Editor’s note: For those who may not have known the story, we introduced Indian Ridge Farm & Bakery   at the beginning of the summer season with a recipe from Barclay Daryani, co-owner. You can say “hi” to Barclay and husband Tony every Friday at the Indian Ridge stand at the Telluride Farmers Market. You can join their CSA farm, which now feeds 65 families, online. And we were among the lucky 20 or so who enjoyed an amazing farm to table feast at Indian Ridge on Saturday, July 28. All I can say is when you see Barclay, beg her to make these banquets a regular feature throughout the year. (See related post for our review of the evening.)

You know it’s summer when the zucchini and cucumber plants are exploding with their green and yellow fruits. Not to worry, I’ve included two summer squash recipes, one from the mother of the locavore movement, Alice Waters, and the other from my personal collection of recipes. If you find yourself still up to your eyeballs in zucchini, give one to a friend or neighbor.

Chocolate-Walnut Zucchini Bread

(adjust for altitude)

1/3 cup shortening
1 ¼ cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cups grated zucchini
1/3 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1 2/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
3 tbl cocoa powder
1/3 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5 bread pan.
2. Cream shortening and sugar. Mix in eggs. Add zucchini, water, and vanilla. Stir. Blend in flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Stir in walnuts.
3. Pour half the batter into your bread pan. To the other half, add cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Add that batter to the top of the other half already in the pan.
4. Bake until a wooden toothpick or knife comes out clean—about 1 hour. Cool for ten minutes and remove from the pan. Store in refrigerator.

Zucchini and Tomato Gratin (from Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Vegetables)

1 yellow onion
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 small bunch thyme
1 bunch fresh basil (1/4 pound)
6-8 slicing tomatoes (score some beauties at the Telluride Farmer’s Market!)
10 small zucchini
Balsamic vinegar

Peel and slice thin the onion and sauté it in olive oil until soft and translucent. Season with salt and pepper; add the leaves of the thyme and basil, stripped from their stems and chopped. Cut out their stem ends and cut the tomatoes into 1/4 –inch slices. Trim the zucchini and cut them into ¼-inch thick slices on the diagonal.
Spread the onion and herbs on the bottom of a 9 by 12-inch gratin dish or glass baking dish. Make a row of partially overlapping tomato slices. Season lightly with salt and pepper, and if the tomatoes are not very sweet, with a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar. Overlap the first row of tomato slices with zucchini slices, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Continue making alternate rows of zucchini and tomatoes until they are used up.
Press down on the vegetables slightly, drizzle a little more olive oil over, and bake, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes, until the vegetables are fully cooked and the gratin has started to brown. If the top appears to be drying out while it bakes, tip the dish slightly and with a spoon collect some of the pan juices and use them to moisten the top.

Serves 6

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