Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day recap

Had a fabulous long weekend in which I desperately clung to the remnants of summer (have not, exactly let go, as of yet).

Sunday night we grilled and ate on our gorgeous little porch:

Am I classy, or what?
I'm going for a French countryside kind of thing here, and I did it on the very cheap. Those chairs were castaways that I scooped up and spray painted red, and that table was from CVS. The candles are grocery store candles, and I think the Catholics use them in church. I just love their bright yellow colour, and they and the Christmas lights actually give off a lot of light.

For dinner we had grilled chicken, roasted rosemary potatoes, and grilled zucchini wraps. The chicken was really simple and easy but so delicious. I rubbed the chicken breasts with lemon and sea salt, then marinated it in fresh parsley, garlic, olive oil, oregano, thyme and sage for a few hours wrapped in tin foil. Just throw the tin foil package on the grill (we have a cute little hibachi grill) and wait until it smells done:

The Boy tames The Fire.

The potatoes are easy too: combine olive oil, garlic, rosemary and sea salt in a big bowl. Then add the potatoes (I like the little red ones) and mix until the potatoes are coated with the herb mixture. Then bake at 350 until they're browned at the edges.

These are all super fresh and local.

The most complicated dish of the evening was the little zucchini bundles, but they are so worth the time and effort. I can't find the recipe I used, but I ended up changing it a bit anyways.

Zucchini Bundles

So. Delicious.

Ingredients (makes 4-6 bundles):

1 large zucchini
1 large tomato
1 slice onion
1 tbsp. olive oil
Approx. 4 oz. creamy goat cheese
4-6 basil leaves
Sea salt, to taste

Slice the zucchini, long ways, very thin. This can be tricky, since the thinner the slice the more likely it is to break. Spread a dab of olive oil on each slice. Be very conservative here, since too much oil makes it soggy. If you have a mister, which I do not, one mist to each side is perfect. Then sprinkle them with sea salt. Before you grill the zucchini, assemble the inside of the wraps.

Quarter the tomato. Depending on the size you can try and get six pieces, but make sure each is at least as wide as the zucchini and fairly thick. Put a few drops of oil on each slice, and, if you want, a little bit of fresh ground pepper. Put a dollop of goat cheese on top of each slice. On top of that, put one or two basil leaves. That makes up the inside of the wrap.

Grill the zucchini and the slice of onion until they are crispy and dark. Wrap each one around the tomato slices, and garnish with a piece of the crispy, grilled onion.

The recipe I used said to bake the tomatoes, but I loved how to cool tomato and the creamy cheese mixed with the smoky, hot zucchini. All in all, it came out to quite a feast.

We sat out, talking, drinking wine and poking at the fire (does everyone turn into a caveperson around a fire, or is it just me?) until late.

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend and is returning to the daily grind a little renewed. I'll have a post showing off my spoils of the weekend soon.

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