Wednesday, February 4, 2009


First, a note on last week’s recipes and Kale. Someone remarked that they hadn’t yet tried Kale on their families, and I want to suggest two things: first, I recommend Dragon or Russian Kale. It is dark green and bumpy, not the one with the very curly ends and I like it’s texture. Also, you can try Swiss Chard as a step towards Kale from Spinach. It comes in lovely colors and is a bit milder and has a velvetier texture.

Even though the weather in LA lately has been strangely balmy (I do realize I've said this 3 weeks in a row), I’m still hunting for ways to use squashes and root vegetables. I do think the best is perhaps the simplest: just take what you’ve got -- potatoes*, sweet potatoes, winter squash, carrots, turnips, parsnips and such -- scrub or peel them and then cut them into bite sized pieces. Then spread them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, toss with olive oil and salt and pepper and roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, flipping a few times, until tender. We tried a few variations on this recipe with gremolata and some other thing, but really it just complicated it a bit too much.

However, Butternut Squash, with its sweetness and unique texture did lead me to a couple of recipes that I liked: BUTTERNUT SQUASH GALETTE and BUTTERNUT SQUASH GRATIN WITH GOAT CHEESE & HAZELNUTS. Morgan liked the Galette.

This led me to another Galette recipe to use up some apples sitting in a bowl on the counter that were looking ugly but probably still good inside: APPLE GALETTE. This was very popular as dessert and breakfast. A galette, by the way is a “a flat round cake of pastry often topped with fruit” according to Merriam-Webster online, but I decided that it really means: dough that’s really hard to roll out. Between peeling and chopping the squash and apples and rolling out two galettes I figured I had done my upper body workout for the day. Thus, the pricey gym membership is no longer necessary if you cook from scratch!

** my two cents on potatoes. Due to some reading a couple years ago regarding potatoes and glycemic load, I banned them from our table for awhile. But I’ve since been converted by an Irish guy I know and the guys at Weiser Family Farms and I’ve started cooking them again. I do think that baking potatoes are useless – just starch and not much else. But all the variations on the little potatoes that you can find at the farmer’s market – in different colors and shapes – Fingerlings and Prince Edwards and who knows what else heirloom varieties.

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