Zucchini and Asparagus Melange

With summer, and asparagus season, slipping away I thought I should get this out right away. I’ve been meaning to post it for months now. I began making this a few months ago, trying to add variation to my veggies. It was so good, I’ve been making it weekly in big batches. I, and Wally, never get tired of it.
Zucchini Asparagus Melange
As with most of my recipes, especially sautés like this one, it is wildly variable.
I put down some guidelines, the rest is up to you.

This could be great done on a BBQ as well, in one of those grilling baskets (without the shredded cauliflower variation)

This takes about 15 minutes from start to finish – it is so easy yet so delicious, the perfect recipe!

Basic Ingredients:
Tomato (red pepper is good too, but there are so many options)
Olive Oil or Butter
Fennel Seed
Salt, Pepper, Basil (fresh or dried) and whatever else tickles your fancy.
I have a lavender salt from Sonoma (I carry it in my shop) that I love in this recipe.
The lavender adds a hint of sharpness
Touch of Balsamic

Add ins:
Leek or onion (sauté first and then add zucchini)
Red Pepper
Shredded Cauliflower (I put my in the Cuisinart and do a whole head and use it all week in various things – great sautéed with an egg in the morning, just like hash browns)
Once again, I will let you tickle your fancy on this one. Go for it.

Optional, but delicious
Pecorino Cheese or Vella or Manchego or Parmesan or any cheese you like

Here’s what I do:

Cut up the zucchini in strips, a julienne if you will
If using leeks I do those as well now
I also cut up the asparagus – I use the tips and part of the stem
Cut your tomato – or do it as your zucchini is cooking

Get a good frying pan and put in olive oil or butter and melt over medium to medium high heat.
When hot add in leeks if using or just add in zucchini.
Sauté until soft, add seasoning (the lavender salt is good here).

Take out of the pan.

Add in Asparagus (may need a bit more oil, I like butter with asparagus but that is me)
Add in Fennel seed – just a touch and season as you like it.
After just a minute or so, add in the tomatoes. You just want to heat them.

Don’t overcook the Asparagus. It takes just a few minutes, they turn bright green and should be a bit crisp.

Splash the asparagus with a dash of Balsamic Vinegar.

Put all the vegetables in a bowl and if you want, grate a bit of cheese over it.
The Vella (an aged jack from Sonoma) is wonderful as is the pecorino, but I’ve used various cheese. I once added a little of the amazing Crave Brothers Mascarpone to this and it made it rich and decadent.

If you like the cauliflower idea, you can sauté that first and take it out or add the zucchini to it.
Shredded cauliflower has a rice like consistency and adds a nice texture, as well as lots of nutrients.

Be sure to cook everything lightly – undercook veggies rather than overcook.

I have added this mixture to the Trader Joe’s cooked lentils mixed with rice to lighten them up – delicious and a complete meal.

Of course this could be served with pasta.
And so on and so on….

Go ahead, get chopping and creative!

Party On!

Earlier this year I made the decision to have the front doors of Fancifull be the portal to meeting new people, promoting worthy causes, and gastronomic exploration. So I guess I have no one but myself to blame for the non stop events within the world of Fancifull.

Two weeks ago when the Green Drinks group called and said they needed a place to hold a mixer that week, we said, “Sure come on down.” On Thursday, July 16, We got to play host to forty or so green minded individuals and check out one of the prototype hydrogen cell cars one of our clients is testing.

The following night was the inauguration of Flights of Fancifull Wine Classes. This was an intimate sit down affair, but was far from stuffy. Wally lead the class admirably, bringing in fresh herbs for our participants to smell in order to recognize the scents in the wine. It was all from the Languedoc region of France, known for its dry climate and an abundance of herbs everywhere. We all exchanged opinions, questions, wine, food, and then ended with a focused chocolate tasting. It was so much fun we are continuing these sessions with a Pinot Noir Class on Thursday July 30th and another on Sparkling Wines on Friday August 21st.
Check out our schedule http://www.fancifullgiftbaskets.com

The parties continued on Wednesday the 22nd as the Association of Celebrity Personal Assistants held their monthly meeting at our shop on Melrose. A fun group to be sure, we ate, drank and laughed until way past 10 pm. Patricia Heaton came and spoke on behalf of the Westside Pregnancy Clinic , which is a counseling and support center with the purpose of bringing resources to those wanting to make informed decisions regarding unexpected pregnancies.

We couldn’t put away our party shoes yet, because on Thursday we were off to L.A.’s Biggest Mixer at the Shrine. We mixed and mingled with companies from all over the Southland, requainting ourselves with many people as well as making new friends.
Whew! Being a social butterfly can be exhausting, so much wing flapping to do.

We love it and wouldn’t have it any other way. We may not look like much on the outside, but once you come in, you enter the world of Fancifull. Wally and I will continue to make Fancifull a place where people can come and enjoy some of the best life has to offer, whether it be food, wine, information, or new friendships.

Note: Sorry there are no photos, my camera refuses to speak to my computer. What did my computer say this time to make my camera so mad?
A counseling session is imminent