Apologies for the delayed post. For whatever reason, this post about the medium sized zucchini was the hardest for me to decide on. I flipped through every cookbook I have and went into the archives of several blogs looking for inspiration. I considered making this inventive cobbler which I am still going to try, and I also considered some iteration of this but I have yet to buy a spiral slicer (next on my “to buy” list for the kitchen). I settled on pasta-less lasagna. The mornings and evenings have turned cold here and I find myself less drawn to chilled soups and salads for dinner. I want hot food but I still don’t want the heavier pastas and stews of winter. This lasagna, using slabs of zucchini and eggplant in place of the noodles is a nice middle ground–hot, comforting, gooey with cheese but light and fresh and full of the summer garden harvest. I didn’t include a recipe for the pesto here because I never really measure when I make it. Basically I throw salt, a clove or two of garlic, a raw nut of my choosing (walnuts this time) and big handfuls of herbs (basil & lemon balm in equal measure) into the food processor, hit “on”, and pour good olive oil into the feed tube until I get the texture I want. From there I salt, pepper, and re-herb as needed. It requires, as most cooking does, the happy job of multiple taste tests.
Lemon balm is antibacterial and has been used topically to dress and heal wounds for centuries. When ingested it is said to help with digestion, relieve nausea, and help with troubles of the liver, spleen, kidneys and bladder.
Basil is a member of the mint family. It helps stimulate appetite and digestion and it is a tonic for frazzled nerves. It is a natural breath freshener and can help counteract flatulence, constipation, nausea, and stomach cramps. It is a mild antibacterial and anti fungal so the leaves can be used topically to alleviate itching skin and insect bites.
Bonus: They are both delicious!!!