Somehow we’re lucky enough to live in a town that has an actual working farm. Dreyer Farms in Cranford has been around since 1904 and recently underwent a huge renovation that made it just that much bigger and better. My husband and I joined the CSA last year and I quickly realized that I really needed to expand my cooking skills when it came to local produce. Our weekly box has had a variety of delicious produce from the Garden State, including tomatoes, corn, peaches, lettuce, blueberries, swiss chard, eggplant, and fresh herbs. Most weeks the box even includes extra goodies like coffee, spices, pasta, or pizza dough from local businesses.
Thanks to the different produce available throughout the summer, every week feels like Christmas when I get my CSA box. Even though we get the smallest box offered, it’s a lot of food for the three of us to eat (well really only two of us since my daughter has decided vegetables are definitely not her thing). As soon as I know what we’ll be getting that week I flip through my cookbooks or do a Google search and hope inspiration strikes. I came across this recipe when I had some zucchini and mint in my box, as well as some fresh pasta in the fridge. It came out even better than I was anticipating with the lemon juice providing a nice splash of citrus and the feta finishing it off with a bit of tang. This is going into my regular summer recipe rotation!
Pasta with Zucchini and Mint (adapted from Southern Living)
8 oz. pasta of your choice, cooked
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, diced
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh mint
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Crumbled feta cheese
1. Melt butter with olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add shallots, and sauté 2 minutes.
3. Add zucchini and sauté 5 minutes or until zucchini is tender.
4. Stir in minced garlic, and cook 1 minute.
5. Remove from heat.
6. Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
7. Toss in cooked pasta, fresh mint, and Parmesan cheese.
8. Sprinkle with feta cheese just before serving.
Michelle Stavrou, the Union County regional editor, grew up in Bergen County, then moved to Hoboken (after a stop over in Queens) before finally settling in Cranford where she lives with her husband and daughter. Michelle was amazed to discover all of the delicious food in the Cranford area, which she documents on her blog, What’s Cooking In (& Around) Cranford.