Mother Nature has been very nice to the Jersey Shore area so far this summer. The gardens are producing an amazing bounty of squash, tomatoes, green beans and peppers. 071214 garden

Walking through the neatly designed rows of vegetables and flowers this morning, breathing in deeply, my chlorophyll addled senses gave me a feeling of robust, good-health from a well tended garden which might explain why some people are drawn to this summer activity in spite of the hard work it entails. If specific aroma’s trigger memories, maybe for some the garden is a true Eden.

071214 produce from garden

The bounty from the garden is the biggest motivator. Knowing where your produce comes from and what, if any pesticide has been used is always a factor. Pulling beetles and other bugs from the leaves is just another fact of gardening. The bonanza of zucchini season is upon us, along with the challenge of how to use them.

071214 omelet1

Breakfast doesn’t get any fresher than this. One chopped Black Krim tomato (tangier than a basic Jersey tomato), and one small chopped zucchini, into the pan of olive oil with a finely minced clove of garlic.

071214 zuke black krim omelet

Saute the veg for a minute or two and spoon into a bowl. Set aside, scramble up a few eggs and add to the same pan, give them a minute to set then add the veg back in. Shred a little parmigiana cheese into the omelet and fold over. Simple, and very fresh.

071314 zuke blossoms anchovies

Call it gilding the lily if you will, but dinner was a departure from light and healthy. We stuffed the squash blossoms with mozzarella and anchovies. Creamy, salty, and what we were really looking for, crunchy.

071314 zuke blossoms frying

All of the blossoms went into the very hot oil bath, just for a few minutes till crispy, and voila, fancy gourmet stuffed veggies. This is a big flavor dish, however, my favorite was yet to come.

071314 fried zuke blossom and beans


Freshly picked, beer batter dipped, deep fried green beans are the vegetable that rocks my world. Possibly the least healthy option and yet the tastiest by far. A half mayo, half sour cream sauce, bumped up with fresh horseradish and a few squirts of sriracha is a delicious accompaniment.

Veggies grown in your garden, purchased at a farm stand or your local farmers market should be a special summer treat. Try a different cooking method or a new recipe this week. You might just find a new favorite, and if you decide that deep fried vegetables rock your world too, well I’ll just apologize for that right now, and see you outside running the extra mile to keep the pounds in check. They are worth it!

Leave a Reply