Those that know me well know I am a vegetarian who is rather fussy about what vegetables he eats. I LOVE all vegetables. But I am not one to eat all vegetables cooked by everyone. Certain veggies need a very special hand in my mind to be fit for me to enjoy. Zucchini and Squash are two such vegetables. This week has been a lucky one for me as far as these vegetables go.
At Gardenworks yellow squash and zucchini are being sold in abundance. Meg grows them at the farm and I can see that of all the veggies, these are the first to come to harvest. Seeing them at any marketplace, especially when arranged beautifully to make you want to buy them - makes me sad. I am not a big fan of these vegetables. Especially when another may be cooking them for me. I like them cooked in certain ways and cooked with great care and attention. I do not want to taste or feel the water in them, once they are on the plate. Something about a juicy squash or zucchini makes me want to cry. And so, I have lived the last 17 years in the US mostly scared that I will find someone proudly feeding me these veggies but really giving me a dish I could just as happily not eat or rather run away from.
Of course tomatoes are another story. There is not much that you can do to them that would ruin them for me. In fact I am able to forgive most culinary mistakes when they are made around tomatoes. This week brought to our kitchen some cherry tomatoes from one of our favorite local farmers - Brian Talmadge. Yesterday we enjoyed the Cuban Black Bean Cakes at The Chocolate Mill Cafe in Glens Falls. The spicy vegetable chutney served with them was made with zucchini and squash. It was sensational. As were the cakes. I told Charlie I could have eaten several potions of the dish. It was beautiful for the sum of every part of the dish. And each part of the dish was sensational by itself. Then last night our friend Betty Osborne and her daughter Scott had us over for dinner. Betty served a most wonderful baked-stuffed zucchini and I had a second preparation with zucchini in one day that blew me over. I am enjoying a lucky love affair with zucchini and squash this summer. And so today, for dinner, I prepared something in our kitchen made with zucchini and squash. Grilled this time. Tossed in a herb-infused oil and tossed with halved cherry tomatoes. It looks and tastes gorgeous. We have Gardenworks and Black Lab Farm to thank for this.
Menu for dinner tonight (Saturday, July 17, 2010)
Double-basil mussels with pasta
Roasted cauliflower and red onions
Grandma Hayes' corn bread
Pasta with summer-herb-marinara
Simple marinated sweet peppers
Grilled zuchhini and squash
PS: I am adding a photo from the dinner tonight. First time ever for us to have served dinner, cleaned the kitchen and be in bed by 10 PM.