Posts Tagged ‘winter squash’

Okay, so if you’ll remember from the last soup, I had leftover the liquid drained from a can of tomatoes.

Well, at that enchilada dinner, one of the participants made a pot of rice (with a seasoning packet) and heated up some kidney beans. Her rice came out perfectly, and I took home what leftovers there were.

And reheated them. All classy-like. But I’m telling you about it anyway because I’m proud of having essentially made dinner for free.

Leftover Beans & Rice

First, I wanted to soften the beans a bit more, so I put them in a small pot with just enough tomato liquid to cover, and cooked that for five or so minutes.

And then I went to look around for other flavors to jazz things up.

Oh, yeah, I have a jar of pipian, so I melted about half a teaspoon into the liquid.

And I have some Lime Cilantro salad dressing, which is more like a pesto than a salad dressing, from a local restaurant – so I added a dollop of that, too.

And then I added the rice.

And as everything came to temperature, I crumbled some dried oregano in it as well.

End result – delicious and filling dinner

I also still had about a third of the roasted butternut squash lingering in my fridge. What was I going to do?

So, again, I went poking for inspiration in the other bits and bobs in there. Aha! I had a small container of coconut chutney from take out dosas a friend had brought to my house. I can play with those flavors.

Coconut Chutney Butternut Squash Soup

I diced a yellow onion fairly small, and I cooked it in coconut milk (6.5oz).

I added some asafoetida and a fairly large amount of garam masala – somewhere around a rounded teaspoon. Oh, and 3 cloves of roasted garlic because it was there.

Once everything was aromatic, I added the butternut squash. I also put a Tablespoon of mustard seeds in a dry skillet to heat.

And about a quarter cup of finely shredded, unsweetened coconut.

Like the previous soup, this one also needed some kick, so I added some cayenne pepper. And some black pepper. And a little bit of cilantro. And adding about a teaspoon of brown sugar really made it sing.

Then I thinned the soup out with some vegetable stock.

Once the mustard seeds started to pop, stirred them into the soup as well.

Done! Rich, tasty, and a bit out of the ordinary.

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Would this soup be made in Mexico? I have no idea. No people or cookbooks provided any support for this claim. But its seasonings and flavor went well with the enchiladas my friends made.

So there I was at my farmers’ market this weekend near the end of the market – and one of the farmers had a box of butternut squash seconds for $1/lb. The tops were going mushy. And I asked the guy how many he thought I could get for $5… and walked away with 6 decent sized squash.

I scrubbed the outsides, trimmed the tops as necessary, split them in half lengthwise with my big knife, scooped out the seeds, and set them to roasting cut side down. It took 2 half sheet pans to roast them all.

Once they were tender, I let them cool a little, and then I peeled them and put the flesh all together in a container in the fridge – purpose to come soon.

Then this week I had 1 friend request vegetarian soups and another invite me over for enchilada dinner. Woo!

Mexican Butternut Squash Soup

Start off with about 4-5 cups of roasted butternut squash and a roasted head of garlic.

I began building the soup with a roux base, so I poured… oh, about 2 Tablespoons… olive oil into my soup pot and heated that up.

Since I wasn’t sure whether I would want to blend the soup smooth, I diced the (1 medium) onion fairly small. Toss that in and cook until translucent.

Once the onions were soft, I sprinkled flour on top until the onions were coated with flour, but none was still dry in the pan (about 2 Tablespoons – if it’s too dry, add more oil)

Then I opened up a jar of vegetable stock and added until everything went smooth and liquid (it took about 1 cup, but I’d been expecting to use more stock).

I added the roasted squash (2/3 of my total… somewhere around 4-6 cups) and I poured in the liquid the squash had released overnight in the fridge.

Cook that a bit until everything is hot and the squash is starting to break down. Meanwhile – drain a 24oz can of diced tomatoes (and reserve the liquid to use either if the soup becomes too dry during cooking or to use in making rice later in the week) and grind 1 tsp cumin, 2 tsp coriander, and 2 tsp ground oregano (or use ground herbs and spices).

