Last night we sat in our yard in the evening, and made a fire. The boys dashed around catching fireflies. Malcolm twirled Isaac around at arm’s length (by the fire! So dangerous!), and he came flying into my lap. I thought he’d be hot and sweaty from all the mad running, but he was as soft and cool as the dusk. One of the boys said, “I wonder who turned firefly-catching into a sport?” I said, “Ah, yes, the firefly catch, I saw that in the olympic trials last week.” And David said, “No…the firefly toss. Can you imagine what a quiet, gentle sport that would be?” People standing near each other, in the gloaming with their hands in the air, waiting for the firefly to climb to the fingertips and take off into the night, at their own twirly dreamy pace. I love that idea!
What!? Talking about fireflies again! What!? More zucchini recipes!?! Haven’t we just done all that? Yes. Yes we have, people, this is summer!! The first zucchini recipe we ate as a side dish, but it would be good as a meal over rice. It was very quick and simple, like most good zucchini recipes. It involved sauteeing the zucchini with some frozen peas. We added a little cumin and ginger. And then we tossed the lot with cashews, sweetened flaked coconut, and, lime, and fresh basil. Ta da!! The second zucchini recipe is actually a pasta dish. Despite being vegetarian, we don’t eat pasta very often. I’m drawn to things with more intensity of flavor. The boys love it, though, so I’ll make pasta, and I’ll eat the sauce as a sort of soup or stew. Anyway – this pasta dish. We made orchiette, and then we made a summery mix of quickly cooked zucchini, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, fresh basil, and pine nuts. Simple, substantial, and super.
Here’s Belle and Sebastian with Stars of Track and Field. I like how someone became a runner simply to feel the city air rush past their body.
ZUCCHINI WITH COCONUT AND CASHEWS
1 large zucchini, cut in quarters lengthwise, and then cut into 1/4 inch segments
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 t ginger (fresh or powdered)
1/2 t cumin
zest and juice of one lime
1/2 cup cashews – roughly chopped
1/3 cup flaked coconut (I used sweetened, because that’s what I had!)
large handful fresh basil, washed and cut into ribbons
dollop of butter (unless you’re vegan!)
salt and plenty of pepper
In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic, ginger and lime zest, and stir till it starts to brown. Add the zucchini, and cook till it’s translucent and starting to brown a bit, but is still crisp and bright. Add the peas, stir till they’re well coated. When the peas are warmed through, add the cumin. Cook for a minute, then remove from the heat. Stir in the butter, coconut, cashews, basil and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Eat!
PASTA W/ ZUCCHINI, CHICKPEAS, PINENUTS, and BASIL
Orchiette, or the pasta shape of your choice
1 large zucchini cut into matchsticks. My knife skills are lacking, so I made a mess of this, but it doesn’t matter all that much
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 T olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 t red pepper flakes, or to taste
4 scallions, cleaned, and cut into small circles – white parts and a few inches of green
1/2 cup artichoke hearts, cut into small pieces
dollop of butter
dash of lemon or white wine vinegar
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil
salt and plenty of pepper
Put a big pot of salted water on to boil.
Meanwhile, warm the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat
Add the garlic, scallions, red pepper flakes. Cook until the garlic starts to brown. Add the zucchini. Cook till it’s translucent and starting to brwon in spots, but still bright and green.
Add the artichoke hearts and chickpeas. Stir till everything’s well coated. Add the lemon, and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and pine nuts.
By this time the water will have boiled, and you’ll have added the pasta, and cooked it to just the consistency you like. Mix the pasta and zucchini together in a big bowl and serve.