Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.
ZUCCHINI, RADISH AND WATERCRESS SALAD
1 (12-ounce) zucchini
1 (8-ounce) yellow squash
1 bunch watercress, about 2 cups leaves
2 cups radishes (about 18), thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Use a vegetable peeler to cut zucchini and yellow squash into long ribbons. Toss with the watercress and radishes.
2. Combine the lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl; whisk in the olive oil. Toss with the summer squash and Parmesan. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 139 calories, 10 g fat, 3g saturated fat, 6 g protein, 7g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 350 mg sodium
2 medium zucchini, about 1¼ pounds
1 large egg
¼ cup nonfat milk
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon dried basil
½ cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Coat a baking sheet pan with cooking spray.
2. Cut the zucchini into 3-inch-long by ¼-inch-wide sticks.
3. Whisk the egg, milk, garlic powder and basil together in a medium bowl.
4. Combine the panko and Parmesan on a plate.
5. Dip zucchini sticks in egg, then bread crumbs; place in single, uncrowded layer on prepared pan. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake until golden brown and tender, about 22 minutes. Sprinkle with salt just before serving. Makes 4 servings.
GRILLED ZUCCHINI-PESTO MELT
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 red onion, cut into 8 slices
1 (12-ounce) zucchini, cut lengthwise into 4 thick slices
8 ounces French baguette, cut on a steep angle into 8 slices
2 tablespoons prepared pesto
6 ounces reduced-fat Cheddar, thinly sliced
2 plum tomatoes, cut lengthwise into ¼-inch slices
1. Heat the grill for direct heat, medium (400-degree) cooking.
2. Brush 1 tablespoon of the oil evenly over the tops and bottoms of the zucchini and onion slices. Grill until well marked and tender, about 3 minutes on each side. Cut the zucchini across in half and transfer to a plate.
3. Brush the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil on one cut side of the bread slices. Turn the bread over and spread the pesto on the other side. Top 4 of the slices (pesto-side facing up) with half the cheese, followed by half the onion, the zucchini, tomato slices, remaining onion and, finally, the remaining cheese. Top with remaining bread, with the pesto-side facing down (inside the sandwich).
4. Place the sandwiches on the grill and cook until the undersides of the bread are golden and the bottom cheese melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the sandwiches over and repeat. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 417 calories, 17 g fat, 6g saturated fat, 23 g protein, 45 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 813 mg sodium