The weather may be a bit cooler, but summer doesn’t officially end until September 21st. As I mentioned in my last post, there’s a beautiful collision of summer and fall happening right in front of eyes at the market. So before I start recommending you eat winter squash for every meal of the day, here are some of my photos and ideas of the five recipes you should make before the leaves start to fly:
1. Black Rice Noodles with Broccoli and Sesame Ginger Sauce from Relishing It | I picked up these funky, gluten-free Lotus Foods Black Rice Noodles from my co-op (Whole Foods also carries them) without knowing what to make with them and like a recipe fairy, Laurie posted this fantastic dish just a few days later. As with all her recipes, this one is full of flavor and market fresh ingredients. I loved it! To make it gluten-free, I used tamari instead of soy and omitted the hoisin sauce. Then I added more fresh ginger and rice vinegar to replace the “oomph” that might have been lost from my substitutions. (picture above)
2. Your favorite burger + a glass of dry rose’ | This summer I tried alpaca meat for the first time after getting to know a local purveyor. It tastes similar to pork, no gamey taste all, and is even leaner than bison. These burgers were stuffed with Big Woods Blue from my cheese CSA (yes, you heard right – delicious, artisan cheese for every month) and topped with garlic chive pesto for one amazing juicy lucy. I’ll be making them again, this time with basil pesto, which I’ll freeze the excess into ice cubes for use throughout the winter.
3. Avocado and Zucchini Butter Toast | I’d surely pay $4 for this slice of heaven at one of those fancy toast bars. The “Genius Recipes” column of Food 52 is one of my favorites for new ideas and this zucchini butter intrigued me from the moment I read “its simpler than you’d ever think, and tastes richer than any vegetable has a right to” Boy were they right. It reminds me of how amazing caramelized onions are, deep with flavor and a silkyness that can only be achieved by cooking out the water. I used a mix of grated zucchini and yellow summer squash, but any type of summer squash will work.
4. Farmers Market Cornbread from The Bojon Gourmet | Alanna posted this recipe and I put it on my “to make” list immediately. You must hop over and gush at her photos, I’m amazed every time I read a new post. This gluten-free cornbread recipe is hearty enough to be dinner, (I actually ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner because it was so good), completely perfect, embracing everything that summer has to offer. Fresh corn, heirloom tomatoes, peppers and onions – all baked into the best cornbread I’ve ever tasted. You must make this.
5. Zucchini Noodles with Blistered Tomatoes & Olive Tapenade | While writing Smitten with Squash, I experimented with quite a few “zoodle” recipes. Two others made the book, but this one came on such a whim that I never got around to writing the recipe for it. It comes together within 5 minutes thanks to an inexpensive julienne peeler and pre-made olive tapenade. I can’t stress enough how delicious this is, with just the right amount of salty to go with the slightly sweet and clean zucchini.
To make the blistered tomatoes, throw a handful of the beauties into a hot pan with about two teaspoons of olive oil and salt. Cook them over high heat for about 5 minutes, until they start to sizzle and pop. Shake the pan often to keep them moving and when they’ve broken down and squidgy, remove them when the heat and toss them with a little more salt and a pinch ofpepper. Add them to a heaping pile of zucchini noodles, stir in a dollop of olive tapenade, and garnish with fresh basil.
Enjoy this lovely weekend and if there are any recipes you suggest I make before summer ends, let me know in the comments below! And one other quick update, I added a few more book events for September and if you’re anticipating winter squash season as much as I am, you can purchase Smitten with Squash here for lots of inspiration.