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  • Writer's pictureDiana Scalia

The Twinny Retreat


OK first let me please first explain what this title means ...


Twinny is my very dear friend Paige. She was one of my mama’s most cherished caregivers. The first time we met, we learned that we were both born on October 18th. Since then, we have become the best of friends and have also discovered that we share at least one thousand of the quirkiest things in common. We’re absolutely sure that we’re twins on a soul level.


We’ve also mutually decided, that we are Mama’s parting gifts to each other. Had she not been ill, we would have likely never met. We think that she brought us together to be each other’s angels, with her blessing. We both really love that. That’s our foto, see how much we look like twins?!


Paigey graduated from Nursing School last year, and is now working as a Home Health Care Nurse. She’s feeling ragged as all get out, and I told her what she needs, is a retreat at my home. We both needed a time out, so we spent Friday afternoon through Saturday night together.


One thing we have in common is that we both adore great food – in this case, coming from my kitchen. We ate all of our meals and snacks here at home. We cozied on my sofa together and talked for hours. I had imagined that maybe we would do some meditation together, take walks since we finally have some sunshine, maybe do more than just sit around.


Guess what we did? Ate great meals and snacks, and just sat around. And talked for hours.


It was exactly what we both needed. I had hoped to report more color than that, but I’m afraid that’s all I’ve got. I will however, go into some detail about what we ate!


Friday’s dinner started with a recipe that I’m sharing here. I’m naming it Lemony-Feta Zucchini Twins, so that it can be a signature recipe for us. It was our entrée – first course. I explained to her that in France, entrées are starter courses.


Our main course was French-inspired – Steak Frites. Our grilled steak also had a little side of lamb chops, all very delicious. I served oven fries and grilled asparagus as sides.


For dessert, I made us crepes filled with homemade apple sauce, drizzled with warm salted caramel sauce from Normandie. Paigey doesn’t have crepes that often. I love to make and eat them regularly. I must say, they are divine filled with apples this way and topped with that sauce! Twinny thought so too.


Lo and behold, I intended to write a Part 2 of this story and, we see that didn't happen. So for now,

please enjoy our Zucchini Twins recipe – it’s really delicious - and look forward to hearing more about our Twinny adventures in the future.


Lemony-Feta Zucchini Twins

1 medium zucchini, ends trimmed, cut in half lengthwise

1 tsp sea salt

3 Tbs sunflower oil (may also use vegetable or avocado oil)

One fresh lemon

¼ cup French feta cheese, crumbled

8 fresh mint leaves

2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

Small handful pistachios

4 fresh mint leaves

Preheat oven to 450F.

Score cut side of zucchini halves in diagonal-diamond square fashion, sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 13 minutes, dab with paper towel to absorb all moisture.

Heat oil in skillet, place zucchini cut side down, and cook for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Place in oven, cut side up, for 11 minutes; prepare sauce and topping.

Zest and juice lemon. Place cheese, lemon juice, a pinch of lemon zest (set remainder of zest aside), 8 mint leaves, olive oil, and garlic in small blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth and creamy.

Roast whole pistachios in small skillet until lightly toasted. Allow to cool, then chop finely. Mince 4 mint leaves, mix with pistachios and remaining fresh lemon zest, for topping zucchini.

To serve, coat center of serving plate with creamy feta sauce. Place zucchini halves, cut side up, on sauce. Sprinkle with pistachio mixture.

Yields 2 servings.




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