November 8th, 2012 — 10:06am
Seasons are funny things food-wise. Every time summer rolls around I am beside myself with the opportunity and abundance and yet it’s the season during which I create the least in my kitchen. I just end up eating simply, trying to keep cool, and not wanting the bother of turning on the oven, or even a burner.
Then along comes autumn and seems to pull me out of any heat-induced funk, just like that. The spices of autumn are one thing: cinnamon, nutmeg, all-spice, and ginger all beg to be baked into something warm and comforting.
And then there is what I think of as the back bone of autumnal fare: the mighty squash in all its forms. Even though squash is a stubborn, heavy, awkward vegetable to prepare; even though peeling and slicing it feels much like trying to violently kill something with a blunt instrument; even though my hands turn yellow and dry after handling one: I find it wholly worth it.
In making this dish I discovered something heretofore unknown to me: you don’t have to peel butternut squash. (!) No, in fact leaving the skin on and simply scooping out the seeds and dicing it before roasting yields caramelised, chewy edges that add a welcome dimension to the texture of sometimes too-soft squash. It’s a revelation, friends.
I think we can all agree that this dish has Thanksgiving written all over it. It would be great as a side dish there, sure, but it’s also a very filling and satisfying dinner unto itself. I enjoyed it cold from the fridge, standing in my kitchen, fork and tupperware in hand, thick socks in full force. I recommend you do the same.
Butternut Squash with Pecans and Blue Cheese
from Nigella Lawson
- One butternut squash (about 2 kilograms)
- 1.5oz/ 45 ml olive oil
- ½ tsp dried thyme (or 6 stalks fresh thyme)
- 3.5oz/ 100 g pecans
- 4.4oz 125g blue cheese
- Preheat the oven to 425F/220C.
- Halve the squash, leaving the skin on, and scoop out the seeds, then cut into small cubes; you don’t need to be precise, just keep the pieces uniformly small.
- Put the squash into a roasting tin with the oil. Strip the leaves from 4 stalks of thyme, and sprinkle over the butternut squash. (If you can’t get fresh thyme, use dried.) Roast in the oven for about 30-45 minutes or until tender.
- Once out of the oven, remove the squash to a bowl and scatter the pecans and crumble the cheese over it, then toss everything together gently.
- Check seasoning and add the last of the thyme, torn into small sprigs to garnish. Serves 6-8 as a side dish.
2 comments » | recipe
August 8th, 2012 — 6:59am
We’ve been on a green salsa kick recently. Cooking still doesn’t sound that fun so instead we’ve been coming home, cracking a beer, and eating way too many chips with this salsa. It’s rillyrilly good.
It’s up to you, of course, to make it as spicy as you like. Our first batch was good but thicker than we wanted and nowhere near hot enough. The second batch (and I should note, this is most definitely a Dan-led initiative) is the recipe you see below. We used two hot peppers and left the seeds in – actually we just lopped off the stems and threw them into the blender whole – plus we added a pinch of cayenne pepper.
The avocado and sour cream do an amazing job of bringing some creamy balance to the heat of the peppers but it’s certainly got a kick so cold beers are advised :)
Houston-Style Green Salsa
adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook
- 1 lb fresh tomatillos
- 1 large avocado
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 1-2 serrano peppers, seeds removed (or left in!)
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- Salt, to taste
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- Remove the husks from the tomatillos and drop them whole into a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes to soften them. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer them from the pot to the blender.
- Remove the pit and scoop out the avocado flesh. Add it to the blender along with the garlic, onion, peppers, lime juice, and sour cream.
- Blend until you reach desired consistency.
- Add cilantro, cayenne, and a large pinch of salt, pulsing once or twice to combine.
- Leftovers will keep several days in the fridge. Yields 2 cups.
5 comments » | food and culture, food experience, recipe
July 26th, 2012 — 2:01pm
Avocado on toast with olive oil and sea salt; heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella on toast.
Fried eggs on toast; sauteed rainbow chard; strawberries.
Raw oats with Greek yoghurt, sunflower seeds, almonds, peaches and strawberries.
As is always the way in the summertime, I’m cooking less. More time spent outside in the hot sun and less time inside my sweltering kitchen.
I thought it might be fun to show you a snap shot of how I eat in these hot weeks when I’m sharing fewer recipes with you. Imagine a healthy amount of peanut butter on toast and smoothies thrown into the mix and you have a pretty accurate portrayal here.
What are you eating?
P.S. More summer eats.
(Photos from Instagram. I’m @angharad_guy.)
9 comments » | random