Zucchini Days of Summer, Part I

It’s that time.  The days are warm (mostly), the skies are blue (except when they’re cloudy, this is Oregon, after all), and the zucchini are swelling and ripening and filling up the garden with all the grace and timeliness of an animated stubbed toe.

Alright, I confess, that’s not quite fair.  I do like zucchini.  I’m just discovering, as a first time gardener, how right everyone is about how creative you have to be, and how strong the potential is to get sick of it.  So in case you find yourself in similar straits, I’ll share some of my zucchini ambitions with you in what will most certainly be a multi-part series.

Part I is pretty simple: zucchini and mushroom pizza.  I like a simple “sauce” on my Boboli crust; just olive oil, garlic (or garlic powder, depending on how tired I’m feeling), dried Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper.  I topped this with a layer of Monterey jack cheese, and then stacked up thin slices of yellow zucchini and thick slices of crimini mushroom until you could barely see the cheese underneath anymore.  Then I added another thin layer of cheese, some leftover crumbles of feta, and a collection of cherry tomatoes, carefully inserted between vegetables to hold them securely in place.  Then, just for an added flourish, I sprinkled the whole thing with chopped chives.  Eleven or twelve minutes in the oven, and the veggies are cooked, the cheese is melted and bubbly, the cherry tomatoes are just starting to burst their skins, and dinner is served.

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