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Butternut Squash Curry

IMG_2310Technically, winter squash season started several weeks ago when we harvested our first batch of butternuts. It was one of those winsome moments in farming; so picturesque that it doesn’t seem possible that it’s real. A garden cart brimming with rosy-golden squash.

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Even though we harvested the butternut squash several weeks ago, I’ve been waiting to use them until Autumn finally revealed herself. So it’s lucky that winter squash like these keep perfectly on the counter for several months because Autumn seemed to be even more of a procrastinator than usual this year.

In my family, winter squash were generally sweet things–dusted with brown sugar and dotted with raisins. However, inspired by my friend Kristen’s savory submission to a recent potluck, I decided to try a curry. The spices serve as a counterpoint to the squash’s natural sweetness. It seemed a mantle to grace Autumn’s sunburnt shoulders.

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Posted 6 years, 9 months ago at 8:47 pm. Add a comment

Cucumber Boats

IMG_2300aLike a delusional castaway on a deserted island, I’ve been seeing boats everywhere. Ever since writing about Zucchini Boats, my mind seems to have been opened to all the possibilities. Bananas, melons, bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes. It seems almost anything can become a “boat.”

Cucumbers seem especially suited to boat-ness. Many people already make them without knowing it by scraping out the seeds. What’s left behind is the perfect cavity to fill with something delicious. In this recipe, I chose to fill it with a salmon salad. A nice addition to my recipe would be some grated Parmesan cheese. I didn’t add it this time because we were also having goat cheese stuffed squash blossoms, and I didn’t want a cheese overload.

I think I like these better than the zucchini boats. They are crisp, fresh, and easy. Perfect for summer because they require no oven. I suppose they are raw? If you consider canned salmon raw, I suppose . . . ? I’m not up on the rule book for Raw Foods. At the very least, these boats don’t require any actual cooking, only assembly.

And the best part? They are best eaten like a hot dog.

Cucumber Boats

2 cucumbers
1 can salmon, sustainably harvested if you can find it
1 lemon
2 Tbs capers
1-2 small bell peppers, any color
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (opt.)
salt and pepper

Put the salmon in a medium bowl and break it into pieces. You can pick out the bones if you want. Zest the lemon over the bowl. Then roll it under you palm a few times to release the juices. Cut it in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl, straining the seeds through your fingers. Add the capers. Chop the peppers into small pieces and add them the to bowl too. If you’re using cheese, add it now too. Cover the bowl and set it in the fridge to chill for a bit. Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Fill the cavity with the salmon salad. Eat with your hands, like a hot dog.

Posted 6 years, 9 months ago at 6:34 am. 3 comments

Yard Long Green Beans

IMG_2286This is just a quick post about a recipe Mr. Quotidian and I have been enjoying the past several weeks. Yard Long Green Beans, although they look like field peas that must be shelled, are best used like pole or snap beans. (Except for eating raw. They are bitter and chewy before they are cooked.) For any gardeners reading, these beans should be classified under Foods to Grow for Survival. The plants are magnificently prolific. At City Roots, we harvest bushels every few days.

And they are quite tasty too. I could eat a whole recipe by myself. But then there wouldn’t be any leftovers to used in the Bevy and Beans and Basil dish (recipe to come soon!). It’s such a quandary.

Yard Long Bean Sauté

2 bunches of Yard Long Green Beans
2 Tbs butter, lard, or olive oil
2 anchovy fillets
4 cloves of garlic
sea salt

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, rinse your beans  and snap them to a size you like. You could also peel and chop your garlic now. I like big chunks of garlic in my beans, but if you prefer a more refined mince, go for it. When the water boils, add the beans and blanch them for 45-60 seconds, just enough for them to turn bright green and cook slightly. This step evens out the cooking times, as some beans are larger than others. Strain them out and drain in a colander. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and melt your fat. When it looks shimmery on the surface, add the anchovies and use a wooden spoon to smoosh them into the oil. They should completely disintegrate. Then add the beans and mix until they are evenly coated. I find tongs to be helpful here. Add the garlic and mix again. Cook the beans to your desired doneness – crunchy, al dente, or mushy. Turn off the heat and salt them to taste.

Posted 6 years, 9 months ago at 6:53 am. 1 comment

Zucchini Boats

IMG_2259Recipe names like this always make me think of the book Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.  I bet somewhere in the town of Chewandswallow, amidst all the chaos, was a perceptive mother. She saw the signs of an impending Act of Food and so decided to just let that zucchini in her garden keep growing. While the rest of the townspeople eyed her strangely as they indulged in falling pie and fried chicken, she ignored them, confident in her knowledge of what was coming.  Soon, it all changed. Pea soup engulfed the town. Stale bread filled the ocean. Meatballs fell from the sky. The rest of the town cobbled together peanut butter sandwich rafts that were doomed to water log. Meanwhile, this clever mother harvested her zucchini and herded her family inside, including the pet cat and Little Daughter’s fireflies. They were warm, dry, and well fed as their  zucchini ark was tossed about the ocean. Having grown her family to safety, this woman now lives among us, smiling politely at our weak jokes about zucchini boats.

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Posted 6 years, 9 months ago at 6:15 am. 1 comment

Almost Autumn

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A certain crispness, out of place
A flicker. Then gone.
Crunchy leaves, cider, cardigans

Hope.

Posted 6 years, 9 months ago at 8:42 pm. Add a comment