I’m a big fan of most types of squash. Summer, butternut, pumpkin, even acorn (though I still have a few on my kitchen counter, waiting to be turned into food). But Spaghetti squash? Eh… There’s just something about one food trying to be another that I’ve never really been able to support. Like Tofurkey. WTF? If you’re vegetarian and don’t eat turkey, fine. But how filling up on all the other wonderful things the harvest provides? Like roasted vegetables, mashed sweet potatoes, apple pie…why ruin it with a log of fake meat? So similar to fake meat, why would I want veggie strings of fake pasta?
Lately I’ve been obsessed with tacos. Going gluten-free has been pretty easy at home, but dining out is a bit of a challenge. No short ribs because they’re dusted in flour before searing; sushi is a bit complicated unless you bring your own tamari (gluten-free soy sauce); and watching people gobble down a giant bowl of pasta is just not fun. So I’ve latched onto Mexican cuisine. It was already one of my favorite cuisines, but knowing it’s pretty much all naturally gluten-free, so long as the tortilla shells are corn, it’s a no brainer. Though ordering or dining out on tacos a few times a week does add up.
This has been an unusually mild summer. I’ve hardly had the air conditioning on all summer except for a few nights. There’s been a calm breeze and sometimes even a bit chilly at night. Still, with longer days, slaving away at a stove to make dinner isn’t exactly ideal. Sometimes raw is the way to go. I’m not talking crazy fancy, restaurant raw food but a simple chopped salad. One of the best things about fresh produce is it needs very little seasoning to make it spectacular.
Again with the summer squash. I never knew it was possible to eat so much zucchini, and still enjoy it. Thanks to one impulse purchase at the greenmarket plus three generous weeks with the Park Slope CSA, I can’t seem to eat the stuff fast enough. Quiches and stews or sautes seem to be my go to for using veggies fast. A combination of veggies and greens cooked down for maximum taste and nutrition. But with so much squash, I decided it was time to take on a single flavor CSA dish.
Peas can sometimes be forgettable. I never wake up on Saturdays in late June or early July and think “I’m going to buy peas today!” as I plan my weekly trip to the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket. Though they’re a welcome a surprise and treat to be greeted by when I arrive.
For most people, including myself, peas come from the freezer. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to find locally frozen peas in the freezer doors of the Park Slope Food Coop during the depths of winter, but either way, they’re frozen. It’s probably one of the very few vegetables, that even in our season-less grocery stories with winter squash and asparagus sitting right next to each other, is rare to find out of season, fresh, sitting on the shelves. For that reason, peas are forgettable. I never plan meals around them as they make their way so infrequently into my diet. But when peas do grace the tables at the New York City Greenmarkets, for those few short weeks, it really is a treat.