Pumpkin Spice Granola Recipe

It's been nearly three weeks, and I am slowly adjusting to my new life as a graduate student in Champaign, Illinois. As I write this, a magnificent Midwestern thunderstorm is rolling over the prairie and into town, reminding me that there is much more to this great state than I often acknowledge, and that I am lucky to be able to experience it. I feel sad about the life I left behind in Chicago, disappointed that I am behind on personal projects as the summer nears an end, and apprehensive about finding my place in this new town alone. At the same time, it is exciting that the unfamiliar faces I met two weeks ago are becoming classmates, colleagues and –  slowly – friends. My courses and my assistantship are interesting, and I have enthusiasm for the projects I will be working on this year. 

As I explore my neighborhood, I've been astonished at the number of apple trees and patches of wild lavender I've found. I am adapting to the infrequent public transit and I've happily found some wonderful Asian food markets and an adequate generic grocery store within easy walking distance. I live in an actual house for the first time since I left my parent's home ten years ago and my roommates are lovely. A series of weddings and family reunions has had me traveling every weekend recently, but I am looking forward to a Saturday trip to Mirabelle Bakery and the farmers market next weekend. 

During times of transition, a good meal can provide great comfort. The first thing I baked in my new home was a batch of this simple granola. Paired with thick yogurt and a pinch of coarse sea salt for breakfast, my mornings feel a bit calmer.

Pumpkin Spice Granola Recipe

Ingredients

3 C old-fashioned rolled oats 
3/4 C roasted pumpkin seeds
¼ C ground flax seed
¾ C maple syrup 
½ C extra virgin olive oil 
½ C packed brown sugar 
1 tsp kosher salt 
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice* 
¾ C raisins

Method

Preheat oven to 300F. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, except the raisins. Pour mixture onto a heavy baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Stir just enough to ensure the granola won’t burn.

When well-toasted and fragrant, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Mix in the raisins and store in an air-tight container.

(*To make your own, combine 1 Tbl cinnamon, ¾ tsp allspice, ½ tsp ground cloves, and 1½ tsp ground ginger. Be sure to measure out only 1 tsp for this recipe.)

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irene - i love the photos in this post!

irene - i love the photos in this post!

Amanda B - I’m so glad that you are getting settled in. I just started classes this week and to say I feel a little out of my league is an understatement. I forgot what its like to get jitters about assignments and papers. But I will hopefully get used to it with time. I’m incredibly jealous that you have a whole house and a fully functional kitchen! What I would give for a stove/oven!!

Amanda B - I’m so glad that you are getting settled in. I just started classes this week and to say I feel a little out of my league is an understatement. I forgot what its like to get jitters about assignments and papers. But I will hopefully get used to it with time. I’m incredibly jealous that you have a whole house and a fully functional kitchen! What I would give for a stove/oven!!

heather - granola got me through many rough times during graduate school as well. i like the maple-pumpkin spice idea, and will have to try as soon as the current coconut-honey version is eaten!
and it looks like you’re already following this advice, but definitely get out to explore. you’ll be glad you did, especially when something totally unexpected presents itself.
cheers,
*heather*

heather - granola got me through many rough times during graduate school as well. i like the maple-pumpkin spice idea, and will have to try as soon as the current coconut-honey version is eaten!
and it looks like you’re already following this advice, but definitely get out to explore. you’ll be glad you did, especially when something totally unexpected presents itself.
cheers,
*heather*

Erin O'Brien - Looks like the perfect pre-autumn treat. :) Thanks for sharing.
Oh! And I love a good farmers market. You best hit it up before summer winds down and the cool air has moved in. Farmers market season never lasts long enough in the Midwest!

Erin O'Brien - Looks like the perfect pre-autumn treat. :) Thanks for sharing.
Oh! And I love a good farmers market. You best hit it up before summer winds down and the cool air has moved in. Farmers market season never lasts long enough in the Midwest!

Lisa - I came across your blog searching for Chicago food bloggers. I just moved to Chicago to start medical school, so I guess that in some ways we may be sharing some new experiences with new schools – maybe we will share the same appetite, too :)
I almost always have a jar full of homemade granola around for breakfast or a snack. This was probably the best I have every made. Thanks for the recipe!

Lisa - I came across your blog searching for Chicago food bloggers. I just moved to Chicago to start medical school, so I guess that in some ways we may be sharing some new experiences with new schools – maybe we will share the same appetite, too :)
I almost always have a jar full of homemade granola around for breakfast or a snack. This was probably the best I have every made. Thanks for the recipe!

