Monday, May 17, 2010


My kids and husband came back tonight after 3 days away. This was my first weekend at home by myself since before Dash was born almost 3 years ago. I slept in, did yoga, and had a martini. Or five.
On Sunday, I wandered through the farmers' market without children for the first time in years. I sat down on a bench and caught up with my lovely friend Julia. We chatted for over an hour. I'm so used to having aborted conversations that I kept interrupting myself and starting new topics.

We each bought a basket of baby zucchini because they look so damn cute. I've tried to take pictures at the market before and they've looked like crap because Dash NEVER STOPS MOVING. Julia is 29-years old and was able to sit very still. I was particularly excited by how her lipstick matched her sweet peas.
I should check with Julia and see what she did with her baby zucchini. I sliced mine in half and smeared them with leftover arugula microgreens and spinach pesto. I topped the dish with asparagus tips, bread crumbs, and cheese.
I don't have a picture of the cooked gratin because I took it out of the oven and ate most of it up—right out of the dish. I also ate 4 peaches right over the sink. That's what you do when no kids are around.

I love recipes with variations. Here are a few for this zucchini gratin.

1. Add pine nuts and slices of mozzarella.
2. Add fresh or frozen corn.
3. Add chopped fresh herbs like thyme, basil, oregano, or rosemary.
4. Make a sandwich. Spread both pieces of bread with pesto mayo (mix 1 part pesto + 1 part mayo). Layer pieces of zucchini and asparagus with hearts of romaine and chopped parsley.
5. Serve over pasta, couscous, or rice. Add more cheese and drizzle olive oil over the dish before serving. And you could even throw in some preserved lemons (I have a recipe coming soon for preserved lemons, but until then here's Yummy Supper's).

printable recipe
No amounts necessary for this recipe. Just cook what you have.

baby zucchinis or small summer squash, trimmed and sliced in half
pesto (store bought or homemade)
asparagus tips (save the rest for a soup)
bread crumbs
grated parmesan or pecorino
pine nuts

Grease a baking dish with butter or olive oil. Place sliced zucchini cut-side up. Spread pesto on each half. Distribute asparagus tips evenly on top. Generously season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle top with bread crumbs, grated cheese, and pine nuts. Bake 20-30 minutes or until vegetables are just tender and the top is crispy and brown. Serve immediately.


  1. Wow. Sounds delicious. Will definitely try. Love that you had you had such a great weekend...and five martinis. Good girl:)

    The other Tart is a few weeks out from having her first baby so I'm sure your site will be a valuable resource for us both:)

  2. Wow. Meant to say, "love that you had such a great weekend." Apparently I've also had 5 martinis.

  3. I love baby zucchini - any baby vegetable, actually. We are just now getting new spring vegetables here, but no zucchini yet - how I miss California!

  4. Your weekend sounds so lovely - like a deep breath of fresh air! Just started reading via Ohdeedoh and so glad to have found you:) My little ones are 1 and 3 and I've tasked myself with taking pictures at the Farmer's Market at least once a week this summer, so I definitely feel your pain on trying to get the pictures;)

  5. Printed your receipe for the zuchini / asparagas. Looks fantastic! Enjoy your blog. :)

  6. Wow~three days to yourself. How luxurious! How wonderful to have them come home.
    I've really been enjoying your blog. So happy to have found it. :)

  7. Hey Lovely,

    Glad your weekend was delicious. Farmer's Market, Martinis, Peaches, Gratin eaten from the that's good medicine!


  8. looks like you really celebrated your time, cooking, farmers market, photography and a cocktail(s)...all my favorite things :)

  9. I just found you via little.lovely. What a beautiful blog you have!!!


  10. Tried this recipe last night - it was a success. The Boy took the leftovers to work with him today.

  11. I am happy I found you through ohdeedo...did I spell that right? I don't nodeedo..sorry. bad joke. couldn't resist.

    anyway, you are inspiring me to eat better, cook more, and do it with my children, so thank you

    and I love a woman who drinks...just sayin...

  12. Your weekend sounds divine. Might I suggest leaving your kids home more often? I know your blog is about doing things in a togetherness kind of way, but I often go to the farmer's market without my kids and have a much calmer, peaceful experience, just me and the flowers and the veggies. I bring them home cider donuts and they forgive me for leaving them behind.

  13. THAT LOOKS DELICIOUS! Yum yum yum. I'm going to try it. Ya know what's a good thing? Fennel sauteed in apple cider...

  14. Living in california you are way ahead of the game in produce than here, but it delights me to know what is to come:D

  15. We made pesto this weekend, so this recipe was perfect. I made it tonight with the mozzarella - yum!

  16. I picked squash from the garden this afternoon - I know exactly what I'm going to do with them!

    BTW. At the end of summer, I 'til all the rotten and old veggies into the soil. Several squash plants grew from last year's plants - one plant is a cross between a yellow crookneck and a zuchinni! It is limey green colored with a thin skin but the shape of a zuchinni.

    Vicki in GA