Yeah!!!! It’s Fall and what’s not to be happy about? Other than the slight reminder that winter is right around the corner, but that can’t change the fact that…..1). It’s absolutely gorgeous around here. 2.) It’s back to making soups all the time. 3.) Pheasant and woodcock season has begun, which means bliss for our GSP and my husband who are actively stocking up for the winter. 4.) It’s time for roasting and slow-cooking all those vegetables we forgot about all summer 5.) It means pulling out all our cozy, chunky sweaters again. Shall I go on? I think you get the gist….
‘Tis the season of squash and there are a great many things to be done with these starchy friends but I love the sweetness derived from roasting them. While heat can diminish the nutritive value of some vegetables, fear not! Roasting maintains a great deal of the vegetable’s nutrients, especially when you use a good quality oil like extra virgin olive oil.
This is a super simple recipe that can be made even easier by buying pre-cut butternut squash, or marinating the onions the day before. Otherwise it’s a throw-together that is substantial enough as a meal of it’s own or as a side.
You can also use any greens here so feel free to play around. Baby spinach would be a nice substitute. I personally like to add the squash while still warm from the oven, so that the salad wilts just a bit, especially during the colder months.
Happy fall, I hope you’ve had a chance to jump in some leaves.
Ciao for now,
Roasted Butternut Squash, Marinated Red Onions and Toasted Pumpkin Seed Salad
The sweetness of the squash tossed with marinated red onions and toasted pumpkin seeds is the perfect fall combination!
These were supposed to be big onions when I planted them this spring, at least that was what I expected. I kept waiting for them to enlarge, I left them for weeks until I could see that they did not want to be in the ground anymore. What was I going to do with a ton of baby onions? Why roast them of course, slowly and for a long time. Slow roasting as an antidote to our fast-paced world, for days of puttering around the house, for those rare days when time is on our side.
I came up with the idea of infusing the onions with sage after watching a documentary on Grant Achatz. He was presenting a dish on an inflated “pillow” that he infused with pine needle aroma and perforated the pillow so that when the plate was placed on top it slowly released the smell of pine simultaneously as the guest was eating the dish. What a sensory experience that must have been! Anyways, we are not talking molecular gastronomy here at Mollybea. Not even close. But the sage did give the slow roasted onions an even more savory and perfumed flavor, just sayin’!
Nothing says summer more than sweet, fuzzy peaches. This year was a bumper crop at my parent’s “farm” in the Berkshires. We’ve been making peaches and granola, peaches and basil, peach tarts, peach ice cream, peaches for snack, and the peaches are still coming….peach preserves seemed to be the obvious next idea. Either that or set up a farm stand with the kids, like I used to do when I was little. We’d make our signs, set up a table at the bottom of the driveway and sell our veggies for dimes. (Important to note: I had cows in my backyard and maybe 3 cars passed the road a day. Of course the neighbors stopped!) Ah, summer days….fleeting, summer days. Yesterday my six-year old son pointed out a tree that was changing it’s colors already. Here is an easy recipe to preserve a bit of sun, warmth, and farm stands.
I’ve never eaten a razor clam before 2 days ago. I’ve found their shells on beaches of course, but never thought about the edible creature inside. I didn’t know what I was missing….
You may have already known that we are big fans of foraging for our own food whenever possible. In today’s world, it’s a comfort knowing where our food is coming from and being able to feel good about it’s quality and purity is priceless. We enjoy showing our children the start to finish process, and we find they are more apt to eat whatever we put in from of them if they have helped find it, dig it, prepare it or help serve it.
On a recent getaway to Cape Cod, we bought a clamming permit and tried our hand at it. We had small shovels (aka we used the kids sand toys) and a couple of nets. You have to go at low tide when you can scour the sand for the clams dens. They look like tiny raised sand donuts. If you put pressure near them, a sprout of water jumps up. The kids were hysterical watching us get splashed in the face by the clam “pee”.
A few years ago I wanted to quit quinoa. Every time I cooked it according to the directions of the 1:2 ratio that you find everywhere, it came out mushy, soggy and bitter. I couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about! Eventually I got it through experimenting with different amounts of water. Quinoa is good. Really good. And when cooked properly, it is light and fluffy, each grain defined. Quinoa has an airy and slightly nutty quality that makes it perfect alone or easy to dress it up with endless possibilities.
In light of the gluten-free era, quinoa has become very popular, but it’s actually an ancient grain. And when I say grain, I mean seed. Because it’s the seed of the plant that we eat. And that makes it gluten-free, high in protein, and packed with all sorts of nutrition. It’s related to the spinach and swiss chard family.