Tania - you make granola, go to the berkeley bowl, have a blog, and are a grad student in champaign?
um, want to be friends?
i grew up in berkeley (raised on granola, of course) and am a grad student in english at the u of i. and incidentally, i also have a blog (definitely not as cool, nor as scrumptious). i don’t want to be a creepster, but if you ever need the company of a coffee date, shoot me an email!

Tania - you make granola, go to the berkeley bowl, have a blog, and are a grad student in champaign?
um, want to be friends?
i grew up in berkeley (raised on granola, of course) and am a grad student in english at the u of i. and incidentally, i also have a blog (definitely not as cool, nor as scrumptious). i don’t want to be a creepster, but if you ever need the company of a coffee date, shoot me an email!

Nishta - so glad you’re back–I missed you!

Nishta - so glad you’re back–I missed you!

Jessica - I love granola. Your recipe looks pretty easy.
I was wondering, is the background for your jar your countertop? It looks really neat.

Jessica - I love granola. Your recipe looks pretty easy.
I was wondering, is the background for your jar your countertop? It looks really neat.

christine - Lovely post. I used to play with Granola when I was a teenager, tried different recipes with it. Thanks for sharing this one. If you wont mind I’d love to guide Foodista readers to your post. Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post so it will appear in the Foodista pages and it’s all set, Thanks!

christine - Lovely post. I used to play with Granola when I was a teenager, tried different recipes with it. Thanks for sharing this one. If you wont mind I’d love to guide Foodista readers to your post. Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post so it will appear in the Foodista pages and it’s all set, Thanks!

Gemma - Thank you Irene! Very flattering coming from someone with truly wonderful photos.
Amanda, I hope things are getting of to a great start for you. I admit, I love having a full kitchen, but I bet there are more reasons to leave the house where you are!
Thanks Heather! I have been enjoying roaming around. New things are always exciting, if a bit scary.
You’re right Erin, I’m already fretting about the arrival of November 6th when the market shuts down. Jealous of your year-round produce!
Hello Lisa, that is very flattering, I am so glad you enjoyed it! Best of luck to you in Chicago and with medical school. It is a wonderful town and I hope you enjoy it!
Hello Tania, that is fantastic! I would love to get coffee. I will email you.
Thanks Nistha!
Hello Jessica. I love the pattern too. It is actually the floor in the breezeway between our garage and the main house. I thought it looked so lovely in the sunshine.
Thanks Christine. I’ll look into this when I have a moment.

Gemma - Thank you Irene! Very flattering coming from someone with truly wonderful photos.
Amanda, I hope things are getting of to a great start for you. I admit, I love having a full kitchen, but I bet there are more reasons to leave the house where you are!
Thanks Heather! I have been enjoying roaming around. New things are always exciting, if a bit scary.
You’re right Erin, I’m already fretting about the arrival of November 6th when the market shuts down. Jealous of your year-round produce!
Hello Lisa, that is very flattering, I am so glad you enjoyed it! Best of luck to you in Chicago and with medical school. It is a wonderful town and I hope you enjoy it!
Hello Tania, that is fantastic! I would love to get coffee. I will email you.
Thanks Nistha!
Hello Jessica. I love the pattern too. It is actually the floor in the breezeway between our garage and the main house. I thought it looked so lovely in the sunshine.
Thanks Christine. I’ll look into this when I have a moment.

Rhubarb Ginger Jam & News

I have some big news! After several years in nonprofit development, I am leaving my job at the end of this month for graduate school. I'll be moving to Champaign, Illinois and attending the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science. I am really looking forward to this opportunity, but I'm a bit nervous about uprooting my life. 

I've learned a lot in my current position, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I am very ready to move on. I am really proud of the work our two-person department has been able to achieve with virtually no resources — in fact, I'm astounded when I sit back and reflect on our accomplishments. I truly wish the agency the best in the future, but I am really ready for a change and a more positive environment. 

I love Chicago and it will be sad to leave — especially not knowing when I might be back as a resident rather than a visitor. Nick will be staying in the city, and my closest friends and various family members are here. I expect to visit often and I'm crossing my fingers for exciting local employment prospects next year. (Let me know if you need a librarian or information professional!) Champaign-Urbana has a few things that I am looking forward to, and I imagine I will quickly discover even more that the area has to offer, but right now my list includes: 

  • Purchasing a bike to use in a city without scary traffic.
  • Spending time with my friends Andy and Sarah.
  • Having access to a nice gym.
  • The Blind Pig, Mirabelle Bakery and Prairie Fruits Farm.
  • Meeting a few running and food friends in person. (Any local food blogs I should follow besides Champaign Taste?)
  • Getting to know my two new roommates, Greg and Michelle, and having my own room. 