And dices tomatoes to the squash. Stir. Break up the squash more every time you stir.

Sift the ground spices into the soup (because whole coriander is ornery in a mortar & pestle YMMV). Add salt and pepper. I added some ground savory, too. If the color isn’t pleasing, you could go for some paprika, but I was pleased with things without.

I added about half of the cloves from the roasted garlic.

Stir, mash, stir.

This soup really came together quickly – about 20 minutes – so I also added the juice of half a lime to encourage it to stay the pretty color it had hit. And I was pleased with the amount the squash had broken down (mostly smooth, with some chunks, no pieces larger than half a teaspoon), so I left it chunky.

What this soup was really missing was spice, but that was a deliberate choice based on its audience, so I took a chipotle hot sauce with me instead.

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17
Dec

Leftover Soup

   Posted by: Livia    in course, easily modified to vegan, friendly, Recipe, soup, vegetarian

So I came home from work, and I heated up some leftover soup.

And then I had amazing garlic bread on the side – this morning, I had mixed together some black garlic and softened butter. But – I’d been reading cookbooks at work, and I forget which one had it – but I just passed right by a mention of tomato toast (which looked like bread with some tomato sauce spread over before toasting). I don’t even know if that recipe involved toasting because it didn’t register consciously, but I have this jar of salsa with a smooth texture that’s not all that pleasing for chips so I’ve been looking for ways to cook with it… and that, drizzled on top before the buttered bread went under the broiler, made delicious toast.

But then I was looking at the dregs of the jar of salsa, and I figured out a soup that would use up a bunch of odds and ends around the refrigerator. Only, people – I have already had dinner, but I can’t stop sipping this soup in progress. It’s really good so far, and I’m hoping I don’t fuck it up.

Mexican-y leftover soup

So I started off with slightly less than two teaspoons of whole wheat flour, and I toasted it in the bottom of a dry saucepan.

Once it had turned a rich dark brown, I added a finely diced medium/large onion. And I let that cook for a few minutes without adding any oil so that the onions would have a chance to soften and get coated with the flour.

Then I added a teaspoon of bacon fat and two teaspoons of olive oil, and stirred it together thoroughly, until the flour was all gooey.

I added three large minced garlic cloves while there still was some dry-ish cooking to be had.

Then I slowly incorporated 1 pint of turkey stock and 1/2 a pint of vegetable stock (because that’s what I had hanging around).

And I added the last of the cubed and roasted squash out of which I had made the last two soups – umm… about a pint’s worth.

At this point, I pulled out the badly aging remnants of my last trip to the farmers market (which I think was before Thanksgiving) – a carrot and a parsnip. Peeled them. Sliced the parsnip thinly on the bias and diced the carrot, not that the shape is likely to matter, as I’m thinking of pureeing it. Added it to the soup.

I minced some ginger and added it.

I added the remains of the jar of salsa (about an eighth of a cup, but I can’t see significantly more being a bad thing) and a can of diced tomatoes.

And then for the removable ingredients – I cleaned a stalk of celery and added it whole and I tossed in a bay leaf.

And some seasonings – two cloves (pinch off the caps, powder them in your fingers, then keep the stem for when you want to stud something with cloves), a dash of oregano, a tiny amount of dried chipotle (just a little because I don’t yet know how much the heat will increase during cooking), and some ground pepper.

And then I looked in the fridge and saw that I still had a leftover baked sweet potato from Thanksgiving, so that went in, too.

Now I have a lot of liquid – so it’s on a slow simmer, cooking down.

But it’s delicious. It’s delicious in a spoon, and it’s delicious with a piece of bread surreptitiously dunked in it. Mmmmm!

The working plan is to puree it once it has cooked down and then add cubed leftover turkey (currently in the freezer, not the fridge), but I’m thinking it might be too tasty to tinker with.

ETA: I never did add the meat. It was just too tasty as it was.

