Zucchini is one of my favorite summer vegetables that can satisfy any palate in any number of ways. Not only is it plentiful at every North Fork farm stand but by the end of the summer, many of your friends might be trying to unload it for free!
Baked au gratin, fried, stuffed, used in quick breads, cheesy biscuits, tossed in pasta, risotto, soups and so many other ways.
I remember the most delicious zucchini bisque with Venetian shrimp we ate at La Caravella restaurant; the hotel in the Saturnia, on a family trip to Italy. My mother was under the weather and wanted a simple soup. She settled her tummy with an aperitivo of Amaro made from artichoke accompanied by a glass of bubbly water. The soup was creamy yet light; and had a bit of tang from lemon juice and the fresh taste of tender garden zucchini puréed with homemade stock. I had a taste and loved it so much that we went back the next night to have it again. The bisque was garnished with their delicious “gamberini” from area waters (similar to the local shrimp you get in Portland, Maine). But in remaining true to the Meatless Monday concept of making the veg the main event, I decided to go all in on the whole zucchini plant for this recipe and garnish the soup with fried zucchini blossoms stuffed with local goat cheese from Catapano Farms. Try this recipe for the squash blossoms https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4deFApRCQRw&app=desktop
All you need is a green salad starter or secondi along with some red wine and this soup makes for a rich, satisfying meal.
Buon appetito, and if you find yourself in Venice, stop by La Caravella and ask for the table next to the wait station. Watching real waiters moving around like ballerinas while de-boning fish with one hand and pouring Prosecco with the other; serving with grace and passion, will forever alter your standards and ruin you for life. But you will enjoy while in the dream!
2 lbs of small, tender zucchini (do not peel)
1 tbsp. of lemon juice
1 liter of SeasonedFork garden stock or SeasonedFork roast chicken stock
Salt to taste
1/4 cup of EVOO
2 shallots rough chopped
Saute the zucchini in 1/4 cup of EVOO
Then add the shallots and sauté until golden brown
Add the stock to the pot and boil until the zucchini are tender
Allow to cool and use an emersion blender to puree until smooth
Add salt and pepper to taste
Should be creamy but light — not thick like a chowder.
Finish with half and half and a knob of butter before serving (optional as this recipe is fine without the dairy)
Garnish with fried squash blossoms.