We have planted a large vegetable garden, which provides us with fresh vegetables all year round. One of the best aspects of Tuscany, is its food–local, fresh, simple and full of flavor, and we are happy to share the recipes we cook for Tuscan lunches prepared with ingredients from our garden.
This wonderful summer squash that is part of the Cucurbitaceae family (which also includes melons, cucumbers and eggplants) is mistaken for a vegetable, when in fact it is a fruit. It comes in different shades, but here in Tuscany, the light green Romanesque zucchini is the firmest is tastiest at this time both to eat raw and cooked. Historically used to treat colds, aches and other ailments, zucchini, mel the height of their season, are a source of nutrients such as antioxidants (with an especially high load of carotenoids) and a good dose of vitamin A, important for eye health and the immune system.
During the summer , our garden is overflowing with zucchini and this pushes us to be inventive with recipes. Here are some of our favorites. They are all quick to prepare.
Raw Zucchini with Lemon and Pink Pepper
There is nothing simpler than finely slicing zucchini in the middle of summer and seasoning it with the best olive oil, lemon, coarse sea salt, and pink peppercorns. We don’t need to write you a recipe for this dish! Just remember to cut the zucchini into thin slices and make sure they are all well seasoned.
Tagliolini with Zucchini
When cooking zucchini there is a specific time to keep them al dente, which when eaten with noodles, makes for a better experience. Cut 3 zucchini sticks into sticks, blanch in boiling water for 1 minute, then drain and rinse in cold water. Check the cooking of the noodles, because you will add the blanched zucchini at the last minute. Then drain the noodles and zucchini, throw them into the pan, where you have already slowly sautéed a fresh onion (we like the Tropea ones), add a fresh green pepper, and finish cooking in the olive oil for the last 5 minutes. Stir everything together over a high flame for 30 seconds. Season with parsley, a squeeze of lemon and a good dose of Montecalvi Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
You will make a good impression in front of friends with this beautiful, yet very simple omelet decorated with squash blossoms-a real showstopper. Consider 1 large egg each. Beat well, and add a generous pinch of salt. Carefully wash the squash blossoms, checking inside each one for insects; remove the side growths at the base of the flower, remove the pistil and stem, and season the blossoms with a little salt.
Make sure the entire pan is covered with olive oil, the pan is hot (but not burning), and pour in the beaten egg. Let the underside cook slowly and partially firm up, then decorate the surface with the flowers spilled outward, like a sunflower, and the stems toward the center. When the bottom side is cooked, pour a little oil around the flowers, and place the pan under the grill until the egg on the surface is almost firm, then transfer it to a round plate and serve immediately.
The perfect wine to accompany all these dishes? Montecalvi Vermentino 2018