The harvest season prompts new uses for garden produce, especially those "cukes and zukes."
I was thrilled when a neighbor, Rose Johnson, brought me cucumbers from her garden another excuse to make cucumber limeade. When my daughter tasted this concoction at a party, she told me we HAD to get the recipe from Londa Davis, a caterer who lives in our neighborhood.
A while later, I helped out with a wedding reception where Londa was catering, and one of my jobs was keeping the punch bowl filled. So I found out just how simple this drink is to make. Now we make it all the time, although I usually don't use as much ice.The cucumber gives it a refreshing flavor twist.
12-ounce can limeade concentrate
2 liters Sprite
1 sliced cucumber
Place limeade concentrate in a large pitcher. Add Sprite, cucumber and ice.
Zucchini is often a stealth veggie, disguised in breads and brownies. But, this tart puts it in the spotlight. It's also a quick fix, thanks to refrigerated pie crust and flavored cream cheese. Zucchini gives off a lot of moisture during cooking, but if it's sliced thinly and placed on top of the cream cheese (rather than at the bottom), the liquid evaporates and tart doesn't get soggy. I like using a mandolin to get very thin, uniform zucchini slices. If you've got some fresh herbs like oregano, basil or rosemary in your garden, sprinkle them on for added flavor.
To keep the pie crust from getting soggy, coat it thoroughly with the cream cheese. And, thinly slice the zucchini to help its moisture evaporate during baking.
1 9- or 10-inch pie crust, unbaked
8 ounces chive-flavored cream cheese
1 large or 2 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Place crust in a tart pan or pie plate; prick with fork. Bake 6-7 minutes at 400 degrees, until crust just begins to turn golden. Remove from oven; allow to cool slightly. Spread cream cheese over the crust; this is easier to do when the cheese melts slightly.
Arrange zucchini slices on top of the cream cheese mixture, in two or three overlapping circular layers. Sprinkle with Parmesan, pepper, salt and garlic powder. Bake at 400 degrees about 10 minutes, or until crust is browned and zucchini is tender. If crust edges begin to get too brown the last few minutes, cover with a ring of foil, a crust protector, or a paper plate with the center cut out.
Variations: Use other flavors of spreadable cheese, or flavored soft goat cheese, and add thin slices of tomato.