizer.

Zucchini and Baby Red Onions: Week of June 25th


At last a new box!

This one really deserved to be photographed, by sheer virtue of being the first box in a month, but I was too tired and all the little veggies were lucky they even made it into the fridge.

It was a handsome box, though, and really well-balanced. A person could truly get all their needs met by such a box, and a have a bag of lettuce for the lettuce graveyard, besides!

In this week’s box:

Small red potatoes
Turnips, with greens
Stir-fry mix
Zucchini (3 medium-sized ones)
Baby red onions (it says “Green onions” on my newsletter, so I am confused. These were very small, red, with long, floppy tops on them)
Apricots (a whole strawberry-basket of tiny ones)
Cherries (the yellow and red Ranier kind)

On another note, I made my first failed scrap stock. It smelled SO good when it was cooking, mostly due to the great smell of the sauteed yam peels. But when I strained and tasted it, it was impossibly bitter. I am not quite sure why. There was a tiny amount of radicchio trim, but too little to be the culprit, I think. There were also a few lemon peels. Partway through making the stock I remembered that you generally simmer fruit peels several times in water you discard in order to make them less bitter, and that by boiling them in my stock I was making my stock that discard-water. Perhaps I pulled them out too late?

At any rate, I have tried to be fearless with my stock experiments and always open to a negative outcome. It still comes as a shock and a disappointment, however, to have to throw all that beautiful (but inedible) stock away.