I love zucchini. It’s so versatile for cooking. You can use it in salads, omelettes, stir fry, you can grill it, and you can even make a delicious zucchini bread to go with your morning coffee. You can also make noodles out of it and use with your favorite sauce!

Zucchini is low in calories and rich in vitamins such as B-12, potassium, and  betacarotene.

It’s easy to grow in abundance, but requires plentiful bee pollination, which is why it’s so important to preserve our bees.

I buy zucchini from Santa Ynez Farms because local is more important than organic, in my opinion. Many of these small producers can’t afford the organic certification, and many practice organic and sustainable ways of farming.

Here you see beautiful zucchini with their flowers, which are great when you stuff them with herb ricotta cheese and hazelnuts and then fry them!

One of my favorite, and by far the simplest zucchini recipes, is my grilled zucchini recipe:

Half them first, then brush them with olive oil, season with salt and grill them. While they cook, zest and juice a lemon and set both aside. Mix the lemon juice  with a good-quality olive oil, dried chili, parmesan, fresh mint, and just a drizzle of aged balsamic. Blend everything together.

Place the zucchini on a plate with the marked “flesh” up and drizzle the olive oil mixture all over, then sprinkle with the lemon, parmesan, and fresh mint.

Santa Maria and Santa Ynez are great for growing these beauties, and that is where I get most of our produce. Local, fresh and tasty… supporting local economy and reducing  our carbon footprint at the same time. I love California for its diversity of people and fresh produce.

Bon Apetite
~Chef Kamil