My family is pretty understanding about my food obsessions. After all, they are the happy beneficiaries of some pretty great meals, so they don’t complain when I map our travel according to farmers’ market schedules and restaurant hours. We’ve taken some epic road trips and loved every bite along the way. This summer, I think we might have found food heaven. When I read that Vermont was the top state in the country for locally-produced food (see Strolling of the Heifers Index), our summer plans were all but decided. We rented a rustic little cabin on the lake, packed up the car and headed north. We’re woken in the mornings by birdsong, and each evening we sit and watch the lake turn pink, stained by the setting sun. A person could get used to this.
And, oh, what beautiful food: creamy cheese, real buttermilk, maple syrup, tart and tiny currants, artisan bread, you-pick berry farms with fat blueberries and raspberries, earthy chantrelle mushrooms, and cultured butter. The Burlington Farmers’ Market is truly a dream. We picked up everything we needed for these easy tartines on Saturday, and enjoyed them on the porch by lunchtime. The zucchini spread will be your new go-to for picnics, appetizers, and lunchtime sandwiches and wraps—it’s a keeper!
- 1 small zucchini
- generous pinch of salt
- 5 oz creamy chevre
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1 T minced herbs*
- 4 slices rustic bread**
*parsley, basil, chives, thyme are all good choices
**I chose a dark rye, but sourdough, whole grain, and ciabatta would also be good (lightly toasted)
- Grate zucchini on large holes of a box grater, toss with salt, and place in a colander to drain for 15 minutes.
- When zucchini has drained, squeeze as much additional water from it as possible and place in a medium bowl.
- Add chevre, garlic, and herbs, and mix everything together with a fork until thoroughly combined.
- Spread on top of toasted bread, arrange on serving platter, and top with fruit salsa.
Summer Fruit Salsa
- 2 small pluots, peaches nectarines, or plums, diced
- 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 2 scallions, sliced thin
- 1 T minced cilantro
- 1 T minced parsley
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp honey
- salt to taste
(I also included some champagne currants, but you could leave these out or sub diced strawberries or sliced grapes)
- Combine ingredients in a small bowl, toss together, and set aside while you make tartines.