McAfee and Norton couldn't protect me.
I have crashed and burned.
I think that I have caught whatever blighted the zucchini in Rebecca Johnson's community garden spot.
I have always been blessed with bountiful zucchini crops. My plants had huge, green elephant ear leaves and countless yellow blossoms. Careful harvests of small, young, and tender fruits were a daily occurrence, and always at least one sneaky zucchini hid among the vines to become a monster.
Zucchini was a staple in our summer diet to be sliced, sauteed, grilled, and baked. Big hunks of the larger clubs were shredded for muffins, quick breads, cakes, and cookies. I froze 2-cup portions in zip-topped bags for winter baking delights and simmered pots of pureed zucchini butter that warmed our biscuits and toast.
Not this year.
Not at all.
The leaves are spotted and brown. The vines are withering. Squash that does set on wrinkles and rots.
I blame Rebecca.
I never should have read her South Dakota Magazine article.
My zucchini was fine before that.
Now, my garden has caught an internet virus.
It was deadly.
Thankfully, I did have a small crop before the blight hit my plant. Combined with fresh from the cob sweet corn and tossed with pasta in a buttery broth, the zucchini squash is a highlight of this meatless dish. Serve it as a side with grilled chicken, fish, or even steaks, or all on its own with flavorful shards of Parmesan to garnish.
(adapted from Martha Stewart)
1 pound dried pasta (penne or other tube-shaped pasta works well)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 small zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch thick half-moons
3 cups fresh corn, cut from the cob
3 green onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons jalapeno, minced (about 1/2 of a pepper)
1 cup chicken stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Cook pasta according to package directions in salted water.
Heat oil in a large skillet.
Add squash and cook until softened and lightly browned.
Add corn, green onions, garlic, and jalapeno with the butter.
Season with salt and pepper and cook until corn is tender.
Add pasta and chicken stock.
Stir and simmer until pasta is well coated with buttery broth.
Garnish with shavings of Parmesan cheese. (Serves 4 as a main dish; more as a side dish)