Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Our CSA "summer" share actually lasted well in to October. Here's a shot of our final weekly pickup, which included potatoes, beets, celeriac, leeks, rainbow chard, dinosaur kale, cabbage, carrots, butternut squash, delicata squash, broccoli, and brussels sprouts.
Both the butternut squash and the kale I cooked and then froze for later use. Everything else I used in various dishes that I will post about over the next week or so, except for the celeriac, which I still haven't used! Luckily it's a root vegetable and keeps very well.
Here's the delicata squash after I sliced off the ends and cut it lengthwise, but before I scooped out the seeds. We received delicatas several times over the summer; the first time, I roasted the two squash halves with some water in the pan, and the result was indeed very delicate, with the texture of a very soft puree and a taste reminiscent of apples and pears. I also tried a delicata and gruyere soup, which was a huge disappointment: it was somehow too bland and too sweet at the same time (to me, anyway; Dan enjoyed it, but he's easy to please).
With this delicata, I think I finally found a method that really brings out the best flavor of the squash. I left the skin on and chopped the squash in to small chunks, which I tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted at 400 degrees for about twenty-five minutes, stirring once or twice. The result was amazing: the flesh was tender, the skin crispy, and the salt and pepper provided a nice, kicky contrast to the natural sweetness of the squash.
I tossed the warm, roasted squash cubes with dried cranberries and toasted pine nuts and added a simple side salad with mustard vinaigrette. This was a very satisfying and delicious meal, and the leftovers were not leftover for long; Dan couldn't pass through the kitchen without grabbing a few more bites, and I certainly couldn't blame him.