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Okay, so the second try was also a big shameful and full of weird miscellaneous condiment selections. And yet also tasty.

Turkey Squash Lentil Soup

Okay, so roast squash and have some sitting around in your refrigerator all cooled and diced.

Also, leftover turkey, cut into chunks.

And this time, I’m trying it without soaking the lentils first. Rinse/wash them in three vigorous changes of water before using.

Oh, and I’ve made both turkey stock and vegetable stock. You can go with all of one or the other or just water – but they shouldn’t be at least warmed up to room temperature.

So brown 2 teaspoons of flour in a pan. Dice an onion pretty finely and stir that into the browning flour. Once the onions are limp and the flour is getting toasty, add a teaspoon or so of butter (or lipid of choice).

Now add some turkey stock and stir it all together until you have a gravy base. Add a teaspoon of red wine, a shake of Worcestershire sauce, and a little bit of browning sauce.

Add lentils and minced garlic with some vegetable stock. Once it reaches a simmer, add the cubed winter squash. And then a couple minutes later, the turkey leftovers.

Season with ground black pepper, ground ginger (I was bizarrely generous with this, but luckily the soup absorbed it well), a sprinkling of cinnamon, and some hot pepper.

Because these are all leftovers that have been sitting in the fridge, you really should have the soup boil for about 20 minutes, but my lentils were already pretty mushy by the end of that.

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So here I am with my 5 pounds of turkey leftovers, and I have visions of a soup I think I’ve had somewhere before – a lovely, brown broth with lentils and pieces of winter squash and turkey. The soup in my head is delicious.

Because I soak legumes, and can not help myself from soaking lentils as well, I started 1 cup of lentils soaking the night before.

The next day, I melted a little butter and a little bacon fat (about 1 teaspoon of each), and once the onions softened I sauteed an onion, some garlic (3 cloves, minced), and some ginger (1 skinny inch, minced). Oh, and I added some asaphoetida – about half a teaspoon.

And then I added turmeric because I’d just been having a conversation with my ex about a bland soup that had been resurrected with turmeric and because the last batch I bought was surprisingly strong scented, so I’m hoping surprisingly flavorful, too.

So cooked that together for about 30 second to a minute, and then I added a scoop of the turkey stock (which had set up all nice and gelatinous) and let that melt in.

And then I added the winter squash. I have no idea what kind of squash this was. It was labeled at the farmers’ market as a sweet roasting squash, was about 5 pounds, and had a blue/green skin that was not as blue as a Hubbard squash. It did not roast up sweet at all. Instead, it had a bit of a sovory poultry-ish flavor, so I figured it’d be perfect for soup. So I rough diced it and dropped it in. Not all of the squash fit because I’ve found that I really can’t go much larger than a 2 quart pot, if I’m still going to like the soup by the last serving (and I only wanted the squash to be a third of the soup).

And then I added the soaked lentils and some more liquid (a mixture of turkey stock, vegetable stock, and water I’d used to cook chicken and onions the day before).

And I added some flavor elements – a whole stalk of celery and a bay leaf (both to be removed after cooking), the last of my buckwheat honey (1 1/2 teaspoon?), thyme, oregano, cinnamon, and freshly ground pepper.

And I let it cook… and it turned to mush, as you’d expect. And adding turkey to it at that point, would have been just gross. So despite having been fairly generous with the seasonings, I had 2 quarts of fairly flavorless mush.

I let the soup sit for a day while I pondered. And I figured that it might lend itself to something spicy/sweet/tangy.

So I came back and started looking through my random condiments. I decided against the tamarind chutney, even though it had a lot of what I was looking for. And I went, instead, with the bottle of Caribbean Savory Sauce that I had been having trouble finding a use for. And a little was good, so I went with a lot. Probably a quarter of a cup would have been the right measurement, but I went ahead and finished off the bottle – and it was not too much.

I also added some paprika (1 teaspoon?) and a lot of cayenne powder (possibly as much as 2 teaspoons, but you might prefer a lot less). And two capfuls of cider vinegar.

