Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sweet Roasted Butternut Squash and Greens Over Bow-Tie Pasta

We've been fans of The Splendid Table on public radio for years. Every weekend we'd listen to Lynn Rosetto Kasper talk about food, interview chefs, cookbook authors and others, takes calls from listeners with questions about food and occasionally play an entertaining and challenging game called Stump The Cook. Since moving overseas we download the free podcasts of her show and listen when we're in the car.

For several years the good folks at Splendid Table have been sending out a weekly recipe; a service they call The Weeknight Kitchen. If you're not already receiving these, YOU TOTALLY SHOULD SIGN UP. It's free, no hassle, you don't get put on some bizarre mailing list and start receiving tons of spam. You simply get one great recipe delivered right to your e-mail each week.

This week the recipe was for Sweet Roasted Butternut Squash and Greens Over Bow-Tie Pasta. I made it the same day for lunch. It.Was.So.Good. Very easy to make -- if you can chop vegetables and boil water you can make this dish. Oh, and you have to be able to turn on the oven too. I can't copy the recipe here because it's a copyrighted recipe from their cookbook The Splendid Table's How To Eat Supper: Recipes, Stories, and Opinions from Public Radio's Award-Winning Radio Show. But you can simply click on the recipe name above and it will take you right to the page with all the instructions. This is a great dish for autumn which those of you in the northern hemisphere are experiencing.

Some changes I made to the recipe: I added red pepper to the list of vegetables. Because I could. And I wanted to. For bitter greens I threw in some fresh chicory from our garden. AMAZING. They turned sort of sweet but were still slightly tangy.

One of these times I want to roast the vegetables on the grill in my fancy schmancy vegetable grill pan. Because we love us some vegetables roasted over an open fire and I think that would only kick this recipe up a notch, maybe taking it from fantastic to out of this world?

Anyway, HAD to share this recipe with you. It's that good!

Keeping with the theme of food, I wanted to tell you about a little place we occasionally go for breakfast. It's just a few blocks away, right on the lake and now that the weather is warming up I think we'll take our food out on the deck. But so far we've enjoyed the vista through the large plate glass windows of the restaurant. For just over $3 per person we get some really great coffee and a buffet of traditional breakfast foods -- for here, not American style.

This morning we went for the first time in a couple of months. There were medialunas (croissants), facturas (pastries), biscochos (or criollos as they're called locally), and regular bread for toasting. A platter of sliced ham and cheese artfully arranged near the medialunas. Individually wrapped pats of butter filled one dish but rather than the tiny containers of jelly we are accustomed to in the U.S., they had a bowl of homemade jam and tiny bowls so we could take as much or as little as we wanted. Nearby sat pitchers of orange drink (sadly, not the real thing) and yogurt, with a bowl of cereal next to it.

By the way, these are all served in normal sized dishes -- this is not the buffet-on-steroids we're used to seeing in the U.S. 

Each time we've gone there has been a special item and today it was tarta de membrillo (membrillo is a very thick quince jam). It is my new favorite. Ivan says it's also called Pasta Frola. Whatever they call it, I really, really like it. I should have taken a photo because it was very pretty but I was too busy scarfing it down. Maybe next time.

I really do more than eat or think about food.

This week we've had an extra daughter; our co-workers have been out of town so we've claimed one of theirs as ours :-) Some fierce Hand & Foot battles (card game similar to Canasta) -- still on-going even as I type. Andrea and I are currently behind but we've got two more hands to go. There were also Spanish classes, dentist appointments, a little downtown window shopping, art and guitar lessons, high school every morning for our extra daughter and, yes, lots of food.

