Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Recipes from the Garden

Summer Squash Gratin
You can serve this as a side dish. With the addition of some salami or bacon, you could also serve it as a main dish with a nice green salad.

1¼ pounds yellow squash, cut into ½-inch squares
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
½ cup salami, prosciutto, bacon, or pancetta, coarsely chopped, optional
1 cup diced Monterey Jack or Swiss cheese (actually any melting cheese would work)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
1 tablespoon white vermouth or dry white wine
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Generous pinch of ground nutmeg
Generous pinch of cayenne or Aleppo pepper
2-3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
Salt and ground pepper to taste
1½ cups fresh breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons melted butter

1. Lightly butter a 10-inch gratin dish or casserole.
2. Steam the squash until tender, about 6-8 minutes.  Maybe less. Remove to a medium bowl.
3. Heat the butter or oil in a small skillet and add the onion and the optional meat. Cook until soft but not browned. Add to the squash along with the cheeses, the crème fraiche or sour cream, the wine, coriander, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
4. Pour into the prepared dish. Combine the breadcrumbs and melted butter; sprinkle over the top of the squash. You can also cook the breadcrumbs in a frying pan with the butter until they are toasted and crisp.
5. Bake at 350ºF until bubbling and nicely browned, about 35 minutes.

4-5 servings
Adapted from Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker’s The All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking (from 1997). Earlier versions of this cookbook called this recipe Summer Squash Casserole.

Moroccan Two Reds Salad
This salad has an astonishingly psychedelic color and a unexpectedly great flavor. Almost makes you want to say "Cool, man."

1 pound beets (3 medium), washed, stems cut off
1 pound (4 medium) tomatoes, seeded, cut into ½-inch cubes
½ medium red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup chopped flat-leafed parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, mint, or oregano or a mix
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Place the beets in a glass or metal 8 x 8 pan or something comparable. Pour about ½-inch water into the bottom of the dish and cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil. Place in a 400ºF. oven and roast until the beets are soft, about 1 hour. You may need longer if the beets are larger. Let them cool slightly and then peel. The skins and stems should slip off easily, leaving your hands nicely pink. Cut off the beet tails.
2. Cut the beets into ½-inch cubes and place in a medium-sized bowl along with the tomatoes, onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro or other herbs.
3. Add the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
4. Serve at once or chill in the fridge for up to an hour. I prefer the salad at room temperature.

Serves 6-8
Adapted from Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid’s Flatbreads & Flavors

Oven-Roasted Tomato Variation

I tried something slightly different with a current batch of tomatoes I purchased from The Patch.
I did the usual washing, cutting in half around the equator, taking out as many of the seeds as I can with my finger, placing them close together in a glass dish and seasoning with salt and pepper. You can also use a rimmed baking sheet. I didn’t sprinkle any olive oil over them.

I roasted at 400ºF. for about 15 minutes and then lowered the temp to 300ºF. until they were much reduced in volume but still nice and squishy, about 2 or 2½ hours. Maybe more. (If you need to roast some beets--or anything else for that matter, you can do them at the same time. They’ll just take longer than at their usual temp.)

I let them cool, placed them on a serving plate and drizzled them with Maple Smoked Olive Oil and then placed a small mound of Délice de la Vallée, a combination of cows’ milk and cream and goats’ milk on top. Both products are made in Sonoma County. You can substitute any good olive oil or soft cheese.

1 comment:

Lily Tinker Fortel said...

Yum! I noticed these in the picture from the Kunst Brunch entry and wondered how to make them. Just picked up some tomatoes this morning at the Farmers Market!