So it ended up tasty, but not at all what I’d been aiming for, and it didn’t use up any of my turkey.

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So the weather was cold enough last night that I not only made soup, but also I closed the windows.

Let me tell you about my oddly delicious butternut squash soup!

I started this soup a couple days ago not quite sure where I wanted to go with it, but I figured not sweet and probably asian flavors (though I hadn’t even decided as far as whether I’d be going for south asia or southeast asia).

So I peeled the squash, saved the seeds, and cut it into very rough chunks.

Melted a Tablespoon of butter, diced 3 small onions and sauteed them, diced 4 garlic cloves, minced a lot of ginger (1.5″ or more), and cut the flesh off of a couple jalapenos and diced that in, too.

Added the butternut squash, and then didn’t quite cover with vegetable stock.

Cook cook cook stir stir cook.

Cover and ponder.

So I pulled out one of my 5.6oz cans of coconut milk (seriously, I am never buying a big can ever again – these are prefect) and added that.

And then I went to my stack of Maesri Thai curry pastes to pick one. And I chose the yellow sour curry paste. I cracked it open and tasted it (my first time using this flavor) – and it was perfect! All dark-salty (from the fish content) and sour (from tamarind), and I added a little and tasted and a little more – and I ended up adding about 4 teaspoons to get the balance just right.

And despite my recent acquisition of a stick blender, by the time this one was finished, it was already mostly smooth and I decided that I wanted some chunks of squash for texture.

I seriously love this soup, and I can not wait to walk home through the rain tonight to curl up with more of it.

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So that’s not the best name for a soup, but it seemed descriptive of what I made last Sunday.

Roasted Autumnal Soup

First, a few days before, I caramelized a bunch of smaller onions (peeled, stem ends trimmed, quartered almost through to the stem end but not quite) similarly to the Caramelized Shallots I have been adoring over at Smitten Kitchen – only with less butter, so completely differently. Let’s say I remembered to add a small chunk of butter, maybe 2 tablespoons. And then I splashed over some balsamic vinegar because I love it and hadn’t bought any red wine vinegar since a vicious squirrel invaded my kitchen and broke my last bottle. A bit of brown sugar (mildly infused with lime zest because that was the brown sugar easiest to hand), some salt and pepper, and a loose covering with tin foil. Cooked until the liquid was just a bit too far past syrupy to save for another use (sadly).

I think that was also the day I split the delicata squash in half (and saved the seeds) to roast. Actually, this was all done on the long planned day of roasting, so it must have been the same day. Afterward, I pulled the peel off and put the chunks in a container in the refigerator for future use.

Also, that same day, I roasted several heads of garlic.

So, slice up a couple of the caramelized onions, cut the squash meat into smallish chunks, and toss a few cloves of roasted garlic into a pot and pour in some vegetable stock to cover.

Cook cook cook.

Season with a bit of salt, some nutmeg, ground pepper, and a bit of ground coriander.

Once everything is cooked tender, puree in a blender. I am only just starting to be convinced of the whole blending soups school of thought, and I will say that it works much more smoothly when you are making single portions of soups rather than large batches that’ll last a week.

So return the blended soup the a rinsed pot. At this point, I tasted it and decided it was definitely lacking a high note. Should I add fruit? Can’t spruce it up with some vinegar because it already has that from the caramelized onions. You know… I bet a buttery, plump roasted scallop would really set this soup off well. Only I don’t have a good source for seafood.

So I set a container of nonfat plain yogurt to drain.

Once it was a bit drier, I lumped a quarter of a cup into the bottom of my soup bowl. To the yogurt, I added a pinch of cumin, a pinch of chipotle powder, a pinch of ground pepper, and a sprinkle of salt. Stirred that thoroughly, and poured over the hot soup. I gave it a few stirs to swirl the yogurt through, but I did not mix it completely. And it turned out just right.

~*~

Now I have to think of a soup that will benefit from some whey as the liquid component.

