- fresh zucchini
- pine nuts
- crumbled goat cheese
- white wine vinegar (I had some Chardonnay vinegar, but any would work)
- olive oil
- fresh ground pepper
Cook whole zucchinis in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Rinse under cold water until they are chilled enough to handle. Using a vegetable peeler, slice strips of zucchini until you reach the seeded center. Combine zucchini strips, nuts and cheese in large bowl. Whisk together olive oil and vinegar and pour over salad, toss to coat. Season with fresh pepper and serve chilled.
The dish: If you live in the sunny Mid-Hudson Valley, one sure way to know that the summer is right at the halfway mark is to look for the Orange County Fair to come to town. The OC fair combines the elements of an old time farm fair with modern amusements and enough of a sleazy element to keep things interesting. I'm a regular visitor and long about March I start looking forward to my annual day of eating fried foods and hanging upside down on a ride that dubs as a truck trailer. After I've eaten my annual allowance of trans fats and my stomach can't take anymore of giving gravity the finger, I know it's time to settle down for some games on the midway. The best and fairest of the amusements is a game called "Jone's I Got It", or "bingo with a bounce" if you're a regular. The concept is pretty simple; 10-25 players sit on stools about 3 feet away from bins that have grids of holes. In front of the players is a reservoir filled with little rubber balls (think the kind in the red vending machines in the front of the supermarket that you'd beg your mom for and then throw once and realize it was like watching your allowance bounce down the street) and when the announcer calls it, you have to toss the balls into the bin ahead of you and be the first to get 5 in a row. There's really no skill to it and it's only $.50 a game, so it's a great way to spend some time. We usually play long enough to win at least a few games, which means we can visit the illustrious Jone's prize table. They do a good job of making the junky prizes seem high end, keeping the table surrounded by a velvet rope and a having a prize official in a Jone's polo shirt to help you pick out your loot. We were on a pretty good streak this year and got to choose from the second tier of prizes. I saw the plain glass serving tray pictured above and knew I had to have it (really, I didn't just scoop the zucchini salad onto my counter). It was a little awkward carrying a platter around the fair while everyone else had stuffed bears and such, but it was worth the effort. I took it home and after scrubbing the fair funk off it (it was sealed in a package, but still) realized what a great tray I had. I do my best to keep things in a healthy rotation around here, but I'm sure you'll be seeing more of it in the future. Let's just hope that in 2010 I'm really lucky and can get that lighted picture of the New York skyline I've been eyeing.