Almost every Friday this summer the twins and I have visited Ward’s Berry Farm to pick up our weekly produce box. Every week the twins share a smoothie and I drool over the cafe menu. They have a peach wood smoked barbecue brisket sandwich that is just dreamy and even their grilled cheese is good. One item on the menu has always tempted me, but I’ve never actually tried it there, the fried zucchini. For some reason I just can’t bring myself to go for zucchini when the brisket sandwich is belting out its siren song.
Then several weeks ago the zucchini started stalking me. One zucchini followed me home in my produce box, the following week it was two. By mid august the litter buggers were filling up my fridge. They were quickly dispatched as grilled zucchini, stir-fried zucchini and were shredded into lots of pasta sauce.
This oven-fried version is not complicated or time consuming. The biggest surprise about it is that it took so long for me to think about making it since I considered it on the cafe menu week after week. The pesto showed up for the party when I went through a pesto making frenzy from an abundance of basil and kale about the same time. I made traditional pesto and I also made a killer kale hazelnut pesto which I hope to share with you soon.
The zucchini is crispy and delicious all on it’s own, but being the southerner that I am, I really wanted a dip or sauce to go with it. At first I considered a zesty green goddess dressing, but I didn’t want all the herbs fighting with the pesto. Then I remembered a super quick and easy Cooking Light recipe for Quick-Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce with Spaghetti which I like to make this time of year. I’ve adapted it quite a bit to turn it into a mouth-watering relish, but the original makes a delicious pasta. My version works perfectly with the zucchini, on bruschetta or even as a hamburger topping in place of ketchup.
I know I’m coming to the end of this year’s zucchini harvest, but I wanted you to have this recipe just in case you end up with a few extra. Enjoy!