~*~

But for tonight, I am making a pretty standard black bean soup that ended up being fairly strongly based on my chili recipe. I just started going for that on automatic.

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

Set a cup of black beans to soak the night before. (Or open a can and rinse)

In 1 teaspoon of olive oil, cook down 1 onion (small dice) and half a dozen baby carrots (cut to about the same size). One they start to soften, add 1 clove garlic (minced), flesh only of 1 serrano pepper (minced), 1 caramelized onion (sliced – see recipe above), 2 roasted garlic cloves.

Once the vegetables are soft, add 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp ground coriander, and a pinch of asafoetida. Stir together and let heat for a minute.

Stir in the drained black beans. And for some reason, I keep feeling like cooking them a minute or two before adding the liquid. I don’t know if there is any benefit, but it doesn’t seem to do any harm.

Add vegetable stock to just cover. Once the liquid is simmering, add 1/2 tsp ground thyme, 1/2 tsp ground oregano, 2 tsp paprika, and a pinch of sugar. Oh, wait… I didn’t use sugar. My buckwheat honey has started crystallizing, and I still have about half the jar left, so I stuck a knife in and pulled out about 2/3 tsp of honey and used that, instead. Right. That should be awesome.

I let it cook down for about an hour, until it started looking a little dry, and then I added a can of diced tomatoes (juice and all). I also added a pinch of ground chipotle (you don’t want to add it too early because even a small about of hot pepper will build intensity during slow liquid cooking). And then I let it simmer until I was about ready to go to work.

When I get home and heat it up, it will probably require one finishing touch – about a teaspoon of flour (whole wheat, why not) shaken together with some lukewarm water. Add that to the soup and then cook it all for another 20 minutes, and you are good to go.

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13
Nov

Roasting

   Posted by: Livia    in experiments, Food

So I read in a Depression Era cookbook that the most efficient and conscientious way to use the oven was to only turn it on when you could fill it – sort of like only doing full loads of laundry.

And I think I have reached a critical mass of things that need roasting – and that means I have plans for my weekend.

There’s a butternut squash that has finally lost its greenish tinge. And I have never seen the need to risk self-injury peeling those things raw. So this’ll get split in half and roasted. And maybe I’ll roast up the seeds as well.

There are green tomatoes. I am have been reading recipes for roasted tomatillo salsas, and I see no reason not to attempt them with my stubbornly green tomatoes.

I think I’ll also roast a couple jalepeno peppers for the salsa, as well.

Knowing that I was heading toward roasting, when I stopped by my produce truck last weekend I picked up some proper whole heads of garlic, instead of the pre-peeled ones I usually cheat with.

I did not pick up any bell peppers, but I might yet.

And I have some potatoes, but I’d need to think up something sexy to do with them to make them worth the attention. I’d been eying the cauliflower and thinking of aloo gobi when I bought them. Hmmm… could you make that with leftover baked potatoes?

So my question is what else I should consider as worthy of tucking into the corners of my oven while I’m doing this other stuff.

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I love cream cheese. If I were poetically inclined, I would write odes to cream cheese.

It makes almost everything, sweet or savory, taste better.

But most especially – bagels!

And if you’ve been buying your fancy cream cheese spreads from the store, you’ve been missing out.

Cream cheese and scallions – I think stores must try to put them through a food processor or something to universally come up with bland, stringy (but I’ll still eat it!) scallion cheese. Let me tell you how to make this one better.

Take 1 bunch of scallions. Cut off the root bits and then peel them down until you have firm, clean skin left. (If you keep a bag of onion skins in your freezer for stock, wash off these scraps and put them into the bag, too) Then line up three or four of them, and slice the thinnest rounds you can (if anything is thicker than a millimeter, slow down and try it again). And keep slicing all the way into the green parts (pulling out any that are too wilty, and then slicing up the rest until you have just the tips left… and then those can go into the stock bits bag, too).

Dump the sliced scallions into a bowl. Dump an 8oz block of cream cheese into the bowl.

