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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

More Adventures in Cooking

We've been picking summer squash from the garden for a couple of weeks now, and the bush beans are coming in, too! Not very many at a time, but enough to make a meal for the two of us. This is today's harvest:

I used some of our yellow squash last Sunday in a recipe from Tables of Content, the newest cookbook from the Junior league of Birmingham. It's a lovely book; not only are the recipes very good, but the book contains photographs of the "tables" of food in landmark settings in and around Birmingham such as Sloss Furnaces, the zoo and botanical gardens, with information about the landmarks. The squash casserole was quite delicious, as are most of the recipes I've tried from the book. This recipe serves 6 to 8; I halved it for us and adjusted the cooking time accordingly.

Best Squash Casserole
10 yellow squash
2 eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded mild cheddar cheese
1/3 cup chopped green onions (optional)
12 butter crackers, finely crushed
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Shredded mild cheddar cheese to taste(optional)
8 butter crackers, finely crushed
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine the squash with enough water to generously cover in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil 10 minutes or until tender and drain. Let stand until cool and slice. Drain the sliced squash in a colander, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract any remaining moisture. The cooked squash should measure 5 cups.
Beat the eggs in a bowl until blended. Stir in the mayonnaise and salad dressing mix. Fold in the squash, 1 cup cheese, the green onions, 12 crushed crackers, the garlic salt and pepper. Spoon the squash mixture into a 2-quart baking dish and sprinkle with additional cheese and 8 crushed crackers. Bake for 30 minutes.

The beets from Saturday's trip to the farmers market provided roasted beets using a recipe from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook another of my favorite cook books that gets a lot of use. Growing up, I never cared much for beets . We always had them either boiled or pickled, but since discovering roasted beets, I love them. They have an entirely different, deep flavor, and this recipe really brings out the delicious beet taste:

Roasted Beets with Warm Dijon Vinaigrette
3 pounds medium beets with greens
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
Leave root and 1-inch stem on beets; reserve greens. Scrub beets with a vegetable brush. Drizzle beets with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Roast beets in a small roasing pan at 400 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until tender.
Meanwhile, process green onions, vinegar and mustard in a food processor until smooth, stopping once to scrape down sides. Pour 1/3 cup olive oil through food chute with processor running, processing until smooth. Place vinegar mixture in a small saucepan; cook over low heat until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.
Wash beet greens thoroughly; pat dry with paper towels. Cut greens into thin strips. Place beet greens in a medium saucepan; cover with water, and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered 10 minutes. Drain well. Set aside; keep warm.
Cool roasted beets. Trim off roots and stems, and rub off skins. Cut beets into 1/4 inch slices.
Place greens and beets on individual serving plates; top evenly with vinegar mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper and dill. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings.
Note: I halved this recipe, too, but won't do that again because the small amount of vinaigrette dressing was hard to process and heat properly.


FarmWife said...

Thank you for posting the squash recipe. My husband planted quite a bit of it & I have no clue what to do with it as I'm the only one who likes it. This may help!

roosterhen said...

farmwife- I hope you try it and that everyone likes it. We eat a LOT of squash in the summer- fried, pickled, baked in casseroles- you name it. I also like to slice it, then sir fry it in olive oil with some sliced zucchini, sliced mushrooms, maybe some asparagus tips, a little garlic and some fresh dill or whatever herbs I'm in the mood for.

Rurality said...

Oh man you are really letting me know how far behind our pitiful garden is with this post.

Also, I am suspicious... I've never actually seen you eat anything except soup! ;)