Welcome to my Kitchen Domain, summer version. I practically live in this room during this time of the year when my kitchen garden's got it going on. Like most other gardeners right now, I'm up to here with zucchini. And I'm loving it.
I save an incredible amount of money on groceries during the summer because we're eating mostly fresh from the garden. Very little meat or poultry.
Today I made my own version of Zucchini Lasagna using my own tomatoes and store-bought crushed tomatoes, ricotta cheese, mozzarella, and all fresh herbs. When the mother load of tomatoes arrive, I won't be needing the canned crushed. I'll be crushing them myself.
Enough zucchini, sliced as thinly as possible lengthwise, to make two layers in a 13-inch pan
As many fresh red, very ripe, tomatoes as you have, sliced thinly
One large can of crushed tomatoes from the grocer
One thinly sliced onion
One bell pepper sliced thinly
One small-sized carton of ricotta cheese
About 2 cups of Mozzarella cheese
About a tablespoon of fresh basil, thyme, and Rosemary (about 1/2 teaspoon for dried herbs)
Beat the ricotta and the egg together until smooth. Spoon a small amount of crushed tomatoes across the bottom of your pan. Layer half your zucchini slices over that. Top with half your sliced tomatoes, onions, and peppers. Ladle half the remaining crushed tomatoes over the vegetables. Sprinkle over that half the herbs. Spread half the ricotta and egg mixture over the herbs. Ladle and sprinkle half the mozzarella over that.
For the second layer, place the rest of the zucchini slices over first layer, top with remaining sliced tomatoes, ricotta, herbs, and half of remaining mozzarella. Top with remaining crushed tomatoes, and sprinkle rest of mozzarella over all. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, testing that the zucchinis are fork tender.
Son Jeff loves pickles, so I'm letting some salted zucchini slices stand in the frig, which will become "Sweet and Spicy Zucchini Pickles" later tonight or tomorrow morning. Found this recipe on Pinterest, pinned by My Pantry Shelf. I'm looking forward to having these on my pantry shelf.
Also working on my own natural insect repellent using my fresh herbs. Decided today, after being almost eaten alive by the mosquitoes in a Nashville park over the weekend, to make this and see how it works. Those heavy chemical sprays make me sick and give me migraines. Plus I don't think our lungs should be inhaling those fumes.
Basically I boiled a cup of water on the stove and then added about a tablespoon each of spearmint, lavender, Rosemary, and thyme. This mixture is sitting, covered, on the counter. When it's cooled completely, I'll remove the herbs, add about a cup of alcohol (Witch Hazel is probably better, but I don't have any). Then the mixture goes into a spray bottle. I read where it's best to keep it in the frig and taken out when needed.
I'll let you know how it works. I'm serious bug bait for some reason, my blood type probably.
Back to my kitchen domain. Almost supper time. Oh, we're having homemade vanilla ice cream with fresh peach slices. Happy eating, ya'll.