Last week marked a very special anniversary. Happy Birthday, Silver Fox! To celebrate, on Saturday morning we enjoyed some clothes-shopping on my dime. And that evening, we attended a benefit dinner for the Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, New York.
The Sylvia Center’s mission is to improve the lives of at-risk children by giving them the opportunity to connect with nature and learn about nutritious and healthy eating through hands-on experiences at the aforementioned organic farm, as well as a learning kitchen in New York City. To learn more, please watch the video clip above.
The dinner — for 400 guests! — was preceded by cocktails and appetizers. One particular appetizer grabbed my attention: a scooped-out slice of zucchini, filled with creamy horseradish sauce and a garnish of orange salmon eggs, or “roe.” While the toppings were lovely, the container itself was a revelation for me. Oh, the possibilities of this farm-to-table finger food!
You might like to make your own version of zucchini cups, just as I did on Sunday. Nothing could be easier to make:
First, grab one or more fresh, young (read: not-too-large) zucchinis. As my accident-prone sous-chef, Mr. Bill, will tell you, baseball bat-size zukes are not suitable for raw eating. They are filled with large seeds, and their flesh is tough not tender.
After you’ve sliced off the ends, cut the zukes into crosswise rounds. I cut the fat ends 1-inch thick, and the narrow ends 1 1/2-inches thick.
Now grab a melon baller…
And use it to scoop out an opening in each round. Pop the scooped out flesh right into your mouth. Or save it for soup.
Ta-dah! It took me all of 60 seconds to make these handsome cups.
Now comes the creative question: With what shall we fill these little rounds?
Well, you can fill them anything you like.
You could, for instance, fill some of the cups with egg salad…
And a garnish of fresh, minced parsley.
Other rounds might invite chicken salad…
And some thinly-sliced scallions.
This cup cried out for a dollop of creme fraiche…
And a thin strip of sun-dried tomato.
Obviously the filling-possibilities are unlimited.
Arrange the filled cups on a pretty platter…
And serve them to your still-sober cocktail guests.
Or, do what I did today, and enjoy the rounds all by yourself for lunch! I can tell you the versions above were absolutely delicious. I felt healthy for eating them, too, because…raw zucchini.
No printable recipe today, because zucchini cups are not, in fact, a “recipe.” They’re simply a culinary technique that I hope you’ll try before zucchini season has passed.
In the comments field below, do give me your thoughts on the Sylvia Center’s work. And if you’re feeling creative, then by all means post your ideas for other no-cook fillings that would compliment the zucchini cups. I’m all ears!