The only reason why I am posting these three different recipes together is because that was dinner tonight; and because they go very well together.
The trick to the zucchini pasta is to brown the zucchini, a technique that gives a nice, caramel flavor. Zucchini any other way to me is very bland, but the little extra work it takes to prepare this dish is well worth it.
The puree of broccoli is very simple to make and is a nice alternative to steamed, grilled, or baked. The nutmeg and parmesan cheese combined with the broccoli go perfectly together.
Pickled beets are nothing new, but adding fresh mint brings out the best in the vegetable.
Spaghetti with Zucchini
* 1/2 lb. spaghetti (just about any pasta is good with this dish except shells)
* 5 medium zucchini cut into 1” slices
* 1 Tbsp. garlic flakes
* 3 Tbsp. olive oil
* Salt, pepper to taste
* 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- Put the sliced zucchini, garlic, oil, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl and mix well
- Arrange the zucchini on a cookie sheet or other baking tray (I lay a piece of tin foil to save work cleaning)
- Bake at 450F for about 20 minutes, turning when the zucchini begin to brown
- Broil for 10 minutes until the zucchini are well browned
- Cook the spaghetti, drain, and plate
- Arrange the zucchini on top of the pasta, add the grated cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
* 4-5 lg. broccoli crowns
* 1 tsp. grated fresh nutmeg
* 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
* 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
* 1/4 cup whole milk
* 1/4 cup half-and-half
* Salt and pepper to taste
- Steam the broccoli until tender. Remove and chop into pieces (for blender)
- Place the hot broccoli in the blender, add butter, cream, parmesan, salt and pepper
- Blend until pureed. Adjust to taste. All the ingredients can be added.
Pickled Beets with Fresh Mint
* 5 lg. fresh beets
* 5 lg. leaves of fresh mint, cut in half
* 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- Boil the beets in their skins until done (you should be able to push a fork through easily) about 45 minutes, depending on size
- Put mint and vinegar in a serving bowl
- Slice the beets and place them in the vinegar/mint, and toss. Place in refrigerator and let sit for a day.