I am also ecstatic that I earned a Graduate Assistantship!  This position will provide me with work experience, cover my tuition, and earn me a small monthly income. The work sounds like a great fit for me — a cross between my interest in food and my interest in information collection and organization.  I'll be employed by the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center. The collection includes current and historical communications related to agriculture, food, natural resources and rural affairs.  I'll be working to build and manage this collection, further customize the relational databases, improve the website, and put in a few hours a week at the library reference desk. 

I'm not sure how many of you will make it all the way through that long post, but thank you for letting me share it with you. Please let me know if you have any favorite places in the area that I should check out (though, I am without a car) — or if you are in the area, email me (underneath my photo) and we can plan a picnic!  I am also interest in getting to know more men and women in the library field, so don't hesitate to send me a note if you would like to start a conversation about the profession.  

Now, on to the delicious stuff. My favorite rhubarb recipe of the season is this very simple "refrigerator" jam. This jam is prepared without pectin and is not canned, but rather stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. The ginger in this recipe balances the sugar quite nicely.  Jam is usually too sweet for me on its own, but I love a few spoonfuls of this spread over toasted sourdough with cream cheese, or served warm over ice cream.   

Rhubarb Ginger Jam
Loosely adapted from Bon Appetit

Ingredients

1 lb rhubarb, washed, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 C sugar
3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tbl lemon juice

Method

Combine all the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture achieves your desired thickness (keeping in mind that it will be a bit thicker once it cools).  Remove the ginger root and transfer to a clean jar — I used a squat glass, swing-top jar with a wide mouth– and allow to cool at room temperature before covering. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

(I've been participating in Project 365 – Take a gander at my first 6 months of 2010.)

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Amanda B - Congrats Gemma! That is so exciting. I am also jetting off to grad school in NYC and I can’t wait. Have fun at school and fill me in on all the details :)

Amanda B - Congrats Gemma! That is so exciting. I am also jetting off to grad school in NYC and I can’t wait. Have fun at school and fill me in on all the details :)

Tim - http://thesandwichlife.typepad.com/ is an OUTSTANDING, well-written local blog. Not solely a food blog per se, but she does post outstanding food / garden shot and occasional recipes.
Also, http://market-at-the-square.blogspot.com/ must be on both your www and ‘for realz’ “must check out” list! The page has some good links to other food blogs, too…

Tim - http://thesandwichlife.typepad.com/ is an OUTSTANDING, well-written local blog. Not solely a food blog per se, but she does post outstanding food / garden shot and occasional recipes.
Also, http://market-at-the-square.blogspot.com/ must be on both your www and ‘for realz’ “must check out” list! The page has some good links to other food blogs, too…

Sam - Congratulations on your new opportunity. Long time reader, first time commenter… My mom actually finished a graduate degree in Library Science in her late 50’s (mainly for a higher up position in a library system she has been part of for a long time). She had a great time with it and I’m sure you would too.
Hopefully you won’t be too busy to keep sharing deliciousness with us!

Sam - Congratulations on your new opportunity. Long time reader, first time commenter… My mom actually finished a graduate degree in Library Science in her late 50’s (mainly for a higher up position in a library system she has been part of for a long time). She had a great time with it and I’m sure you would too.
Hopefully you won’t be too busy to keep sharing deliciousness with us!

Joanna - So exciting! I hope we can meet up in Chicago one more time before you move.

Joanna - So exciting! I hope we can meet up in Chicago one more time before you move.

Shannalee - Congratulations! This is the month for big changes, it seems. :) Three cheers for pursuing the life you want – I hope you love grad school.

Shannalee - Congratulations! This is the month for big changes, it seems. :) Three cheers for pursuing the life you want – I hope you love grad school.

Nishta - big congratulations, Gemma! I’m excited to hear that you’re taking on something that feels like a breath of fresh air & welcome challenge. I’m with Sam–I hope you’ll still post here periodically :)
and I just spent a wonderful half-hour scrolling through your Project 365 pictures–so lovely.

