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July Cottage Cooking Club, Panzanella and Marinated Courgettes with Mozzarella


July marks the second month cooking with the Cottage Cooking Club created through Andrea at The Kitchen Lioness, Notes from a very small German Kitchen. Members of the group include a diverse group of food bloggers from around the world. Dedicated to the cookbook “River Cottage veg everyday!” written by British author Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, this months designated recipe choices reflect fresh ingredients abundantly flourishing throughout the summer.


A couple of weeks vacation along with a family reunion had me a bit behind on my selections set for the month but managed to prepare a couple of lovely dishes, Panzanella


and Marinated Courgettes with Mozzarella. Well, I actually prepared a couple of other dishes remaining without photographs.



Purchasing superior veg was the easy part of the task on the ride home from the Jersey shore, giant ripe tomatoes, perfectly green unblemished zucchini, and of course corn on the cob (not included in the Cottage Cooking Club repertoire) fitting it all in the car was a whole other story. Packed to the gills with beach gear and chairs and clothing and all the household food ingredients remaining that my sister Carolyn, and brother in-law Roger could not take back to Vegas filled every crevice to the point where the traditional Jersey summer farm market road stand stop required the case of packed vegetables flat onto my lap in the front seat and green husks of cobs poking me upon any slight move. Not to say that I could move anyway between assorted cloth bags filled with personal items and camera bag completely packing the carpeted front floor beneath.  


Still, it’s not the packed ride home that causes one to become undone after tranquil days walking for miles upon the shoreline of foaming roaring waves on sparkling soft white sand and lazy afternoons lounging with cocktails on the beach, for there is nothing like massive mounds of laundry following leisurely days to bring one smack back to reality.  Days upon days of swoosh and tumble, one might wish it were the sounds of the beach but its the washer and dryer running at constant speed diminishing piled heights the size of dunes off the whitewashed boardwalk. Swish, swish, beep beep, klunk.


This months July Cottage Cooking Club selection provided vegetable courses, just as last months, worthy of posting on the Plat du Jour board announcing what company gets to experience. But, between the wash pile, not to mention the dish load catching up on the prep and photography for posts, well lets just say my house was not comfortably guest ready and I sigh relief on others vacationing with no surprise stoppers by. But these are on my list for sharing come summers grand finale.



So onto the Panzanella, and squishing the juicy red tomato through the colander before discarding skin and seeds then mixing together with cider vinegar to twice the amount of olive oil dressing and pouring over chunk bite pieces of a day old ciabatta loaf. Immediately combined with the other ingredients, red onions, peeled and seeded cucumber half moons, pitted kalamata olives, halved cherry tomatoes, and not to forget the tiny capers that complete the dish. Though, much as I am a caper fan, I’m not certain their addition imparted distinct flavor in this salad, particularly stacked up against the bold kalamatas so next time around, and there shall be a next time around, I may opt to omit them.




The marinated courgettes (zucchini) were ever so simple to prepare and yet the finished flavor, in my opinion, knocked it out of the ball park, really, really good.  Thin strips of zucchini brushed with a bit of olive oil are seared until softened and golden around two minutes each side. Once finished, the pan is removed from the heat and cooled down just a bit before adding in with some extra virgin olive oil, slivers of garlic, and lemon zest. The mixture is then poured over the courgettes before seasoning a bit with salt and pepper, assembling onto a platter and sprinkling with some bits of torn mint, basil, and fresh mozzarella.

Despite having a shortened time in my kitchen over the month I’m thoroughly enjoying cooking through recipes in this book as part of the Cottage Cooking Club whose “project is aimed at incorporating more vegetable dishes in our everyday cooking. And learning new ways to prepare tasty and healthy dishes, and sharing them with family and friends.” With vacation over, what a better way for celebrating in the final weeks of the season just ahead.





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  1. Posted July 28, 2014 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Your dishes look fabulous!! I enjoyed those recipes as well.
    Of course, your description of your laundry are adorable. Well done! Happy that you had such a wonderful holiday!
    Candy (Dulce) recently posted…CCC – Cottage Cooking Club, July EditionMy Profile

    • Posted July 29, 2014 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Hi Candy! Thank you, I enjoyed both of these dishes and in particular the marinated courgettes! Thanks on the humor connection of the laundry piles following a beach vacation! Looking forward to our upcoming August picks and hope to prepare more among the selections. See you on the Cottage Cooking Club and thanks again for joining in!

