The Eat Local Challenge starts on September 10! For all of you who don't know, this is the second annual food challenge and it will be totally fun! The challenge is to eat food within either a one hundred mile radius or a two hundred mile radius of your home. To do this, you can get a map and mark it out or just look it up on the internet. Buying food at the farmers market is the simplest way but you can also try the grocery store. You can do this challenge for two weeks or just one, it is your choice. I will be doing the challenge and posting recipes to help you along. Over the next few weeks, I will try to post some sample menus that you can follow. Simple and delicious meals are probably what you will be seeing. You can learn more about it from localfoodbee.com. You should all take this challenge, if only for one week! I hope you enjoy this challenge and have fun doing it!
3 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices (Bell Organic, Jacob's Cove)
4 tablespoonfuls olive oil
3 plum tomatoes (our own Garden)
5 dried tomatoes, soaked in warm water (Cali's)
1 small onion (Bell Organic)
1 garlic clove (Sandhill)
2 tablespoonfuls finely chopped herb (we used basil but you can use mint, parsley or tarragon)
2 tablespoonfuls chopped nuts (we used pistachio)
1/4 cup crumbled soft mild goat cheese, about 2 ounces (Drake Family Farm or Shepards)
2 tablespoonfuls grated Parmesan cheese (Gold Creek Cheese)
1. Preheat grill or grill pan over medium heat. Discard the outermost slice of zucchini and brush with about 3 tablespoonfuls of olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until tender, about 4 minutes on each side. You can broil this in your oven if you don't have a grill. You can make the grilled zucchini the day ahead and store in layers on wax paper in an airtight container overnight in your refrigerator.
2. Boil water in a small saucepan and prepare a bowl of ice water. Cut a X in the blossom end of each tomato and blanch tomatoes for about 10 seconds in the boiling water and then place directly in the ice water to stop cooking. Peel and seed the tomatoes. Chop both the fresh and dried tomatoes and mince the onion and garlic.
3. Heat 1 tablespoonful of olive oil in 10-12 inch skillet until hot but not smoking. Saute onion, garlic and nuts, stirring constantly, until the onions are golden. Add all tomatoes and herbs. Continue to saute, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated off, about 3-5 minutes. Add the goat and parmesan cheeses and cook until just melted. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
4. Put a generous teaspoonful at widest end of each zucchini strip and roll up slice toward narrow end. Arrange on a warm platter.
This is great as an appetizer or serve with pasta (always a favorite in our house). We ate these with Red Pepper and Basil Linguine (Z-pasta) with homemade alfredo sauce. It was wonderful!
1. Use eggplant instead of zucchini. If you do this, cut eggplant and place in a colander with 1/2 teaspoonful salt. Let rest for 30 minutes then rinse with cold water and pat dry. Grill the same as the zucchini.