Our BBQ/Grilling expert Joi Disroe takes a break from the grill this month and shares with us the latest object of her culinary obesession, Zucchini! ~ Heather Watkins Jones
A lot of excitement was stirred when United States, Allyson Felix won the 200m finals on August 8th. August 8th, was also a holiday – National Zucchini Day. Did anyone drop off zucchini at your door or bring some into work with a sticky note “Help yourself to the Zucchini”? Well, that’s how National Zucchini Day was begun. Zucchini doesn’t get much recognition. You would think it would get more press; when it comes to nutrition, Zucchini is packed with lots of Vitamin A and C and only 16 calories. Instead of Wheaties, maybe Allyson ate her “Zucchini”.
In French, the word zucchini is for a vegetable or “courgette” and is commonly used in France, Ireland and the UK. “Zucca” is the Italian word for squash and “zucchini” is the plural masculine form and known as a fruit. So, it’s a vegetable/fruit. According to good ole Wikipedia, the first records of zucchini in the United States back to early 1920s, by Italian immigrants and was first cultivated in the US in California.
I love me some zucchini! The dishes and uses are limitless. I admit I’ve stuck to the faithful 3Z’s, such as the basic sautéed Zucchini, Zucchini Casserole and one of my all- time favorites Zucchini Lasagna. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a grilled veggie patter filled with grilled veggies drizzled with a bit of olive oil and balsamic glaze. It’s a perfect dish with any grilled meats. Check out an earlier post on Rice Oil, which I think will provide the same effect and taste as the olive oil.
Yet, it’s time to change it up a bit. I needed to seek inspiration….“ Hello Pinterest”. If you haven’t heard of Pinterest by now, you must be a crawled up in a hole somewhere. Its the hottest growing social media site next to Facebook. I had a few Zucchini recipes on my board already, but when I ran a search for other Zucchini boards a whole garden full of pins came up. I ran across a pin recipe for Black Bean and Chard Tacos with Zucchini-Avocado Salsa. The original recipe comes from Bon Appetit.
You can find the original recipe on my pinterest board here . I changed it up a bit. Of course you can add or take away any main ingredient filler, it’s all based upon your own taste buds. I added smoked chicken along with the black beans for our tacos, but the star of the show was definitely the salsa. Unfortunately, I didn’t get pictures. The BBQman was gobbling up the tacos before I had a chance to grab the camera. Smoke or grill a little chicken and give these bad boys a try, they are Zucchini-delicious!
Zucchini-avocado Salsa1 Zucchini
½ c cilantro
¼ cup chopped red onion
Zest from 1 lime and juice from 2 limes
pinch of cayenne or 1 tsp chopped jalapeno (which I did receive fresh from the a friends garden) in place of the cayenne I used a milder Cajun spice blend since I had the jalapeno
½ tsp honey
1 small avocado diced
Salt & pepper to taste
Toss all of the ingredients in a bowl and let the salsa sit for at least a half hour to let the flavors meld together. Serve with the tacos of your choice.