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
@mbuffardi

Alison Sickelka: Food2 blog (Scripps)
Zucchini Appetizers
@ali_s

Michelle Buffardi: Food Network
Paula Deen’s zucchini bread

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

Cate O’Malley: Sweetnicks.com
Indian Cucumber Wraps
@cateomalley

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

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

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

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

Caron Golden: San Diego Foodstuff
Cucumber and Radish Confetti Soup
@carondg

Tigress in a Jam
50 Ways with Cucurbits
@tigressjampickl

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

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

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

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

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

HOW YOU CAN JOIN IN SUMMER FEST:
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!

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