Ask yourself whether you want to be creative. If yes, also add some garlic (either minced from a jar or roasted cloves, but not fresh because that ends up just a little too potent) and maybe some chipotle. See what odds and ends are hanging around your fridge looking exciting. A dollop of heavy cream makes it a very sexy dip for company. A blob of mayonnaise makes it more spreadable. A drop of worcestershire sauce may sound like a good idea to me, but it just ends up making it taste a bit off, so don’t do that.

Mix it all up. It will be the best scallion cream cheese you have ever had, and people will ask for your secret. You will end up looking at those people like they are crazy, since it’s just scallions and cream cheese – why is it so hard?

roasted red pepper and cream cheese – okay, so it took me a while to make a better one than my bagel place, but I blame that on being a relative newcomer to the wonders of roasted red peppers. One warning though, since cream cheese mold often shows up first as orange dots and this is a fairly strong flavor so it’s basic nature will mask early signs of spoilage, you do want to be careful how long this sits in your fridge – this has never been a problem for me, though.

Roast red peppers. Remove skins. Have them hanging around your fridge looking lonesome.

Lay out a kitchen towel. On top of that, put a paper towel. (or you can have lots of paper towels… or 2 kitchen towels, if you are doing laundry tomorrow, otherwise the little scraps of red pepper will get ingrained in the fabric for a while.)

Cover half of the paper towel with roasted red pepper strips (you can strip some of the moisture with your fingers while you’re still dangling them over the container… and possibly with the container resting in the sink). Fold the other half of the paper towel and kitchen towel over top of the peppers, and then just plop your cutting board on top and maybe a pitcher of water. Read some food blogs. Come back. Set aside the pitcher of water, move the cutting board, and flip over the pepper/towel sandwich. Replace cutting board and pitcher. Oh, wait, have you checked your email? Better do that again.

Okay, so you’re bored and eager to eat breakfast now. Fine. Go open up your towels. Peel the red pepper off of the paper towel, tear it into smaller strips (and inch wide or so is plenty fine) and pile them onto your cutting board. So when you were tearing them, you noticed that peppers have a grain direction, right? It runs from stem to seat. Slice the peppers into thin strips opposite the grain direction.

Dump the strips into a bowl. Add one 8 oz. package of cream cheese. And then there’s just no question on this one, go ahead and add several cloves of roasted garlic. Mush it all up.

And try not to eat it all in the first day.

Chives, fennel, garlic, and cream cheese – or you can just be creative.

I lopped off a hunk of chives from the herbs on my patio, and then used scissors to cut them into wee tiny slices.

Pulled off some fennel fronds from the bulb [redacted] gave me (note: I have done this before with bronze fennel, and it doesn’t look nearly as appetizing as with green), sliced them up into tiny pieces as best I could.

And then tossed in the rest of the cloves from head of roasted garlic.

And a stick of cream cheese.

It was delicious! And all gone.

~*~

So I was hungry this morning, but I kind of didn’t want to make a new batch of sexy cream cheese because they haven’t been lasting well in my fridge (and the box of triscuits is getting low, too…). And I thought about making oatmeal, but I have a craving for cranberries to put in them, and I haven’t made it to Trader Joe’s, which I think will be my best bet. I considered making it with dates and apples, and while that sounds good, but it wasn’t what I really wanted and I only have sexy oatmeal that requires standing for half an hour. And Kundalini yoga kicked my ass on Sunday.

So I went for squash blossom quesadillas.

My neighbor has a butternut squash plant that is planning to take over the world, so we had already talked about how it wouldn’t be any problem for me to relieve her of a few blossoms.

Only my default for quesadillas is using them to get rid of any small leftovers I have, so it ended up including: half an onion, half a bell pepper, a jalepeno pepper, the last 2 of the tiny yellow summer squash, some mushrooms – and 8 squash blossoms. Seasoned with Penzey’s fajita mix. With plain old store brand sharp cheddar cheese from the grocery (which I usually wait to buy at $2/lb, but they haven’t had that price in a while and this is my last stick. Should I keep waiting, or buy a couple at 2 for $5 to tide me over).