Nishta - big congratulations, Gemma! I’m excited to hear that you’re taking on something that feels like a breath of fresh air & welcome challenge. I’m with Sam–I hope you’ll still post here periodically :)
and I just spent a wonderful half-hour scrolling through your Project 365 pictures–so lovely.

dana - way to go, gemma! congrats! it takes guts to change so much of your life, but this all sounds very exciting. when it’s right, it’s right, so don’t worry. wonderful things are waiting for you, i’m sure.

dana - way to go, gemma! congrats! it takes guts to change so much of your life, but this all sounds very exciting. when it’s right, it’s right, so don’t worry. wonderful things are waiting for you, i’m sure.

IslandEAT - Hi, Gemma. Congratulations to you! I have read your superb site several times and just stopped by again to read your news.
Do you know Scott Koeneman of Fight the Fat Foodie? He’s in major gift fundraising in Monticello, and I’ve visited his site a few times. The reason I remembered his background is that my career has been not-for-profit development and senior management – including f/r in Chicago, where I grew up). Scott wrote about going to the farmers market in Champaign, so he might be a very good contact for you:
http://fightthefatfoodie.blogspot.com/.
I grew up immediately west of Chicago and went to the big university on the city’s south side (seems cryptic but a give-away to a Chicagoan, no?). Thus, I know many people who went to the U of I but years ago. I visited there nearly 30 years ago, so I can’t be much help, otherwise.
All the best to you!
Dan

IslandEAT - Hi, Gemma. Congratulations to you! I have read your superb site several times and just stopped by again to read your news.
Do you know Scott Koeneman of Fight the Fat Foodie? He’s in major gift fundraising in Monticello, and I’ve visited his site a few times. The reason I remembered his background is that my career has been not-for-profit development and senior management – including f/r in Chicago, where I grew up). Scott wrote about going to the farmers market in Champaign, so he might be a very good contact for you:
http://fightthefatfoodie.blogspot.com/.
I grew up immediately west of Chicago and went to the big university on the city’s south side (seems cryptic but a give-away to a Chicagoan, no?). Thus, I know many people who went to the U of I but years ago. I visited there nearly 30 years ago, so I can’t be much help, otherwise.
All the best to you!
Dan

Erin - Looks like you’re venturing into a new part of your life – yay!
One of my good friends Breanne is in grad school in the same field – I’m fairly positive you two would hit it off (she’s in Iowa, though).
And though riding in Chicago wasn’t TOO bad, a college town will definitely be more conducive to cycling.

Erin - Looks like you’re venturing into a new part of your life – yay!
One of my good friends Breanne is in grad school in the same field – I’m fairly positive you two would hit it off (she’s in Iowa, though).
And though riding in Chicago wasn’t TOO bad, a college town will definitely be more conducive to cycling.

Gemma - Thanks Amanda. It sounds like things are going very well for you in NYC. I am so glad!
Thanks, as always, for your great recommendations Tim!
Hello Sam. Thanks for commenting! I love hearing about happy MLIS degree-holders. Thank you!
I miss you Joanna. I hope Madison is treating you very well and I hope we will meet up one day soon.
Thank you so much Shannalee. It is interesting how these changes seem to be contagious. I hope things are going great for you!
Thank you Nishta! I have so many photos I need to get through. I hope to have more to share with you soon.
Thank you Dana! I feel very fortunate to be able to make this change.
Thank you for the great suggestion Dan! I really appreciate it — even though I am responding to it a bit late.
Thanks Erin!

Gemma - Thanks Amanda. It sounds like things are going very well for you in NYC. I am so glad!
Thanks, as always, for your great recommendations Tim!
Hello Sam. Thanks for commenting! I love hearing about happy MLIS degree-holders. Thank you!
I miss you Joanna. I hope Madison is treating you very well and I hope we will meet up one day soon.
Thank you so much Shannalee. It is interesting how these changes seem to be contagious. I hope things are going great for you!
Thank you Nishta! I have so many photos I need to get through. I hope to have more to share with you soon.
Thank you Dana! I feel very fortunate to be able to make this change.
Thank you for the great suggestion Dan! I really appreciate it — even though I am responding to it a bit late.
Thanks Erin!

Sautéed Summer Greens

This is the first summer that I've lived in an apartment conducive to CSA deliveries. I was lucky to find an organic local foods delivery service that does not require a subscription, but instead will allow me to place an order any week I choose. I've had fun finding ways to use these fresh ingredients, especially those that are new to me like hon tsai tai and potato onions.

