As I proceeded to look under the big leaves that towered over the medium to small sized zucchini's that were obviously hiding from view, I found a coupla of what I call "Little Busters zucchini" smiling up at me. (They are called that because they bust a prolific sweat on my brow hunting for them.) As usual, sweat was forming and puddling on those huge zucchini leaves, the sun was blazing in all its glory during one of those "Dog Days" in rural Maryland mid-August. Even though there was enough to feed every single person on our windy country road, that little zucchini looked perky and delicious. Scratching my head I pondered for a minute. "What could I do to another zucchini that hasn't been done this summer at least 20 times?" (Besides throwing them over the fence.) I spotted Dennis with his sun hat on bending over the tomato patch, with big beaming tomatoes greeting him. After a long afternoon spent weeding through the garden on that blistering afternoon we weren't very hungry, after all. Told Dennis to grab the biggest tomato he could find while I took "Little Buster" the zucchini and headed home in the "tomato wagon". By nightfall, after the animals and the farm settled down to sleep soundly, Dennis and I shared this salad, right on the porch overlooking the twinkling valley below. A nice glass of water, tingled with large ice cubes and lemon, a china plate and a nice helping of this salad was all we ever needed....in all the world that blessed August evening.
- 2 ounces orzo pasta, cooked (cool in icebox if you get a chance or use any small pasta you choose)
- 1 small zucchini, peeled (cut into long thin strips)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups tomatoes, diced
- 1⁄2 cup mozzarella cheese (cut into cubes)
- 3 sprigs spring onions, loosely chopped (or any onion if you don't have on hand)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (or dried decrease to 1 teaspoon for taste)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (or "salad" oil as we say on the farm)
- 1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper, ground (to taste)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Throw peeled and sliced zucchini on some paper towels and sprinkle with salt, add another paper towel to top to sop up any zucchini juices.
- In another bowl, mix together tomatoes, mozzarella, cilantro, spring onion, lemon juice, olive oil and seasonings.
- On a plate, place a couple of tablespoons cooked Orzo pasta. (Pasta could be hot or chilled doesn't matter but do what you like.).
- Add paper toweled and dried zucchini on top of Orzo.
- Dish out tomato mixture on top of zucchini and Orzo.