Shop local, support your farmers!Are you a believer in the two-fold joy of shopping – and buying – at your local farmer's market?  I am.

Chattanooga has a burgeoning local food movement, and I'm slowly coming around to paying a little more to support farmers and local initiative.  Joel Houser, in the Spring 2013 issue of Tastebuds shared an amazing statistic: 

"If Chattanoogans were to purchase just 5% of their food from local farmers, it would add an impressive $100 million to the local economy every year."

Wow.  And worth it.  I'm sure a similar impact is possible in your hometown.


Summer veggies--yellow squash, zucchini, rainbow chard.

An edible rainbow!


My daughter and I visited our local, weekly market yesterday, and what was picked in the morning we cooked for supper.  It tasted at least 10% better to know the origin of what we were eating and that we were helping put food on a farmer's table. 

I'll have more to say about that in the the next few days, but for now I wanted to share my newest, simplest recipe, one I found from my friend Denice on a shared Facebook picture of all things.  Zucchini is healthy, plentiful this time of year, and delicious, and though I'm Southern to the core and dance to the music of vegetables popping and sizzling while they fry in a vat of oil, this recipe is oven-baked and doesn't cause a splatter to deal with later.

Enjoy.  I have over and over and over since discovering it a few weeks ago.

Parmesan-Panko Zucchini

Parmesan-Panko Zucchini

  • 1 lb. zucchini (about 2 medium-sized)
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan (more, if you're partial to parmesan)
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs (if you use seasoned, cut down on the salt)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with vegetable spray.

Slice zucchini into 1/4 inch-thick rounds. Toss rounds with oil, coating well.

In a wide bowl or plate, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt and pepper.

Place rounds in parmesan-breadcrumb mixture, coating both sides of each round, pressing to adhere. The mixture will not completely cover each round, but provides a light coating on each side.

Place rounds in a single layer on baking sheets. Sprinkle any remaining breadcrumb mixture over the rounds.

Bake for about 22 to 27 minutes, until golden brown. (There is no need to flip them during baking — they crisp up on both sides as is.)

Note:  You can use yellow squash for this, too, but they were a little floppier and not nearly as good as the zucchini; at least that was my experience so I'll stick to the green :). 

(Original recipe came from here, but I've slightly modified it based on multiple preparations.)

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