Enjoying Fresh Produce At The Jersey Shore

Living at the Jersey Shore, The Garden State in the summer has perks. We’re not called the Garden State for nothing.  According to NJ’s official web pageNew Jersey is home to more than 9,071 farmers, covering 715,057 acres of farmland. 

Roadside veggie and fruit stands are plentiful. Nearly every rural road has at least one or more aged wooden stands filled with make shift shelves that are covered with baskets full of fresh produce.

The locals know where to find them, but out of towners’ are often surprised and make emergency stops to get it on the action.

Sweet corn, pretty Jersey tomatoes, plump blue berries, sweet and juicy peaches, squash, and zucchini are some of my summer favorites and I take full advantage of the season.

I think zucchini is my favorite summer veggie. Learn more about zucchini here and here.   While I have my go-to recipe for zucchini, I’m always looking for different recipes to infuse my zucchini with new flavors.

My pet recipe is quick and simple:

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchini (Medium size)
  • 2 vidalia onions or red onions (personal preference)
  • 2 tsps. fresh ground black pepper
  • Dash of crushed red peppers
  • Dash of Lowry’s season salt (I only use this when I’m cooking for my                      family)
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil (estimate… I’ve gotta learn to measure!)

Instructions:

Thoroughly wash and dry zucchini. Cut the ends off. Cut zucchini in half and then slice. I prefer mine sliced in half, but you can cut whole slices. Toss on to a sheet of aluminum foil. Half onion and then slice. Put the onions in with zucchini, add dry seasoning, and olive oil. Fold foil so juices don’t leak out.

Place foil pocket on a grill at medium temperature. Cook for about 20 minutes.

sliced

This is cooking at its easiest. There’s no excuse to not eat healthy.

foil

Zucchini is safely tucked away in the foil.

zucchini

Finished result…. Yummy!  This is great over brown rice, quinoa, or alone.

Two days ago, I found a different recipe on Pinterest, compliments of thepioneerwoman.com. The zucchini is delicious, but has a complete different flavor.

Seriously, that’s what I love most about fresh veggies. I can eat say, zucchini for dinner five consecutive days, but each night, the zucchini can be cooked different and infused with a unique flavor. I never get tired of zucchini, but I’m not asking my family if they are tired of it.  I may not like the answer.  Lol!

Anyways, I tried the  Grilled Zucchini with Lemon Salt recipe.  As one of my friends would say,

“Outstanding!!”

Lol!  All you need is zucchini, lemon, black pepper, kosher salt, and olive oil. For specific instructions and details, click here.

bagged zuchiiLemon zest, olive oil, salt, and pepper all in one bag coating zucchini!

on the grill

Here they are cooking nicely on the grill. The anticipation was killing me. Lol!

grilled zucchini

Mmmm…. If you’re eating this at home, consider this finger food,
because using a knife takes too dag on long!  🙂

Give it a try; you might like it.

Do you have quick summer recipe?  Please share!

Thanks for visiting and enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

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8-Ball Mouth Watering Squash

During the summer, I don’t usually spend much time planning dinner.  About an hour or so before 5 in the afternoon, I peek in the fridge to see what is grillable. My only plan is to light up the grill and avoid the stove and the oven.

Today after perusing through Pinterest and looking over my healthy eating board, I became inspired.   I craved for something a bit more creative– Something different from the norm, so I decided that after picking up my son from camp, that I would visit my favorite roadside market; Reed’s Farm Market.

I didn’t feel like dealing with the traffic and lines at Shoprite and knew that Reed’s would have fresh produce that I could toss on the grill.  I brought zucchini, Jersey tomatoes, cucumbers, red and sweet onions. I also brought two beautiful 8-Ball Squash!  Cool right!  This attractive round squash has the same flavor (to me) as the more traditionally shaped squash (zucchini), but the shape inspires creativity. The roundness of it screams, “stuff me!” Already I have ideas for the next ones that I buy.

8-Ball Squash

8-Ball Squash

I wasn’t certain about how to cook them on the grill, so I did the following:

– Thoroughly wash

– Cut into round slices

– Place on a large greased cookie sheet

– Mince 8-10 (I didn’t count) garlic cloves

– Drizzle with olive oil (next time I will brush both sides with garlic roasted olive oil)

– Douse with freshly ground black pepper (I didn’t measure)

– Sprinkle with Cayenne (I didn’t measure)

Toss in the oven…YES THE OVEN!  It wasn’t hot today and the air conditioning was on, so it wasn’t too bad. I broiled them on low for about 15-20 minutes

The result? They were too soft. I like squash with a slight crunch, but the flavor was intense.  Also, next time, I’d sprinkle the squash with a tad bit of garlic roasted cheese (I buy from the Shops at Smithville), but you can probably find it somewhere in your home town.

Before the oven

Before the oven

My  second experiment was broiled tomatoes. Yup! Ohhhh My Gooooodness!  If you love, notice I said, LOVE tomatoes, you have to give this a try.

Beautiful ripe tomatoes

Beautiful ripe tomatoes

– Thoroughly wash 1 large (Jersey) tomato

– Slice the tomato into medium-sized circles

– Place on a large greased cookie sheet

– Coat with minced garlic (I didn’t count)

– Olive oil? (I can’t remember, but think I drizzled a little on)

– Chop a handful organic fresh baby spinach

– Grind fresh black pepper

Toss in the broiler (on low) for about 20 minutes

Mouth Watering

Mouth Watering

 

Hurry and eat the veggies while they are warm.  The flavor is amazing!!  Hubby, my son, and my mom, all especially like the tomatoes.

Now, I have to figure out how to cook them on the grill.  If you know how to please do share!  Several hours later, I’m still licking my lips!

Talk to you later!

Thanks for visiting!