By Lisa Kivirist, Green Options
Every mid-July, I hit a culinary rut. An odd confession, I realize, given that right now fresh garden fare is edging on peak abundance and gifts me with a daily cornucopia of seasonal produce for ingredients. But as the zucchini harvest piles up on the kitchen counter this time of year, I feel a bit overwhelmed and uninspired. I crave a fresh cooking groove.
However, I’ve learned that just like any artist needs to at times rekindle a creative muse, we foodies too need a dose of cooking inspiration, especially during this time when we have a bounty of fresh fare to savor.
Here are three tips I’ve discovered for shaking up a peak summer cooking rut, followed by a summer breakfast classic we serve at our Wisconsin B&B, Inn Serendipity: Zucchini Feta Pancakes, that will cure any summer cooking rut that ails you:
1. Flip Savory and Sweet
Twist the expected menu and serve a familiar item category a new way. For example, most folks expect pancake to be bread-like and sweet, swimming in a pool of syrup. These Zucchini Feta Pancakes provide a savory alternative to traditional pancake fare, served “naked” with no syrup or toppings needed. While we serve these for breakfast at Inn Serendipity, you could easily serve them for a quick supper.
2. Add a Strong Companion Flavor
Adding in a distinct, unexpected flavor to a dish also perks up the palette. The feta cheese in these pancakes enhances the flavor in an unusual, distinct manner.
3. Blend in Fresh Company
Just like you sometimes need a fresh recipe, add a dose of newness around the table. Share the summer garden abundance by inviting someone new over to share a meal. Living in a B&B environment, I’m blessed with a near daily dose of new, interesting and inspiring people coming through my kitchen, providing the ultimate in keeping life fresh.
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