  2. Posted July 28, 2014 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like you had a lovely holiday.
    Your dishes look wonderful. I enjoyed the panzanella and after the rave reviews, I’m really looking forward to trying the zucchini recipe.
    Zosia recently posted…Cottage Cooking Club – July 2014My Profile

    • Posted July 29, 2014 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Hi Zosia, yes, indeed it was a lovely holiday. The Panzanella was colorful and refreshing and enjoyed by those in my family. I think it will work well for a buffet too. The zucchini recipe was my favorite of the month and I do plan on sharing it with friends later in August. See you around the Cottage Cooking Club and thanks for joining in!

  3. Posted July 28, 2014 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Hi Peggy, sounds like a great vacation and you still managed to present 2 recipes, you are amazing. Great pictures.
    cheri recently posted…Panzanella Salad, A Cottage Cooking Club RecipeMy Profile

    • Posted July 29, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Hi Cheri! Thanks so much and I really enjoyed the dishes prepared from the book over the month. I look forward to the month ahead and hope to give it a go on a few more among the selections! See you on the Cottage Cooking Club and thanks so much for joining in!

  4. TheKitchenLioness
    Posted July 29, 2014 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Peggy, what a fun post to read – hope you have recovered from the laundry blues by now and feeling much better. Your Panzanella looks so fresh and utterly delicious – seems like quite a wonderful recipe! And with the Marinated Courgettes you certainly prepared one of my very favorite dishes from the book – we have eaten this more times than I can count and your presentation is just fabulous!
    Thank you for taking the time to participate this month and so happy to read that you enjoy our Cottage Cooking Club so much!
    Liebe Grüsse,
    Andrea – now let´s just keep our fingers crossed that the comment will go through this time….

    • Posted July 29, 2014 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Hello Andrea, thanks so much! Looks like our love of the marinated courgettes are both common and this lovely dish is one I plan to prepare for friends later in August, and of course, we should have plenty of zucchini in the backyard garden by then too. I loved your Post of the month and your photography is magnificent but I will share that as I review all of the members July Posts this afternoon. Thanks so much for joining in, and for the wonderful Cottage Cooking Club!

  5. Mary Hirsch
    Posted July 29, 2014 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    A fun post, Peggy. Laundry is never-ending. Enough of a description about that. I also made Panzanella. It was my first attempt, something I had always wanted to make, and I enjoyed it. I do think the salad needed a bit more of a kick so I will add anchovies (something that was in the classic recipe) next time. Everyone made and loved the zucchini except me. I need to get that done.

    • Posted July 31, 2014 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Hi Mary, Thanks so much, yes, in life I do believe laundry is as guaranteed as taxes! I like your use of the anchovies in the Panzanella and bet that added a real nice kick. I had a Panzanella with shrimp in it last year and it may have been the best I’ve had. Thanks for joining in and see you on the CCC.

  6. Posted August 2, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    I made both these recipes as well, and enjoyed them both. You have beautiful wide zucchini ribbons! Mine look a bit shriveled, yet tasted wonderful; that is what counts, yes? As for the panzanella, I added a couple cloves of garlic to the tomato juice – it added the perfect boost I think. ~Cathleen
    My Culinary MIssion recently posted…The Cottage Cooking Club | July 2014My Profile

    • Posted August 4, 2014 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Cathleen! Agreed, taste is what counts most! The garlic in the Panzanella is also a good idea. It seems with the many added variations that this dish, though fresh and lovely could use something to boost it up a bit! Thanks for joining in!

  7. Posted August 3, 2014 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    I love filling up on fresh produce at farm stands while on vacation. It’s a way of extending the feeling a little longer once you’ve returned home. Your dishes turned out wonderfully! I really loved the marinated zucchini salad, too.

    • Posted August 4, 2014 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Teresa. Looks like we have something in common on the farm stands! I did enjoy this month’s dishes, and especially the marinated zucchini, I’m thinking most everyone enjoyed that dish as one of the month highlights! Thanks so much for joining in!

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  • Hi, I'm Peggy. Welcome to our Shared Table at Spiced Peach Blog!
    Subscribe here for my fresh, seasonal recipes with an international twist.