…though I will allow the possible exception of windstorms, wet socks, and downed power lines.
Both this autumn and last, Mitch and I have purchased a fall share from a local farm and now we are greeted, every Wednesday evening, by a box of veggies boasting not only squash but also onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, brussel sprouts, potatoes, celeriac, chard, bok choy and more.
Every week, the variety changes, and every week I’m presented with the delightful challenge of figuring out how to convert a quantity of vegetables intended for a family of four into a series of dishes to be eaten, stored or frozen by just the two of us lowly veggie-philes.
Weekends that have seen me curled up on the couch with a book, a cat and a hand-knit afghan now find me padding around (well, in and out of) our wee kitchen, chopping, braising, baking, sautéeing, seasoning and, yes, “testing” dish after dish, some of which are eaten immediately, while others are portioned out into containers and frozen for quick eats throughout the week.
This week’s box offered, in a shining, seasonal abundance:
- red onion
- brussels sprouts
- sauté mix
- russet potatoes
- butternut squash
- celery stalks
We also had acorn squash, Swiss chard, green cabbage and leeks left over from last week’s share. Here is what happened to all of it:
- An autumn harvest minestrone did away with the carrots, onion, garlic, potatoes, celery stalks, chard and leeks in one deft swipe.
- A large pot of spaghetti sauce took care of some garlic and onion and provided us with enough sauce for four separate meals.
- A butternut squash puree (courtesy of the fabulous Orangette) reduced the butternut to a vibrant, orange, silken dish and served as a sweet potato replacement at Mitch’s family Thanksgiving, while
- the steamed brussels sprouts were quite tasty with butter, lemon and fleur de sal.
- My favorite vegetarian lasagne (served with aforementioned spaghetti sauce, rather than the suggested mushroom sauce) took care of still more garlic and onion, as did the
- Stuffed acorn squash – which also took care of the acorn squash, as you might imagine.
Tonight, I have braised green cabbage with carrots and onion in mind (also courtesy of Orangette). Oh, and chocolate cupcakes, featuring that fabulous vegan chocolate cake recipe. But those don’t use any veggies, so I’m not sure they count.
Our freezer, my friends, is stocked. And our house smells delicious.
The winner of the week was definitely the stuffed squash, which Mitch deemed worthy of “Finger food,” and if you’ve ever eaten at the Finger household, you know that this is the highest honor a dish could possibly hope to receive by our standards. I’m still blushing.
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 1 stalk chopped celery
- 1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
- 1 large crushed garlic clove
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 c. chopped onion
- pepper to taste
- 1/4 c. raisins (I used cranberries)
- 1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
- salt to taste
- 2 acorn or butternut squashes
- 1/4 c. sunflower seeds
- 1/2 tsp. thyme
- 1/4 c. chopped walnuts
- 1 c. coarsely crumbled wheat bread
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Split the squashes lengthwise down the middle. Remove squash seeds and fibers and bake, facedown, on an oiled baking sheet for 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender enough to eat.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet and add the onion, garlic, celery, walnuts and seeds. Cook over low heat until onions are translucent, nuts are browned and celery is tender. Add sage, thyme, bread, lemon juice, raisins (optional), and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often, over low heat for 5 to 8 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and stir in cheese.
Eat and enjoy!