I like to cook. Sometimes my daughter likes to eat.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Yum, Squash?

Neither R nor I are that fond of zucchini and summer squash. I think in my case it's because there was always so much of it from my dad's garden every summer, so much that I even got sick of all the recipes for hiding squash. So when we get squash in our CSA box, I'm always tempted to just give it away.

But this week our zucchini came with a neat little recipe called Greek Taverna-style Summer Squash, from an old SF Chronicle Food Section (05/06/98). The squash is supposed to be cut into large chunks and boiled to a softness in salted water, then dressed with garlic, oregano, black olives, EVOO and lemon juice. I decided to roast largish bite-size pieces at 425 degrees, dressed in EVOO, salt, pepper, some coarsely chopped garlic and some crumbled dried oregano. Once it was done, I stirred in coarsely chopped oil-cured black olives, and squeezed lemon juice over all.

It was delicious! Our table of four adults all liked it, although MZ still refused to try it. She insists she doesn't like squash, although it's probably been more than a year since she last tried the stuff.

I may try quartering the squash next time and preparing according to the original recipe, but the roasted squash will definitely come into the rotation again.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lovely Leftovers: Spinach Rice Gratin from 101 Cookbooks

I love 101 Cookbooks, I almost always want to make whatever Heidi sends out, although sometimes it takes me a while to get to the recipe. This one is in such perfect alignment with my refrigerator that I made it immediately -- and was not disappointed. It's easy to make and the results are savory and nutritious, and my refrigerator is a better place for it. Plus it was delicious and filling straight out of the fridge as I dashed out this morning.

I used a combination of spinach, baby chard and turnip greens because that's what I had from my CSA box, and I added an extra egg because the mixture seemed dry to me. I also used black oil-cured olives, but I think any flavorful olives would add that salty dimension such a simple combination requires. I was also skittish about the raw onions -- would they be too crisp, too strong? But no, it works well and added lovely pink flecks. And finally, I added the extra pine nuts on top, along with a light grating of cheese, before baking. It came out lovely.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Another riff on Turkey Burgers

After looking up my poke recipe the other day, and then enjoying some defrosted turkey chile tonight that I have no idea how I made, I was reminded of the usefulness of this blog, if only for my own purposes. I seem to have more time to type in  a recipe these days than to jot it down in my old notebook, and my mind is a sieve, I forget favorites from week to week and then wonder what foolproof thing I can whip together for dinner.

Last night featured turkey burgers, or really, ground turkey seasoned and grilled, with a South Asian/Middle Eastern/North African fusion thing happening. I made my usual mixture with 1/4 cup matzoh meal, 2 minced green onions (whites and pale green stems), and 1 t salt, and added 2 teaspoons of Penzey's balti mix (intended to be simmered into a sauce, but the combination of spices worked for my purposes) and 1/2 t of Penzey's Trinidad Lemon Garlic spice mix. Forming the patties into thick cigars like a sikh kebab would have been better than the round burgers I made.

The turkeys were great with some garlicky hummus R and MZ had made earlier that day. We had a package of Sam's merguez sausages around, so we threw these on the grill, too, and I made a yogurt sauce with some minced green onion and a teaspoon of the yogurt masala I bought in Jodhpur, in imitation of a presentation we'd enjoyed at Aziza several months ago.  

And with two lovely bunches of carrots from successive CSA deliveries, Moroccan carrot salad was in order. I used the recipe from the first Greens cookbook, adding 1/2 cumin and the finely sliced green portions from the green onions I used for the turkey mixture instead of the called-for orange flower water. I love carrots with cumin, and the green onion slivers against the peels of carrot made for a pretty dish.

All of this would have been perfect with whole wheat pita or chapati, but we had grilled corn on the cob, and it was good.

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