High quality produce is flavorful enough to stand on its own with little embellishment. My favorite summer dishes are often those that are quick and barely need a recipe.  Here is one that I have been making frequently with any greens I have on hand. 

Sautéed Summer Greens

Ingredients

1.5 Tbl olive oil

1 Tbl ground flax seeds

4 garlic cloves, chopped

8 ounces greens*

salt and pepper to taste

fresh lemon juice

Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to finish

(*I used a mix of arugula, chard, mustard, tat soi, bok choi, and mizuna from Harmony Valley Farm in Viroqua, Wisconsin. This gorgeous mix of greens was part of my most recent CSA delivery from Irv & Shelly's Fresh Picks.) 

Method

Rinse greens under cold water and spin dry. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground flax seeds and garlic and saute for one or two minutes.  Add greens, season with salt and pepper, and saute until just wilted. Remove from heat. Squeeze lemon juice over the greens to taste and transfer to a serving dish. Finish with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. 

Serves two to three as a side or one for a meal. 

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Nishta - just wanted to say it’s nice to see a post from you–I miss you when you are away!

Nishta - just wanted to say it’s nice to see a post from you–I miss you when you are away!

gemma - Thanks Nishta! I’ve had a lot of things going on lately. Some good, some bad. I couldn’t believe it when I noticed June had almost entirely gone by without a post!

gemma - Thanks Nishta! I’ve had a lot of things going on lately. Some good, some bad. I couldn’t believe it when I noticed June had almost entirely gone by without a post!

Porch Beer

Summer weather has arrived in Chicago with sweltering temperatures and high humidity (for May, at least). The later parts of this week will mercifully drop back down to the 70's. Here's to hoping my office will be able to figure out a method of cooling the building that doesn't make the power go out ten times a day before the next heat wave. 

These are the nights when I love to sit on our porch, watching the neighborhood come alive, hoping for a breeze. A cool drink doesn't hurt either. Here is a recipe for one of my favorites. After an inconclusive internet search, I've decided to call this simple concoction Porch Beer. I've seen this drink labeled a Chelada, but in my experience that name most often refers to a beer and clam juice cocktail. I certainly wouldn't want to confuse the two. Please let me know in the comments if you happen to know a more appropriate name. 

Porch Beer

Ingredients

12 oz. lager beer (I use Tecate)
1 lime
Kosher flake salt
4 large ice cubes

Method

Cut the lime into quarters and run one of the wedges around the rim of a 20 oz pint glass. Pour a tablespoon of salt into a flat dish and coat the glass rim.  Add four large ice cubes to the glass, squeeze in the lime juice, and add the lime quarters. Top with beer.

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Suzanne - Sounds refreshing,can’t wait to try this!

Suzanne - Sounds refreshing,can’t wait to try this!

Tim - Sounds DELISH! We’re going to try this (with Tecate, of course!) for our next “porch date.”

Tim - Sounds DELISH! We’re going to try this (with Tecate, of course!) for our next “porch date.”

dana - i could go for one right now. but it’s 9 am. sigh.

dana - i could go for one right now. but it’s 9 am. sigh.

kickpleat - This sounds perfect and it’s not even that warm out here yet. Nor is it even close to noon.

kickpleat - This sounds perfect and it’s not even that warm out here yet. Nor is it even close to noon.

and flowers pick themselves - it’s dreadfully humid in northeast ohio, too. this drink sounds like heaven.
xo Alison

and flowers pick themselves - it’s dreadfully humid in northeast ohio, too. this drink sounds like heaven.
xo Alison

keeanga - Its actually called a michelada…its from Mexico. While some micheladas can come with clam juice, its really just beer mixed with lime juice and salt.

keeanga - Its actually called a michelada…its from Mexico. While some micheladas can come with clam juice, its really just beer mixed with lime juice and salt.

My Communal Table - Oh, I used to do this and forgot all about it and I never gave is such a great name. Very Chicago! I am going to sit out on my back porch of my traditional Chicago three flat and have one tonight. Thanks

My Communal Table - Oh, I used to do this and forgot all about it and I never gave is such a great name. Very Chicago! I am going to sit out on my back porch of my traditional Chicago three flat and have one tonight. Thanks

gemma - Ha! Well, the jury is still out a name. I’ve had multiple emails/tweets insisting that this drink is both a michelada and a chelada. I am sticking with “Porch Beer” for now.
Thanks everyone! I hope you have had time to enjoy a tall glass as the country heats up for the summer.
Tim, so glad to hear others have porch dates! I really love watching our neighborhood.
My Communal Table, thanks! You’re right, there is something very Chicago about that name.

gemma - Ha! Well, the jury is still out a name. I’ve had multiple emails/tweets insisting that this drink is both a michelada and a chelada. I am sticking with “Porch Beer” for now.
Thanks everyone! I hope you have had time to enjoy a tall glass as the country heats up for the summer.
Tim, so glad to hear others have porch dates! I really love watching our neighborhood.
My Communal Table, thanks! You’re right, there is something very Chicago about that name.

