How to Enjoy the Delicious Versatility and Nourishment of Pennsylvania’s Bounty

July 13, 2018

No matter how you access local vegetables – farm stand, roadside stand, farmers market, or CSA –  there’s rarely a Pennsylvania growing season that passes without delivering an abundance of zucchini. Thankfully, zucchini is incredibly versatile. You can even eat it raw! This time of year, it’s often eaten right off the grill with just a pinch of salt and pepper. It doesn’t get any easier than that! However, when you’re ready to excite your palate and explore something new, you can count on paveggies.org’s recipes to guide you through that exploration. The recently redesigned website features recipes for almost every type of Pennsylvania vegetable you could imagine, and the latest zucchini recipes come complete with a video tutorial, too.

Zucchini Noodle dishes, like the one featured here (below), are a crowd favorite and come together in no time, but don’t write off the Zucchini Fritters and Chocolate Zucchini Muffins featured in the PA Veggies video as well. No matter which recipe, or recipes, you decide to follow, it all starts with finding the best local vegetables.

First, start at a local source. Local vegetables are not only more flavorful, they contain more nutrients than “cross country” vegetables, because there is less time between harvest and consumption. When it comes to zucchini, you should consider selecting those that are on the small side, as the flesh will be more tender and the vegetable will have more flavor. The best size for zucchini is about six to eight inches long and two inches or less in diameter. If the zucchini has a darker skin, then the nutrient content is richer. Some of the most sought after nutrients that zucchini contains include fiber, vitamin c, and potassium. They have a low calorie count, making them a perfect, healthy vegetable alternative for several carb-heavy dishes, like pasta. When you work in additional vegetables, like tomatoes, onion, or fennel, grown fresh by your local farmers, zucchini noodle dishes can really sing, and impress a crowd.

Since zucchini grows so abundantly during its season, farmers are often eager to sell it in bulk. When you’re buying bulk, it’s best to connect with your farmer directly. Chances are, you won’t just get the best product and piece of mind knowing where your food came from, you’re likely to get a better price, too. You can head to your local on-farm market, a roadside farm stand, or a farmers’ market and discuss details with the crew on-site. Consider calling ahead if you don’t want to chance the availability of your large order. Farmers will often take note of your request and include it in the next harvest when they can’t fulfill it that same day. Once you’ve obtained your desired amount and you’re ready to begin preparing, it’s easy as pie to make additional servings with each recipe from the PA Veggies’ video, and freeze leftovers for the future.

Zucchini Noodles

Change the way you think about pasta, and lower the carbohydrates count, with this delicious vegetable alternative!

What You’ll Need:

  • Vegetable spiralizer
  • 2 large zucchini, stems and bottoms removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • Zest from 1/2 a lemon
  • 4 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon mint leaves, cut into thin strips (chiffonade)

How to Make:

  • Spiralize the zucchini into thin noodles.
  • Heat oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.
  • Add garlic and lemon zest to the olive oil.
  • Sauté until fragrant, being careful not to brown the garlic.
  • Add the zucchini to the skillet and toss while heating.
  • Don’t overcook! Just heat the zucchini through.
  • Top with Parmesan and mint. Serve and enjoy!

Expert Tips:

  • Add chili flakes or sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Substitute spiralized carrots for half of the zucchini.
  • Garnish with bread crumbs and paprika.

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  • Is 2019 the year of fennel? It may be when you find out how simple it is to prepare. Braising is one of our favorite methods, finishing in the oven with a sprinkle of Parmesan. You can also chop it up and enjoy it raw in a salad. Look for it from your local farmers and enjoy the homegrown happiness. #paveggies #fennel #pennsylvania #vegetable #farmers #braising #braised #homegrown #health #happiness
  • Seasonal vegetables have more nutrients than their counterparts making them an excellent choice for your health. Eating seasonally is a guaranteed way to support your local farmers too. Asparagus is in season here in PA. This is a glimpse at a first pick from @paulusfarmmarket Aren’t they beautiful!? #asparagus #paveggies #seasonal #seasons #pennsylvania #vegetables #eatlocal #buyfreshbuylocal #buyfreshbuylocalpa #healthy #nutrition #eatwiththeseasons
  • Clever and true signage spotted in Perkasie, PA from @bloomingglenfarm 😁 Double tap if you love seeing the farmers’ personalities expressed through their signs all across Pennsylvania. What’s the most memorable message you’ve ever seen? #paveggies #pennsylvania #vegetable #farmers #veggies #farmerfunny #knowyourfarmer #farmhumor #bfbl #buyfreshbuylocal #buyfreshbuylocalpa
  • Grafting is a horticultural technique whereby tissues of plants are joined so as to continue their growth together. This technique is commonly used on particular tomato varieties in Pennsylvania in greenhouses and high tunnels to improve the yield and/or disease resistance. #tomato #tomatoes #farming #agriculture #paveggies #pennsylvania #grafting
  • We want our Instagram followers to see through the eyes of PA farmers, chefs, market managers, and PA veggie lovers of all shapes and sizes. Sound like you? Message us for details! #paveggies #pennsylvania #farmer #chef #farmersmarket #marketmanager #foodie #vegetarian #veggielover #vegetables #visitpa #papreferred #paeats #nutritionist #healthnut #pa #papride #food #agriculture #farmtotable #buyfreshbuylocal #buyfreshbuylocalpa #knowyourfarmer #localfood #locavore @papreferred @pa_local_grow @pa.eats @pawagn6954 @pasafarming @pafarmmarkets @pafarmbureau @visit_pa
  • As we always say, storage is so crucial for proper #paveggies enjoyment. Thanks for this lovely demonstration @taprootfarmpa #Repost @taprootfarmpa
・・・
Ok y’all, @bonappetitmag has put together #aweekendwithoutplastic campaign so I wanted to share my favorite way to store cooking greens like Kale, Swiss chard, Boc choy...you name it.
🌱first thing I do is wet the whole bunch of greens
🌱then I take a cotton or linen cloth, and wet the whole cloth too...just soak it and ring it out so it’s soaked through, but not dripping.
🌱for this I’m using a furoshiki cloth from @thekitchengardenseries (Philly based!) that I absolutely adore and use all the time for just about everything in the kitchen!
🌱next just wrap up your greens so they are completely covered. Put your bundle into your fridge, and you’re good!  No plastic!
And perfectly stored greens! The greens will last for a close to a week this way, just re-dampen your cloth if it dries out. We can do this!! Less is more ❤️ #taprootfarmpa #taprootfarmcsa #passionforfoodpassionforsustainability
  • If you used some #paveggies preservation tips from paveggies.org, perhaps you still have last season tomatoes to put into action for this delicious dip. #Repost @pa.eats
・・・
We love this from-scratch queso recipe featuring PA cheese and homemade salsa using @paveggies! Marisa McClellan of @foodinjars stopped by the Pennsylvania Kitchen to whip up this insanely easy and delightful snack. You can find the recipe on PAEats.com and in Marisa’s latest cookbook, The Food in Jars Kitchen. In this new cookbook you’ll find 140 ways to utilize preserved pantry goodies. We will be launching an Instagram contest this week to giveaway a copy of the book! Stay tuned. 🧀 #PAEats #PennsylvaniaKitchen
  • Did you know just half a cup of asparagus contains 1.8 grams of fiber, which is 7% of your daily needs? We have our clocks on local asparagus countdown. Not too much longer! What’s the first thing you’ll make after locating local #paveggies
  • Keeping calm and thinking warm thoughts. #paveggies #planting #plantingseason #pennsylvania #vegetables #greenhouse #paproduce

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