We have been seeing so many beautiful yellow butterflies the last few weeks at Frog Hollow Farm. Once the butterfly bush and phlox were in bloom there seemed to be an abundance of butterflies all over the gardens. FHFB took these photos for me - take a look at the butterflies in the front garden at Frog Hollow Farm.
Here's a picture of the phlox and black-eyed susans in bloom, with a couple of butterflies resting on the phlox on the left side of the photo.
A close up of two beautiful golden butterflies - just look at those bright blue markings. According to my research on Google and Wikipedia, these are Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies. The blue tail markings indicate that this is a female butterfly.
I love this photo because of the blurry movement of her top wings!
I couldn't post without including one of the monstrous zucchini coming out of FHFB's vegetable garden. We don't like the zucchini to get this big, but I swear they grow into these monstrosities overnight.
Last night I used about half of another large zucchini in a recipe from Viana LaPlace and Evan Kleinman's Pasta Fresco cookbook. Let's face it, with zucchini this size I need lots of zucchini recipes! This particular dish was easy to prepare and tasted absolutely delicious. A change for me was the recipe for the accompanying sauce, a sweet tomato sauce made with onions, carrots and celery. I'm not an onion person - the taste is just too strong for me - so I used organic leeks and the sauce turned out great. It's a nice change from the marinara that I usually make which is chock full of herbs and garlic - another recipe for the cookbook that my friend Liz and I always talk about writing! You also need to know that I cheated a bit and used the fresh flat lasagna noodles that are found next to the fresh pasta in your grocery store. These are easy to work with and are very light tasting - I only use these when making lasagna or cannelloni these days. I don't have the time to boil the standard dry lasagna noodles - and to me, they are much heavier than the fresh pasta sheets.
Cannelloni agli Zucchini
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
3 small, firm zucchini, ends removed, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, peeling and minced
large handfull of chopped Italian parsley
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
6 fresh mint leaves, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound of ricotta cheese
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 pound mozzarella packed in water, diced fine
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese - divided
1 package of fresh lasagna noodles from the dairy case
1 recipe Sweet Tomato Sauce (see below)
FOR THE FILLING
Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan. Add the zucchini and garlic, and fry lightly over moderate heat until the zucchini is golden brown. Add the herbs, salt, and pepper at the end of the cooking time. Remove from the heat and cool. In a bowl beat together the ricotta, egg, mozzarella and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese with a wooden spoon. Add the zucchini mix to the cheese mix and stir.
Place one of the fresh lasagna noodles with the long side facing you. Fill with 3 T. of the zucchini mix along the bottom edge of the pasta, and roll up into a tight tube. As you finish each roll, place it seam down in a lightly oiled baking dish in which you have put a thin layer of Sweet Tomato Sauce (see below). Top the finished cannelloni with the remaining tomato sauce. Sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan cheese and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes - until the sauce is bubbling and the cannelloni are heated all the way through.
SWEET TOMATO SAUCE
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/2 small onion or leek
1 small celery stalk, minced
1 carrot, peeled and minced
6 large red ripe tomatoes, or 12 Roma tomatoes or 1 28-ounce can of imported Italian tomatoes
(I used the 28 ounce can)
2-3 fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the garlic, onion or leek, celery and carrot. Cook over medium heat until the onion (or leek) are somewhat tender, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook over moderate heat until the tomatoes give up their juice and begin to thicken. Add the basil, salt and pepper.
When the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon, remove it from the heat and pass it through the coarse blade of a food mill. I don't have a food mill so I used my hand-held little blender wand and pureed it right in the skillet.
I'm linked in to The Tablescaper's Summer Sundays. Take a look at all of this week's summer postings.