Here’s What To Do With Your Summer Farm Bounty
The zucchini are everywhere, threatening to take over your kitchen and your garden. No one will accept them as “gifts” any longer. You need a cookbook with some really good summer squash recipes, and while we’re at it let’s talk about Swiss chard, corn and tomatoes.
“The Berkshires Farm Table Cookbook” is here to help. Published in May 2020, it is oddly nostalgic, showing farmers at work in fields with no protective facial gear. It’s also a nice reminder that, no matter how bad things get, there are always tomatoes.
The authors are Robert Bildner and Elisa Spungen Bildner and chef Brian Alberg (formerly executive chef of the Red Lion in Stockbridge, Mass.).
The Bildners, who have backgrounds in both law and in food production, spent seven years visiting working farms in Berkshire County, old ones and newer ones, farms on 2 acres and others on 200 acres, dairy farms, vegetable farms, organic farms, you name it. Each farm and its owner/farmers get profiled in text and in photos taken by Robert Bildner.
Alberg developed recipes for each farm, focusing on different summer and early autumn foods. There are also recipes from beloved Berkshires restaurants including the Prairie Whale in Great Barrington and John Andrews Farmhouse Restaurant in South Egremont.
Like a good meal, there is plenty of variety and there are innovative ideas that aren’t too far out or complicated (frisee, arugula and tart salad for Ted Dobson and Equinox Farm in Sheffield; pan-seared Massachusetts striped bass, from the Old Inn on the Green in New Marlborough, Mass.; roasted zucchini and cherry tomato pizza, using a pre-made dough from Berkshire Mountain Bakery in Housatonic).
The Bildners will talk about their new book in a Zoom talk hosted by the Hotchkiss Library of Sharon, Conn., on Friday, Aug. 14, at 7 p.m., as part of the library’s summer-long series of online author talks, offered in place of the annual summer book signing.
The talk is free. Register and purchase a signed copy of the book at www.hotchkisslibrary.eventbrite.com.