Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Midsummer Zucchini Strawberry Bruschetta


Hello people!  Summer is in full swing in Montreal and I don't know about you, but I am ON FIRE.  I've always been somewhat sensitive to heat, but I find that being in a city makes it....more challenging.  Cement, car exhaust, lack of access to lakes, the demands of society to wear clothes, it just ain't right.  To top it all off I've inherited a weird "hot foot" thing from my dad.  In the middle of the night my feet often feel like they're about to burst into flames.  As a result, it's not uncommon to find me with feet submerged in a bathtub of cold water at 3am.

The truth is,  I'm prone to over-heating which makes me (extra) cranky, short-tempered, and generally unpleasant to be around.  Philippe put his hand on my thigh during one of these bouts yesterday and I nearly slugged him.  It was a gesture of affection, but felt like he was putting a hot, steamy ham on my leg.  Weird, I know.  According to Ayurveda, I'm Pitta Dosha, prone to be hot and fiery.  The good news is, I can balance it out (or exacerbate it) with my diet and lifestyle choices.  Cooling foods are my friends.  Hot, oily, spicy foods, while I love them, turn me into a menace.

This bruschetta recipe combines sweet strawberries, cooling raw zucchini, and bitter greens to make a cooling meal for a summer afternoon.  For more information on bitter greens and their benefits, take a look here and here.    



 INGREDIENTS 

1 3/4 pounds zucchini, green and yellow
1 pound fresh, ripe strawberries
1 small handful fresh mint leaves, some torn, some whole
1 handful bitter greens (turnip greens, beet greens, arugula, etc) chiffonade

Lemon Vinaigrette

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp raw honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil

crusty, toasted, day-old bread to serve

  • Use a wide peeler or a mandoline to thinly slice the zucchini.  Toss with a pinch of salt and set aside in a medium bowl to soften up.
  • Hull and thinly slice strawberries, add to zucchini along with mint and bitter greens.
  • Whisk together vinaigrette and add to the bowl, mix well.
  • Serve atop your favourite day-old, artisan bread.

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