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We have had a pretty busy summer here at Creekside. I’m not exactly sure how Larry had time to ever go to work before he retired, because it seems like every day is filled to overflowing.
Our latest adventure is that we have become vendors at a local market in my hometown. The Thursday Night Farm to Fork Farmer’s Market is a fun venue, with music, great food from local restaurants [often using products from the vendors], and a revolving number of other local small producers.
We had thought about doing Farmer’s Markets for awhile now, but the decision for this was pretty spur-of-the-moment, when I saw it mentioned on Facebook back in May. We’ve been semi-scrambling ever since to keep up, planting extra veggies, getting permits in place so that I can sell my homemade preserves, bread and other baked goods, and getting the proper equipment around so that everything looks nice and inviting.
One thing you realize when selling at a Farmer’s Market is that many people have only the most basic knowledge about vegetables and what to do with them. But, as you know, if you spend any time here on the blog at all, I love to teach people how to cook, so I have some great conversations with people stopping by our booth.
One frequent topic of conversation is this cocozelle type zucchini, which is called “Dario“. Many people have only ever had the plain green zucchini, but I much prefer these – I think they taste better, and they stay fresh tasting longer than other zukes. And if you are a gardener, you will appreciate their open growing habit which not only makes them easier to pick, but also aids in preventing problems, which often happen because of dampness – these dry out more quickly because their is better air flow around the base of the plant.They are also a bit drier, which is great for getting a nice color on them when frying – zucchini typically has a lot of moisture, which can make them come out kind of watery. This kind comes out much better, and they are also great for grilling.
You can also use regular zucchini and summer squash in this recipe – I often do, and they come out very well.
Spicy Zucchini "Fries"
- 1 or 2 fresh zucchini or other summer squash
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- spicy barbecue rub
- Wash the zucchini or summer squash and dry well.
- Cut off the ends of each squash, and then cut in half. Cut into long "french-fry" sort of shapes - you can look at the picture above to see how they should come out.
- Lay all of the pieces out on a cutting board or plate, and season with salt and pepper, and as much of a spicy barbecue rub as your taste buds will tolerate. [check the label of your rub - if it already contains salt, you may not need to add any more.]
- Put a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in an iron or other sort of heavy skillet, and heat until the oil begins to shimmer.
- Place the "fries" in the pan, make sure they don't touch, so that they have a chance to get nicely browned. Keep an eye on them, and turn to each side as they get some color on them, until they are nicely browned on all sides.
- Once they are done, place on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- if you have enough that they need to be done in batches, you may need to add a bit more oil to the pan.
- Serve hot, with a dipping sauce of your choice - blue cheese is particularly tasty.
- Refrigerate leftovers
You might even be able to get your kids to eat zucchini with this one!
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