One evening Andrea made the homemade salsa that Nestor had demonstrated a few weeks ago. It was very yummy! I enjoyed sitting back and relaxing while she cooked too. Other nights we enjoyed meatloaf and scalloped potatoes, garlic and rosemary roasted chicken with mashed potatoes, rice with a variety of sauteed vegetables along with chicken baked in a sauce from Indonesia. Our cousin introduced us to "catsup mani" a while back and we were delightfully surprised to find a bottle in Walmart. It's a thick, rather sweet soy-based sauce. There was also the build-your-own-chef-salad for lunch yesterday that Ivan and Andrea prepared. Ivan boiled eggs, cooked beets which he then sliced, picked lettuce from our garden and Andrea spent a lot of time chopping meat, cheese and other vegetables. I really do love to cook but I also enjoy the occasional breaks from kitchen duty!

Today I plan on attempting No Bakes again. Will it be SWEET SUCCESS? Or Fail #5? Stay tuned for exciting, on-the-edge-of-your-seats reporting on this momentous occasion...


2Thinks said...

Hey now, this sounds delicious! I'm going to try this.

Staying on-the-edge-of-my-seat...


Mari said...

Hey - I'm waiting to hear how it goes with the no-bakes. 5th times the charm!
I used to play hand and foot with my parnets and haven;t played it since my Mom passed away. Fun memories!

Christy said...

That recipe sounds amazing. Can't wait to try it!

Good luck with the no-bakes - and you're not alone with the fails. I can't seem to get them right, either.

skoots1mom said...

yummo...sounds so good
would like to have been there trying that quince mom has made that b4 :)
i just finished preparing a reduced-fat 7-layer salad for a sunday school get together we're having tonight

last night i made s mini greek dinner...and made an absolutely delicious greek salad...Here it is:
the only thing I had to add was some olives, kalamata would be best but i only had sliced black was still good

(Chopped Romaine & Cucumber Salad With Yogurt Dressing Recipe #381583
This crunchy, flavor-packed salad is one of the most-requested recipes at the award-winning restaurant, Oleana, and was printed in Chef Ana Sortun's cookbook, "Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean".
30 min | 20 min prep

1 large head romaine lettuce, blemished outer leaves removed

1 English cucumber

1/2-3/4 cup walnut halves, lightly toasted (optional)

1 cup roughly chopped arugula, washed and dried well (about 1 small bunch)

1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1/4 teaspoon aleppo chile
salt & fresh ground pepper

Yogurt Dressing
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic (about 2 large cloves)
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (avoid acidic brands like Heinz)

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
salt & fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup Greek yogurt or whole-milk plain yogurt or sheep's-milk yogurt
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Wash and dry the romaine leaves. Be careful to dry the greens thoroughly, or the dressing won’t cling. Chop the romaine into fine shreds (1/4 inch) and place them in a large salad bowl.
2. Peel the cucumber and cut it in half lengthwise. Spoon out the seeds. Cut each half in half widthwise, making four long pieces, and grate the cucumber on the large holes of a box grater. Squeeze out any excess water with your hands.
3. Add the shredded cucumber to the chopped romaine. Combine the romaine and cucumber with the walnuts, chopped arugula, and herbs, and set aside or keep cold until you’re ready to toss and serve.
4. Make the dressing by combining the minced garlic with the lemon, vinegar, and sugar in a small mixing bowl. Let this mixture sit for at least 10 minutes to soften the sharpness of the raw garlic.
5. Finish the dressing by whisking in the yogurt and then the olive oil, little by little. Season to taste with salt and fresh-ground pepper.
6. Just before serving, add half the dressing to the salad, salt and pepper taste, and toss. Romaine is thick and crunchy and needs more dressing than a delicate lettuce. Taste the salad, and if the dressing’s too light, spoon on more. Sprinkle with chilies and serve immediately.

Enjoy the rest of your's in the low 70', slight breeze and SUNNY!!!

Lisa said...

I just printed it out so i can try it...I don't exactly have all those vegetables on hand. I'll let you know...

rita said...

Good to hear from you again, Kim!
Rosie was very encouraging about my cooking this week. Did a lot to boost my 'Koch'-ego.
Do you eat dulce de membrillo with queso? Yummmmm

☼Karen☼ said...

Whenever we have butternut squash, it is very hard for us to imagine making anything out of it except Stephan's amazing butternut soup. But maybe, just maybe, I can try this recipe.