On the way back from the Berkshires last weekend, Rachela and I almost ran out of gas. And when you’re looking for a gas station, you inevitably can’t find one. And then the gas light goes off and says you have another 30 miles to go before you should panic. And then you drive another 5 miles. And you’re told you should really panic in 7 miles. And those extra 12 safety miles? They disappeared. Of course, when you finally find someone fixing his tractor at the side of the road and inquire about a station, he points you to the top of the hill where you can see a Gulf sign peeking out behind a church.
After we filled the tank, we began our search for farmers markets. We had seen loads of them throughout the weekend, but didn’t want to buy anything to have it sit in our room or the car in the sweltering heat. So when we were finally ready to load up the car with fresh fruits and vegetables, none were to be found. We drove by a wigwam. And an Indian circle dance. When I read the word dance, I jumped out of the car, ready to join in. Until I saw a half-dozen pot-bellied men in loin cloths and feather headdresses stomping their feet around a bonfire. We were back in the car and on the road fast. Really fast. So fast that we had to do a quick U-turn after we passed a sign for fresh-picked corn. U-turn accomplished, we rolled into the driveway and found a makeshift table set with ears of corn, plastic bags, a metal box and a sign stating,
Picked this morning.
$6 a dozen or $0.50 each.
Please leave money in the box.
We promptly picked a pair of ears each, deposited our dollars in the box, and waved at the proprietress as she stepped onto her front porch to shuck.
We then passed a larger farmers stand with a greater variety of produce. I grabbed a few tomatoes, a handful of small cukes, and several large zucchinis.
And they sat in my fridge for almost a week while I toiled away in the office, ordering dinner in to sustain me during my late working hours. And then, only this weekend, did the vegetables come out to play. An Israeli salad. Corn roasted in the husk, eaten over the sink. And simple roasted zucchini with Mediterranean spices.
Adapted from a recipe for Roasted Zucchini with Ricotta and Mint from this August’s Food & Wine.
Additional note 7/10/12: after salting the zucchini, make sure to rinse off all the salt. You can always add more salt to taste, but it’s pretty hard to remove it!
Preheat oven to 450ºF. Dice 2 large zucchini into a medium-sized dice (1/3 – 1/2 inch). Salt generously and let sit in colander for 5-10 minutes until some of the zucchini’s liquid is released. Rinse zucchini and dry well. (The salting helps prevent the zucchini from getting soggy.) Toss with 1T olive oil, salt, and pepper. Shake onto a baking dish and roast for 25-30 minutes until zucchini starts to brown. Add 2 t cumin and a few pinches of crushed red pepper and roast for another 2-5 minutes until the spices are fragrant. Scoop into a bowl and sprinkle with the juice of half a lemon. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a few mint leaves and a scoop of labane (or leave off the labane for a non-dairy option).