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.
Squash might very well be one of my favorite vegetables. I’ve never heard a person say, “I don’t like squash.” There are so many varieties, saying you dislike squash is like saying you don’t like herbs. It’s hard to generalize. I’m not a huge fan of spaghetti squash. Perhaps it’s because I don’t quite “get it”. But shying away from that one variety isn’t going to put me off squash for life. In the summer, I love zucchini, bright yellow summer squash and all the mini variations that come with it. Winter warms me to butternut squash, acorn squash and pumpkin (yes, pumpkin is a squash too!). I put up both summer and winter varieties, shredded or chopped in the summer, pureed in the winter so I’m never without.
This simple meal has comforted me in both kitchens home and away. When my friend and I backpacked through Europe after college (wow, almost a decade ago…) it because a staple of our diet anytime we had access to a kitchen, whether it was the communal “kitchen” of a hostel or our own apartment for the week. It was a dish that made us feel normal. For a few moments, we weren’t dirty travelers living our of our backpacks for the next 10 weeks, having picnics of bread, fruit and cheese from the local Aldi and saving up for real restaurant dinners when we could (not that it wasn’t great!). But it was the moments when we had access to a kitchen that were magical. When we could pretend that we weren’t moving every few days, but grounded, just for a few days. We dined on pasta, salads, soups and occasionally some chicken or beef. The meals were always simple as we had a limited pantry to work with, but somehow the zucchini over pasta was always a favorite.
Last Wednesday was the first day of Spring. Here in Brooklyn, unless you double checked the calendar, you’d never know. I swear in the past few days it’s actually gotten colder. During a trip to the Union Square Greenmarket on Friday, I saw one farmer selling buckets of tulips and it gave me hope. At least Spring has arrived somewhere! That was until I actually read the sign: “Greenhouse grown”. Not that there’s anything wrong with greenhouses, but I was kind of looking forward to finding something that actually grew in the ground.
Some days you just have too much food. You’re CSA share was too big, you went a little crazy at the farmer’s market (guilty) or you’ve just been eating out a lot. So here you are on the verge of wasted food–the best time to get creative!
“Everything but the Kitchen Sink” is what I’ve decided to call my last minute, thrown together, don’t want to waste food meals. They tend to happen a lot. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I’m not the best planner when it comes to food. I’m easily drawn to beauty, especially beautiful food, and sometimes I might buy a little (a lot) too much with no idea how to use it.
Tonight’s meal? A take on Sausage and Peppers and then some. I buy sweet Italian sausage without casings from Lewis Waite Farm. Over time, I’ve learned it’s best for both parties. I save time not having to take the casing off, like I usually end up doing, and they save time not having to case it. I had a few peppers and some spring onions that I sliced. With that I threw in some summer squash leftover from last night and some kale and squash from my last Tribeca CSA share. Add a little left over gravy (red sauce) from the fridge, cook it all together in my handy dandy Dutch Oven and serve over rice. Voila! Perfect weekend dinner.