It was 5’oclock by the time I realized what happened.
After driving around all day, running errands in preparation for our family vacation, I forgot to remove my CSA vegetables from the car!
I was pretty sure everything would be wilted and ruined. It was only 8 million degrees outside.
But surprisingly, the veggies held up which is a good thing because they needed to be used up before we left. Just add that to the never ending to-do list.
So, I took a break from what what needed to be done to let out some much needed steam in the kitchen.
Shaved Carrot & Cucumber Salad
Familiar vegetables speak a whole new language when they’re cut and prepared in unexpected ways.
A quick shave with a vegetable peeler transforms the freshest carrots and cucumbers into a light and simple salad- it will take you only 2 minutes to put this together.
The veggies were dressed with olive oil and splash of apple cider vinegar, and left to sit for a bit to soften. Fresh dill would’ve made this even better but I didn’t have any, although I did contemplate ransacking my neighbor’s garden for a few sprigs.
Isn’t fresh dill so yummy in summer salads?
Tomato Basil Zucchini
Zucchini doesn’t have a very long shelf life.
I grated a few to make this cake (if you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go over the weekend- so good!).
The rest were used to make a giant batch of tomato basil zucchini, which is a lovely summer dish that freezes well.
In fact, the plan is to defrost a container or two for dinner when we return for a quick and effortless meal.
Three large zucchini were rough chopped into chunks, and sautéed in olive with 1 bunch of scallions (white and light green parts only) and thinly sliced baby fennel.
Once the veggies were partially cooked, in went 1x 28 oz. can of whole plum tomatoes. I let the whole thing simmer for about 15-20 minutes or so, seasoning with salt and pepper. Fresh basil and fennel fronds were added at the end.
The fennel compliments the anise-like flavor of the basil (certain varieties are more prominent) and the zucchini become tender and just melt in your mouth.
Serve over pasta with olives, fresh mozzarella and parm, or perhaps with quinoa for a gluten free grain bowl.
PS- make sure to cut the zucchini on the larger side so they hold their shape as they simmer. And, if you are not eating this right away, only cook the zucchini about 3/4’s of the way through factoring in additional cooking time when reheated.
You know zucchini: they can get real mushy when overcooked.
On a creative note, I don’t think I’ve ever photographed food outside around dinnertime for the blog!
I thought I’d spare you from the flattering indoor yellow lighting…
So tell me: how are you using up your summer vegetables? How do you clear out the fridge before vacation? We ended up freezing the swiss chard and parsley (pictured above) for soups and smoothies!
Can you believe this gorgeous head of lettuce survived the heat?
Oh this reminds me of the time I forgot 2 pounds of chicken wings in the car. We were living in the Caribbean and it was all nice and hot. The only (tiny!) difference was that I left it in there for 2 days?!!? I am sure you can imagine the smell when I got into the car two days later. It took almost a month get rid of that smell. God knows how many times I had to clean the car. Nightmare!!
I make a similar zucchini recipe all the time. Such a simple Mediterranean dish.
Love the outside photography my friend.
This looks super fresh and healthy. Inspired to get my zucchini on :)
Pamela Green says
Great ideas for using up fresh produce! I always make a big salad full of veggies when we are needing to use up a bunch of vegetables at once.
Jessie Snyder says
I love all of this yummy summer veg inspiration here Emilie! And your outdoor shots too :) so fresh and perfect for this kind of post. I agree with your comment on dill, its perfect in everything this time of year! I hope you have having a gorgeous week, loving following along on your trip with all the lovely ladies right now! xx
Celeste | The Whole Serving says
I have been eating a lot of shaved veggies lately and this last minute vegetable dish looks absolutely delicious.
Traci | Vanilla And Bean says
Shaving or using the julienne peeler.. I love both! That simmering pan of tomatoes and zucchini looks absolutely scrumptious.. The zucchini train hasn’t quite started yet through our CSA, but it will be soon. Right now, I’ve got a ton of greens, so besides throwing them in a smoothie, I end up brazing them in copious amounts of garlic and olive oil. Oh My! Or stirring them into a big pot of pasta with goat cheese. Anything else I shove in a cooler and take with us, so long as we’re taking the car. Have a fabulous vacation Emilie! xo
It’s almost time to make ratatouille, which is my absolute favorite way to use summer vegetables. But I love the sound of your zucchini basil tomato. Adding fennel sounds like the perfect accent. Can’t wait to try it.
rebecca | DisplacedHousewife says
I’m obsessed with shaving vegetables — I think it transforms them into something completely new. Especially carrots. This light salad looks so refreshing and satisfying. Love getting my CSA box and that lettuce looks amazing!!! xo