Cristina Ferrare's zucchini and cucumber carpaccio
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