Cristina Ferrare's zucchini and cucumber carpaccio
The end of summer brings with it delicious zucchini and cucumbers. Whether fresh from the garden or the market, Cristina Ferrare offers up some fresh ideas for bringing them to the table beautifully. 
I am enjoying all the wonderful fruits, and vegetables that are available this summer season, and I can’t seem to get enough. I just picked up the most wonderful cucumbers and zucchinis from the market. The zucchinis are big, bold and beautiful, and I love the fact that you can also get zucchini flowers. They’re great for stuffing and make a great appetizer! 

I remember cutting off the zucchini flowers from the beds in the garden as a kid and bringing them to my grandmother. I did this for two reasons.

One, I loved the way she would stuff them with ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, fresh basil, salt and pepper, dip them in an egg wash, fry them in extra-virgin olive oil and serve them with a juicy lemon wedge! Sometimes she would stuff a piece of cooked Italian sausage in there too, and it sent me over the edge! She then covered it with a dollop of fresh tomato sauce made from the sweet ripened tomatoes from the garden! So good!

Two, the zucchinis would eventually take over the whole garden, so I would pick the budding flowers off so I wouldn’t have too many of them going rogue. I would leave my garden with the zucchinis growing happily and literally overnight at least one would grow to proportions that were not real! I use to call those “the zucchinis that ate Cleveland” because they were the size of a log! It wasn’t there the day before! What’s up with that? 

What to do with those fresh summer cucumbers

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