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On August 8 of each year, American cooks and gardeners celebrate …

National Sneak Some Zucchini Into Your Neighbor's Porch Day August 8

photo  courtesy national calendar day dot com

I don’t have enough zucchini in the garden to sneak anywhere except into my mouth…

Here’s what the deer didn’t eat out of last year’s garden–same this year.

…but my good friend Helen Brockman has plenty and dropped off a couple of beauties–not too big and not too small.  Since the Olathe corn’s a tender sweet treat, too, I thought a grilled corn and grilled zucchini salad would be good for dinner last night with the last of a big pot of mushroom and fennel risotto I had made Thursday night to go with Dave’s stellar smoked trout. Pics below–

 1. Trout and  2. the only one I got of the risotto in the background of the plate with the other sides. You could get that I wanted to eat while things were hot, right? More on the smoked trout dinner another day.

Back to the zucchini, which is now  sounding less and less sexy (though it’s not) with the trout, risotto, green beans, and caprese. Hmph, said the veggie lover, I dream of cooked vegetable salads. Not every salad must be raw or contain greens, honest.

While zucchini recipes abound this time of year, and, yes, I have plenty of those myself (see bottom of post), I’m always looking to cook up a little something different–fresher, more innovative, faster, healthier…you name it.  My little nest of front door herbs called to be included.

Here’s the sweet Olathe corn (now an incredible bargain at 10c per ear at Safeway) after grilling in the husks and then after I cut the kernels away:

All that was left after that was grilling the zucchini. Somehow I missed that photo opportunity in the rain, but you can picture this, right? I went for 1-inch chunks instead of slices as I thought the texture of larger pieces would work better with corn and fresh herbs. While Dave did the grilling, I did the rest of the chopping and we were soon eating our dinner while watching French movies with English subtitles:  Jean de Florette  and its sequel, Manon of the Spring ( both:1986).  Good stories, but somewhat morbid, I have to say. Perfect for a rainy evening.

(Side Note: We’re planning a trip to France next month and are getting our minds ready for the language. Neither of us speaks much French, but Dave knows a bit, I know a little less, and I can read a menu in any language–or at least give it a good go.  We’ll practice our “café crème, s’il vous plaît,” and lots of Bon jours and Mercis will hopefully help when added to large smiles.)

The rain continues to keep us off the deck  for dinner and out of the back yard for gardening. Unheard of for Colorado where we received half of our average yearly precipitation total in the month of July. 

If your grill is dry enough –perhaps there’s no rain where you are– make this simple grilled salad–great as a side or even as a main with the addition of some fresh mozzarella, a bit of quinoa, or shredded leftover chicken.  If you’re already grilling, the corn and zucchini won’t add much to your time.  No grill? You can boil the corn or microwave it and either sauté or oven roast the zucchini. It will be a lovely summery dish whichever way you cook it.

Try this, especially because if you get any zucchini on your porch tomorrow, you’re ready:

GRILLED ZUCCHINI AND CORN SALAD WITH FRESH HERBS, SCALLIONS, AND LOTS OF LEMON

serves 4

Info for vegetable grilling in Cook’s Notes below.

  • 2 fresh ears of corn, soaked, grilled*, cooled, and kernels cut off  (about a cup of corn)
  • 2 medium zucchini, yellow or green, trimmed, cut into 1-inch chunks, and grilled* (2 1/2 – 3 pounds total)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh soft herbs–your choice, such as basil, parsley, chives, etc.
  • 2 small scallions (green onions), trimmed and sliced thinly–white and green parts, or to taste
  • 1/2 sweet bell pepper–any color, minced
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil–or to taste
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper–if needed
  • 1 medium tomato, diced, for garnish

Gently toss together all ingredients except salt/pepper and tomato. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt and pepper as needed. Start with 1/8 teaspoon each, stir, and taste again. The vegetables, fresh herbs and lemon should be prominent. Spoon into a medium serving bowl and garnish with tomatoes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

While you can certainly stir drained leftovers into your eggs in the morning or take them for lunch, this is best eaten the day it’s made before the herbs and tomatoes wilt.

Cook’s Notes:

Grilling Corn: I could write this out, but we pretty much do what Bobby Flay does minus the BBQ butter; click here.

Grilling Zucchini:  Preheat grill to medium high.  Toss diced zucchini with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, along with a pinch of crushed red pepper. Add zucchini to the grill or to a grilling pan if you like and cook 3-4 minutes, turning when there are deep brown grill marks on one side. Cook another minute or two until zucchini is tender. Remove to a plate.

{printable recipe}

 

If you liked this, 

Try my food blogging friend Kalyn Denny’s best collection of slow cooker zucchini recipes here. I’m not a big slow cooker expert, but Kalyn is! (Instant Pot, too.)

or try my More Time collection of zucchini recipes, though by now there are more if you just search under “zucchini” to find things like GRILLED CHEESE ZUCCHINI BITES.

What to do with great big zucchini from the LA Times

Just in case you wonder what today turned out like; it’s 57 degrees F with rain forecasted for most of the day. I have chili thawing on the stove as I write.

 

 

 

 

Have extra zucchini?  Sneak it into your neighbor’s porch, car, mailbox, or whatever.  Don’t have any? Hope you snag some zucchini or at least get a bunch for very little at the store or farmer’s market.  Whatever, enjoy the late summer produce!

Alyce