It ended up being full of deliciousness, but I couldn’t have told you where the flavor of squash blossoms added a damn thing. But delicious. In my mouth.

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11
Oct

New ingredient – delicata squash

   Posted by: Livia    in Recipe, vegetarian

Some kind person (I’ve completely forgotten who) randomly gave me a delicata.

And, since it’s a winter squash, it sat about on my counter for a while as I perused the internet for tasty recipes.

Finally, after much research, I decided on Delicata squash with spiced pecans and dried cranberries. Yum.

So I set about acquiring dried cranberries – which really should not be that hard. I couldn’t find them at the grocery across the street. I kept forgetting to check the indian grocer. The fancy grocery three blocks away had some tiny bags that had extra sugar added (which they all might, for all I know, but they weren’t very pleasant about giving me directions to the dried fruit area), so I didn’t buy theirs. Today, I tried the spice lady at the farmers’ market, and while I cleaned her out of dried tomatoes and passed by her dried peaches, there was not a single cranberry to be found.

Secretly, however, I had already started forming other plans a few days before the farmers’ market. And I had gone and acquired mushrooms.

And so I call my dish

Autumnal Delicata

Slice the squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Slice each half in half, and then into 1/2″ slices. Because the internet says you can eat the skin.

Chuck the slices into a plastic bag. Add 1tsp olive oil and some salt and pepper. Twist the bag closed, and then shake the squash around so it is evenly coated. Dump the squash onto a roasting pan, and stick it in a 350F oven.

Take a container of baby portabella mushrooms; peel the caps, wipe off the stems, and cut the pieces into large chunks (roughly 1″ square). Dump the pieces into the same plastic bag. Add 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, and some salt and pepper. Shake about.

When the squash is stirred/turned over (approximately 20 minutes, but I wasn’t timing it), dump the mushrooms on top and let them join in the cooking.

In a large skillet, heat up 2 tsps olive oil. Add some fresh rosemary (I find that if you get the right balance of frying the rosemary, without burning it, you get delicious crunchy pieces, instead of chewy ones, with minimal prep effort). After the oil had had a chance to bubble around the rosemary, add 1 tsp red wine and 2 tsp balsamic vinegar.

Let the wine and vinegar reduce a little, but as soon as it starts looking thick, add 1 diced onion. I also had a leek to use up, so I added it (white and green parts, sliced and cleaned) at this time, too.

Once the onions are looking all glisteny and brown from the vinegar, add some (2+ cloves) garlic.

Only once your alliums are looking seriously intimidated, pull out the pan from the oven and dump the squash and mushrooms into the skillet. (note: if you leave time for the squash to cool, it would be easy to slip off the peels at this point)

Stir, stir, stir.

I had ready some stock to add if things started to look dry, but I ended up not using any.

And then I finished off with a handful of fresh sage and fennel (leaves only, minced) and over a tablespoon (the rest of what was left in my jar) of apricot jelly.

And then I dumped it in a bowl and ate it all up.

Other things I could add: pasta/risotto, a little bit of ground clove/nutmeg, red pepper, sexy sharp cheese.

Final impression: I didn’t like the skin on the squash, so I ended up picking the squash pieces out first so I could deal with separating the skins. Just because a thing can be done, that does not necessarily mean it should be done. But other than that, the flavors came together very well and it was tres sexy. While the mushrooms where the genius that led me to this approach, the apricot jelly was the cleverest part of this scheme.

Notes for modifications to try in a future attempt: I have read on the internet that you can peel delicata raw with a vegetable peeler, but I don’t believe them. So if you want the squash peeled, you might want to be sure you time it earlier (or have teflon fingers)… and then if you time it earlier, you might want to start the mushrooms with the onions instead of with the squash. That sort of thing. But I trust you to figure out the details so that they’ll work for you.

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