Zucchini

Vegetables are at their ripest and most delicious near the end of the summer. In August, there’s an over-abundance of zucchini.photo#1

 

BAKING
One of my go-to bloggers is Clotilde Dusoulier, who lives in a favorite section of Paris, Montmartre. She shops for ingredients brought into the city from nearby farms. She points out, when zucchini is on the stands, everyone gets creative with recipes. I made her signature pastry from her first cookbook: chocolate & zucchini cake. Deep chocolate flavor and what a delicious way to eat your vegetables!
augcookbook  photo#2

 

BESIDES BAKING
Recently, a vegetarian friend came for dinner, but I had little time to cook. Not to worry. I picked up zucchini from the farmer’s market. We started with zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta cheese. The main dish was kind of a zucchini crostini. I dropped the zucchini whole into boiling water for 1 minute. Toasted bread got slathered with a little olive oil. Then I added fresh tomato slices, sliced zucchini laced with a very little bit of marinara sauce (from a jar) and baked on a pan at 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. 3 minutes before the pan came out of the oven, I sprinkled shredded cheese. Good sandwich/dinner. And wine is plant-based, eh?
photo#4zucchinicrostini  dinnerphoto#3

 

THE GREAT OUTDOORS
During the winter, I try not to complain about cold temperatures. NYC summers are awful with cement sidewalks and tall buildings intensifying the heat and humidity. That being said, there are outdoor bars/restaurants only open in the warmest months. With a summer cocktail in hand, I keep my whining to a minimum. Although I couldn’t find any place that serves a zucchini drink (I will work on that), here are two fun local spots:

The Frying Pan is as far west as one can go in Manhattan without plunging into the Hudson River. It is open May through October.     On 26th Street, just past the West Side Highway, walk over a trestle bridge to a few rusty boats, all serving drinks and food. Don’t expect much beyond the great view. However, the sunset is worth the fight for a stool at a bar around 8:30pm during the summer. Always check the website or call since weather and private events can change everything. 212-989-6363.
fryingpanphoto#6  fryingpanphoto#5

The Pavilion restaurant is a gem located at the top of Union Square in Manhattan that’s open until mid-October.  Most of the appetizers and main courses are made with ingredients from Union Square Farmer’s Market. Even if you only belly up to the bar, there’s a nice neighborhood vibe.  212-677-7818.
pavilionphoto#8  pavilionphoto#7

WITCHSCOPES
Check out what the stars have in store for you this August.

Happy End of Summer
fun starts now
The Witch </:)