ANdrea - I love this photo! IT makes me super thirsty.

ANdrea - I love this photo! IT makes me super thirsty.

KImproved - Looks awesome, I can’t wait to give it a try!

KImproved - Looks awesome, I can’t wait to give it a try!

Gemma - Thanks Andrea and KImproved!

Gemma - Thanks Andrea and KImproved!

Zucchini Pasta with Parsley Almond Pesto

Until quite recently, I would pass over recipes that used
squash as a stand-in for pastas. I assumed these dishes were for the low-carb dieters of the world, not for a cook with my appetite. I’m not sure what compelled me to finally give zucchini pasta a try last month, but I’m glad I finally came around.

Some recipes call for a mandoline, or a sharp knife and a
steady hand, to thinly slice the zucchini. I’ve found that using a vegetable
peeler to shave off thin ribbons provides consistently great results. The
recipe below makes a hearty serving for one with leftover pesto. Increase the zucchini
as necessary. Zucchini is also a great addition to regular pasta dishes. I like to add it to the lemon pepper pappardelle from Trader Joe’s. Just add the zucchini to the pasta water for the last minute or two of cooking and drain everything together before serving.

Zucchini “Pasta” with Parsley Almond Pesto

Ingredients

2 medium zucchini
2 Tbl whole almonds
1 C packed Italian parsley leaves
4 Tbl olive oil
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 small garlic clove, pressed
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano for serving

Method

To make the pesto, I follow this recipe from Molly and
Orangette
.

To prepare the zucchini, bring a medium pot of salted water
to a boil. Meanwhile, shave off thin slices of zucchini using a vegetable
peeler. When you reach the seeds in the middle of the squash, you may prefer to
stop peeling and reserve the zucchini heart for a salad. I usually continue to
peel and add the entire zucchini, but the texture will be slightly different,
so this is a matter of preference.

Add the zucchini to the boiling water for just a minute or
two. When the green of the zucchini brightens, test a piece. The zucchini
should be just tender. Do not over cook. Drain and transfer to a serving dish. Toss with a tablespoon or two of the pesto and finish off with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

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Meghan - What gorgeous photos!
I’m wary of such recipes myself. I, too, have a healthy appetite and enjoy pasta too much to think it needs to be substituted.
BUT–this dish looks so beautiful, healthy, and satisfying. I can’t wait for a bumper crop of zucchini this summer!

dana - i love this! i love my pasta, too, but when i want something light i’ll have something along these lines. sometimes i’ll keep it raw, either with pesto or a punchy lemony vinegraitte.

eileen - There is cool mesmeric beauty to this zucchini that makes you forget its food! Well done, Gemma.

dining room sets - This dish looks so beautiful! Well done and so creative.

ButterYum - Wow – I clicked over here from “Who’s Hungry”, and I’m happy to have found you. Congratulations on being one of the runners up in the photography contest. I’m sorry I missed entering – maybe there will be another one sometime.
Great blog!!!!
:)
ButterYum

Blue Jean Gourmet - Gemma–made this last weekend for a gathering and it was a big hit! I’m still enjoying the leftovers, plus I have a big jar of extra parsley pesto in the fridge destined for pasta later this week.

Nishta - Well, that big jar of leftover pesto ended up being tossed with roasted cauliflower & topped with grated Parmesan–SO GOOD. thanks again, Gemma.

gemma - Thank you everyone! I am still making this dish on a weekly basis. It’s so bright and refreshing.
Thanks Dana – Raw with a lemon vinaigrette sounds divine!
Nishta – I love having this pesto left over. Using it with cauliflower sounds amazing, great tip!

vanessa p - This recipe is extremely easy and delicious. I’m not a fan of zucchini but the photo and ease of recipe made it tempting to make. I will definitely make this next time I am craving pasta.

dining room tables - I find this recipe so easy to make. Love the color, too. Now I am suddenly craving for some pasta.