Versatile zucchini mixes well from soup to muffins

Posted July 28, 2014, at 3 p.m.

Welcome to the Farmers Market Corner. This is a great time of year for enjoying fresh, local produce, baked goods, dairy, meat and more at local farmers markets. During the 2014 growing season, we wanted to share information with readers of The Weekly about the many farmers markets in this area. Each week, vendors or customers from local farmers markets will share tips about unfamiliar foods you can find at your local markets, fun recipes to try with seasonally available produce, and highlights about specific farms you can learn about at the markets.

Did you know there are 12 farmers markets in Penobscot County? Find out which ones they are

at the Maine Federation of Farmers Markets website: http://www.mainefarmersmarkets.org/

shoppers/.

Three of those local markets offer a 25 percent matching discount for customers paying with SNAP/EBT (sponsored by Food AND Medicine). They are Bangor Farmers Market, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays at Harlow St parking lot across from the library; Ohio Street Farmers Market, 2-6 p.m. Wednesdays at the Bangor Grange across from Finson Rd; and Brewer Farmers Market, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays at the Brewer Auditorium parking lot, Wilson Street.

The vegetable item of the week is zucchini. Zucchini is a summer squash which can reach nearly a meter in length, but which are usually harvested at half that size or less. Zucchini can be dark or light green. A related hybrid, the golden zucchini, is a deep yellow or orange color. Zucchini can be prepared many ways — sauteed, baked, fried, roasted, grilled, pickled, added to bread and muffin recipes, or eaten raw.

This week’s recipe:

Easy Vegetable Soup

1 tsp. olive oil

½ onion peeled and diced

1 red bell pepper seeded and diced

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 15-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes

1 quart chicken broth or water

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp. dried summer savory or oregano.

2 medium-sized chopped zucchini

2 medium-sized chopped yellow summer squash

In a large pot, saute the onions, peppers and carrots for approximately 5 minutes until softened. Add the squash, tomatoes, spices and water; cover the pot and cook at medium heat for 15 minutes. Serve hot. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Lois Baxter is a volunteer at Food AND Medicine, a nonprofit located at 20 Ivers St. in Brewer. For information, email fam@foodandmedicine.org, call 989-5860 or visit foodandmedicine.org.

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