The meat was left over from a beef brisket we'd had the night before, and was salty and garlicky, tearing off in juicy shreds; in true French dip fashion, we sopped up the jus, letting it soak into the bread until the crisp from the oven became this dense, melt in your mouth experience.
We paired it with not one, not two, but three styles of zucchini: battered and fried blossoms, battered and fried slices, and a small handful of oven grilled for those watching their waistlines.
The zucchini blossoms had come in Mom's CSA bag, inspiring the fry-fest; the tender petals and stems are a perfect match to the crispy batter shell. I threw together the batter: an egg, milk, salt, and enough flour to get the desired sticky consistency.
We dipped the blossoms and slices in the batter, then dipped them again into a pan of hot canola oil for a few minutes, turning occasionally until they became a dark golden.
We pulled them out and patted dry with a paper towel, then served them with a simple bruschetta Mara had created: two tomatoes, a clove of garlic, a few sprigs of garden-fresh basil, a dash of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
She was very proud.
She had every right to be; it was delicious.