By KYRA WAGNER
FOR THE HOMER NEWS
Have you got your zucchini picked out for this weekend? It’s the Homer Farmers’ Market’s big Zucchini Festival this Saturday so you will need a nice big zuke to enter into the Zucchini Races at 1:30 p.m. Or just bring your garden veggie before 2 p.m. to contend for the Largest Veggie Contest prize.
Why would anyone celebrate a vegetable? Anyone who has grown a garden knows that it is a mini celebration every time the planting of seeds, care for the soil and tending of the plants actually results in those glowing carrots, tender and succulent greens or other flavorful garden morsels.
The celebration continues all the way to the kitchen. Listening to a conversation at Castellani’s booth last weekend I heard the exchange of ideas around romaine. Just lettuce, right? Everyone may think of Caesar salad when they think of romaine, but the recipe they were talking about involved cutting the entire head in half, brushing it with oil and seasonings, and then popping it on the grill. Now that sounds like a taste celebration if I ever heard of one.
Then there was the Chef at the Market demonstration with nutritionist Jen Dickson sharing recipes for colorful Rainbow Salad and Super Simple Broccoli Salad. Both were made raw with a marinade that Jen explained “cooked” the vegetables like lemon juice does on ceviche. Less heat on the veggies means that they retain the vitamin C and other nutrients and enzymes so prevalent in fresh veggies. That’s worth celebrating, right?
During the Zucchini Festival, the Chef at the Market series will continue with Lori Jenkins from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Not only will Lori be having a “Zucchini & Lime-Basil Party” and sharing recipes for zucchini, but vendors will have their favorite recipes available too. Get ready to try something new.
The Zucchini Festival is always a recipe for fun and a great excuse to have a celebration of food. So come on down to the market this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to join in the antics of the Festival or on Wednesday from 3-6 p.m. to collect those tasty veggies for your favorite recipes.
Kyra Wagner is the director of Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers’ Market’s biggest fan.