Main Dish Vegetables
One great way to use extra summer squash is to cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out their flesh (saving it for another use). Use the zucchini shells as holders for your favorite fresh homemade ravioli filling mixture, then cover and bake until tender and top with fresh tomato or cheese sauce.
Or make zucchini pizza: slice the squash into thin 1/4 inch slices and brush with olive oil then bake at 400 degrees about 5-7 minutes, just till tender. Top with well-seasoned pizza sauce, fresh chopped basil and grated cheese and pop under the broiler for a few minutes until the toppings are hot and bubbly This is a sure-fire way for kids of all ages to eat zucchini!
Many of us are familiar with traditional stuffed cabbage rolls but try some variations using the abundant bright green leaves of nutritious, tasty Swiss chard. Cut out the chard stems and reserve. Then dip the leaves briefly in a big pot of boiling water to make them limp. Put a tablespoon of stuffing in the center of each leaf, tuck over the ends and roll up the leaves like fat cigars.
A filling made of a rice mixture seasoned with sautéed garlic and onion, fresh chopped herbs, lemon juice and toasted chopped nuts is delicious. Another filling I like is a combination of rice, sautéed mushrooms and grated cheese or try sautéed Italian or Chinese sausage, bread crumbs and herbs bound together with a beaten egg.
After stuffing and rolling up the chard leaves, chop up the reserved chard stems and put into a big deep pot. Lay the chard bundles over the stems and add enough seasoned chicken or vegetable broth to cover the stems. Steam/braise the rolls for 7-10 minutes until cooked through, then serve with or without grated cheese. With a loaf of crunchy bread and a robust wine, these stuffed rolls make a savory dinner (and terrific leftovers to heat in the microwave for lunch the next day).
Renee's Garden Shopping List:
Zucchini, "Tri-color Mix" includes seeds for buttercup yellow, and bright and dark green squash.
Chard, "Bright Lights" is highly ornamental with sweet, mild flavor in a rainbow of colors.
Basil, "Italian Pesto" has a full bodied, zesty flavor and glossy dark green leaves
Tomato, "Rainbow's End" includes 3 different color coded seeds for a rainbow of the best heirloom varieties.
Eggplant, "Italian Trio" includes seeds for succulent purple-black, magenta and rose white fruits.
Peppers, "Jewel Tones Sweet Bells" include gold, red and orange hybrid bells in one packet.
Squash, "Summer Scallop Trio" includes 3 different pattypans in yellow, bright green and dark green.
To purchase Renee's Garden Seeds, click here
Try more great recipes from Renee's cookbooks: