Summer Fest 2010: Cukes ‘n Zukes

by Jennifer Iannolo

We are delighted to participate in the third annual Summer Fest, an idea put together by Margaret Roach at Away to Garden and Deb Puchalla at Scripps.

A bunch of us have come together to run amok at farmer’s markets and our own gardens for the summer, eagerly tasting nature’s jewels still warm from the morning sun. Every Wednesday from now through the end of August we’ll be featuring a roundup here and on all the participating blogs listed below, so get ready for a feast of summer indulgence. You can also follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #summerfood. Full details of how it all works are at the end of this post, so we hope you’ll come and play in our giant virtual kitchen!

We’re kicking off the festivities with Cukes ‘n Zukes, which seem to be overflowing the baskets at farm stands everywhere right now. Here’s what we have for you to nibble on:

  • Our summer squash dossier will give you a quick primer on zucchini and its brethren, as well as some delicious recipes for zucchini bread and my father’s special sofrito, the mere smell of which brings me right back to childhood — and his massive garden.
  • Chef Mark’s Chilled Cucumber Mint Soup, perfect for the unrelenting heat of this summer, as it offers a bit of cooling refreshment to a weary system. The soup is featured in our Gilded Fork: Entertaining at Home cookbook if you’d like some ideas for building it into a summer menu.
  • Lastly, I’m toying with cucumber as beauty enhancer over on Food Philosophy, so come take a look-see.

Now, when I said there were a bunch of us, I wasn’t kidding. Feast your ideas on what to do with all those Cukes ‘n Zukes:

Margaret Roach: Away to Garden
Why size matters — and smaller is better (includes pickling tips/tricks, and freezing the excess)

Michelle Buffardi: Cooking Channel’s Devour/The Blog (Scripps)
10 things you didn’t know you could make with zucchini

Alison Sickelka: Food2 blog (Scripps)
Zucchini Appetizers

Michelle Buffardi: Food Network
Paula Deen’s zucchini bread

Elizabeth Gray: Food Network
Cuke Salad & Lighter Cuke/Zuke Ideas

Cate O’Malley:
Indian Cucumber Wraps

Paige Smith Orloff: The Sister Project
On excess! Why I hate zucchini (plus pickling commentary).

Diane and Todd: White on Rice Couple
Stuffed Cucumbers with Prosciutto and Feta

Kelly Senyei: Just a Taste
Cucumber & Sesame Salad (includes step-by-step illustrations of slicing cucumbers on a mandoline)

Caroline Wright: The Wright Recipes
Cucumber Salad
Marinated Summer Squash Salad

Caron Golden: San Diego Foodstuff
Cucumber and Radish Confetti Soup

Tigress in a Jam
50 Ways with Cucurbits

Alana Chernila: Eating from the Ground Up
Cucumber Mint Sorbet with Lime Shortbread

Judy: Divina Cucina
Fried Zucchini Blossoms (and more!) from Italy

Shauna Ahern: Gluten-Free Girl
Cucumber, Dill & Mint Popsicles

Tara: Tea & Cookies
Stuffed Zucchini, Zucchini “Noodles” & Pickles

Nicole: Pinch My Salt
Grilled Zucchini with Lemon & Olive Oil

Each Wednesday for the rest of the summer (and probably longer), a group of blogging friends including those above will swap our recipes and tips about the following harvest-fresh ingredients. Here’s the schedule:

7/28: Cukes ‘n Zukes
8/4: Corn
8/11: Herbs, Greens and Beans
8/18: Stone Fruit
8/25 Tomatoes

We each post something and then link to one another, so that you can travel around the combined effort, gathering the goodies. Sharing makes the experience even better, so if you have a recipe or tip that fits any of our weekly themes, you can do either of the following:

  • Leave a comment on participating blogs with a link to your recipe/tip
  • Publish a post of your own, and grab the juicy Summer Fest 2010 tomato badge (illustrated by Matt Armendariz of Mattbites)

We hope to see you in the kitchen!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Juls @ Juls' Kitchen July 28, 2010 at 3:51 am

and here I am!

As requested, let’s start cross commenting and visiting blogs! This is my post, a quinoa tart with raw baby zucchini and sun dried tomatoes!

Terri July 28, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Wow, summerfest sounds like fun! I am excited to get a lot of new ideas and share some of my own. I’m a newbie blogger but really enjoying it so far!

Please check out my Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread:

Stacey Ballis July 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Check out my post on Zucchini Pasta with Chicken…my favorite summer dinner!

Chris @ Lark July 28, 2010 at 4:33 pm

For Summer Fest 2010, here’s the link to my recent post where I finally worked up a recipe for the Cucumber Wasabi Soup folks have been hounding me for for years. A summer orgy of cucumber and cultured dairy!

Caroline Wright July 28, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Thanks for the shout-out! These recipes are so perfect to celebrate zucchini. Check out my Marinated Summer Squash Salad and my Cucumber Salad with Lemons and Poppy Seeds at my blog,

So happy to be feasting at the Summer Fest 2010 with you!

Dahlia July 28, 2010 at 11:43 pm

One can never have too many recipes for stuffed squashes, so here’s another:

Lana July 29, 2010 at 2:44 am

I love zucchini and I love this idea! Thanks for all the ideas! My contribution to the Summer Fest…

Melissa August 2, 2010 at 1:23 am

Love all the great ideas…

I’m late joining the party but here’s my contribution to the fun… Ice Box Pickles and Zucchini Ribbons in a Hazelnut Butter sauce.

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