Saturday, July 14, 2007

Fresh Goodies & Recipes

I don't have pictures today, because the subject of this post is already devoured!

Last evening, most of the family gathered for dinner. Since the gardens are producing, I decided to use some of the things growing here and in Tina's garden. She keeps bringing Zucchini to me, so that was where I started.

A number of years ago, we were vendors at Landis Valley Farm Museum's annual Herb and Garden Faire. This dish was served there and we found it delicious. In mid summer, when there is a windfall of zucchini and basil, I think of this salad:

4 Med. Zucchini, coarsely grated
1# Orzo
2 T. Salt
8 C. chicken broth
2 C. (packed) fresh basil
3 med. garlic cloves
½ C. Olive Oil
¼ C. fresh lemon juice
ground black pepper
1 C. imported Kalamata olives
Basil sprigs

Drain Zucchini in colander. Sprinkle with 1 T. salt. Let drain 30 min. Stir or shake twice. Squeeze dry. Transfer to large bowl. Fluff with hands to separate.
Basil & olive oil in processor 1 minute, drop garlic in and blend.
Add Zucchini to basil mix.
Bring chicken broth to boil in medium saucepan. Stir in 1 T. salt and orzo, return to boil. Simmer 10-15 min. 'til orzo is tender. Drain.
Stir all together and cool to room temp.
Just before serving, stir in lemon juice and zest (if desired) Season with pepper. Garnish with olives and basil sprigs.

So, there I was with this beautiful pasta dish, wondering what to do to round out the meal. I had some frozen chicken and since the tarragon is looking full and lovely, I remembered another favorite - actually a recipe from a diet I once followed successfully, but it was so delicious that I cook it often.

8 ounces boned, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 t. dried Tarragon or 1 t. fresh Tarragon
1/4 C. dry white wine
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Spray a medium skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium high heat. Add chicken breasts and cook 3 minutes; turn breasts and cook 2 minutes more. Remove and set aside. Add tarragon, white wine and mustard to skillet and cook over high heat until juices are syrupy, about 2 minutes. Pour juices over chicken.
Just increase the recipe for larger quantity. It's not bad cold the next day, either!

If the tomatoes were another week or so along, I would have just sliced up a bunch and served a platter salted and peppered. The only ripe ones we have so far are a few small ones from Tina's garden. She brought them along with a cucumber, so I just added them to some lettuce and onions from our garden and served a nice garden salad.

So, a great, low-fat, family-friendly dinner with a lot of input from our communal gardens!

Coming up soon - sweet corn and tomato sandwiches..... oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!

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