zucchini festival

The Summer of Non-Cooking Continued

IMG_6101 So this involves a small bit of cooking, grilling, really, so that isn’t the same. We have been grilling corn on the cob, too, keeping the kitchen cool. Lightly coat (husked) ears of corn with olive oil (okay, butter if you must) and pop on the grill. You’ll know when it’s done by the color. Throw some burgers on the grill or lamb kabobs. Yum. I think I need to go to KO and see how it is really done.

GRILLED ZUCCHINI SALAD from 5 casual feast recipes from Sam Jackson (of KO Catering and Pies) in Boston Globe Magazine

Serves 8

FOR THE SALAD

1 teaspoon chopped rosemary

1 teaspoon chopped thyme

 3 garlic cloves, minced

Grated zest of ½ lemon

¼ cup olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 pounds zucchini, cut lengthwise into ½-inch slices

Small handful fresh mint, roughly chopped

1 cup roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded, and finely sliced

1 small red onion, diced

8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

FOR THE DRESSING

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

Mix rosemary, thyme, garlic, lemon zest, oil, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl. Add zucchini and allow to marinate for at least an hour. I prepped this in the morning and my house smelled gloriously of garlic all day. I forgot to marinate the zucchini for an hour and it was still delicious. Love a recipe that lets me mess up and is still so good. Heat grill to medium-high heat. ( we used charcoal grill, just watch it and move them to the edge of the grill). Grill zucchini strips for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Set aside to cool, then slice on a slight angle into chunks. Toss in a large bowl with chopped mint, red peppers, onion, and feta.

In a separate bowl, mix the two oils, vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Toss the salad in the desired amount of dressing and serve.  We had this for lunch the next day – perfect on a bed of fresh greens.

There are three other recipes in this article that I have not yet tried but will. Until I do –  go here for the lamb, salmon and some yummy looking coconut ice cream.

The Berkshires for the weekend

capability mom goes to the 7th annual zucchini festivalWow. What a great weekend – good food, (Alta and Frankie’s in Lenox – The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge), good company (the in-laws), a nice inn (The Apple Tree Inn) and lots to do (so much we didn’t get to it all) …Tanglewood, The Berkshire Museum – a Mummy exhibit was the draw – Rockwell Museum, the Zucchini Festival in West Stockbridge, Hancock Shaker Village…what was that…a zucchini festival?

Perhaps you don’t have my childhood memories of too many zucchini (the only thing that our garden ever produced) and word-nerd alert – zucchini is the plural and the singular in English, I checked). My mom made lots of ratatouille (it is a testament to my faith in smitten kitchen that I would even attempt her recipe – I am so scarred by this dish…sorry, Mom), zucchini bread and countless other dishes that we just knew she sneaked zucchini into…and to add insult to injury we also were sent to give them to our neighbors.  I’m pretty sure that they hid when they saw any of us coming their way with those overgrown squashes.

So how does a slightly recovering zucchini-phobic person agree to an entire festival dedicated to the giant green squash?  A trust-worthy friend who has a place in the Berkshires told us about the zucchini festival and as a family we thought it sounded fun/random/funny/cool.

It was all of those things and more. Nice people (including some cool-looking twenty-somethings and their children), a sunny day, good music, funny roadside signs with fun facts about zucchini, a really lively street fair. There were zuch (instead of duck races – I thought they would throw zucchini off the bridge into the river for the race –  more wishful thinking) but they had numbered ducks and races on the hour through an obstacle course – best viewing in the open air art gallery to the side of the river). There was a zucchini bean bag toss, a dunk tank, rock climbing wall, games, artist and crafts people (like meatbagz – so cool)with booths lining the main street and a petting zoo that held our interest for quite a while.

capability mom wants this bagMore – there was more – a bake-off (yes, we bought a zucchini bread and yes, I had a taste – I am fine) – Here is a short list of zucchini related activities: zucchini decorating, zucchini car racing, zucchini catapult (sad to say I missed this), 70 ft blow up Obstacle course (no zucchini were harmed in the making of this course), a Zhoto booth and much more.

Not that Tanglewood wasn’t lovely (you can walk there from the Inn) because it was and our seats were lovely and we made new friends when we shifted seats for better viewing (ours and theirs).  Lenox, Stockbridge,  Pittsfield and West Stockbridge are charming towns that we had fun exploring. There are so many fun and cultural things to do and the setting is spectacularly beautiful. Maybe I shouldn’t tell so many people – it will get ruined like the Vineyard or Nantucket.

On the way home we stopped at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield which was great fun – you tour the museum, get to play ball and grab an ice cream at Stone Cold Creamery on the way out. Nice day trip even if you don’t make it to the Berkshires.

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