17 August 2011

Shall we measure blessings by their duration?

Do you, gentle readers, by chance remember this project from last summer?

Sun-dried Zucchini

As it happens, I didn't either. The jars had been shoved to the back of the fridge and I'd forgotten about them.

A refresher: The recipe for sun-dried zucchini came from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook; I blogged about drying the zucchini last July

Last weekend, I was in that determined 'let us eat up the fridge' mood that tends to precede departures for the seaside, and rediscovered the jars. Oh. Hi there, lost vegetables.

They were fine -- as you might expect, dehydration, salt, a covering of oil and the cold of the back of the fridge had all done their part to preserve them. Still, I thought, we should eat them. That was the point, right?

So that's what we did. And it was wonderful.  The Viking, who does not normally respond to vegetable dishes with great enthusiasm, sat up and said 'wow! this is really good!' which is probably about the equivalent of earning a Michelin star from him.

Sundried Zucchini with Mint and Lemon

(serves 2)

1 cup dried zucchini slices, scooped out of the oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lemon (zest and juice)
1/2 lb dried pasta (I used orrechiette because I had it on hand; it's a good shape for this but almost any pasta will do)
a couple spoonfuls of oil from the zucchini jar
a couple of sprigs of fresh mint
freshly grated parmesan, for sprinkling.

Boil some water and cook your pasta. While the pasta is cooking, heat a skillet and toss the zucchini slices in it -- they will carry enough oil that you won't need to add any extra to the pan. Cook until they are just starting to turn golden, then add the garlic, stir, and cook a little longer, until the garlic starts to soften.

Grate the zest off the lemon and set aside.  Cut the lemon in half and juice it.
Drain the pasta and toss with a spoonful or two of oil from the jar and the lemon juice. Divide the pasta between two plates. Stir the lemon zest into the zucchini and top each plate of pasta with half the zucchini. Salt and pepper if you think it needs it (mine needed pepper more than salt). Tear up the mint leaves and throw over the zucchini. Top with a sprinkling of the cheese. Eat and rejoice.

Sarah Lindsay

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