Cornucopia, Ch 20
The CSA box contains an overlooked benefit. Leftovers. Fresh produce delivers on its promise on the first pass but, used judiciously and frugally, a CSA-sourced meal anchors a second.
Norm-the-Grower sent us several small Sweet Dumpling squash. They taste exactly as the name suggests, yielding a mild, nutty squash flavor. Unlike the Delicata squash, you don’t eat the Sweet Dumpling’s shell but otherwise they’re quite similar.
I find, as I age, that I use sweet flavors less. More to the point, I no longer drown squash in butter and brown sugar, preferring to coax the squash’s inherently sweet qualities to the surface. Fortunately, about all that process requires is baking.
Like pretty much any squash, I washed and split the Sweet Dumplings in half, scrapping the seeds out. For the hardcore among you, yes, you could roast and save the seeds. I probably should have but I didn’t. I rubbed a little olive oil over the bright yellow flesh and seasoned with salt and pepper before roasting at 350 for about an hour. That squash with a bit more salt, crusty bread and a green salad was a weeknight dinner.
Now, on to the leftovers.
I roughly peeled the remaining roast squash, chopping them into bite sized pieces and slid the lot into a serving saver. Three nights later, I pulled it out and dumped the squash into a bowl, drizzling it with a tablespoon or so of olive oil. I tossed the squash to coat then spread the contents on a baking sheet. I lightly seasoned the squash and slid it, into a 425 oven for 15 minutes. I did the same, simultaneously with a tub of whole mushrooms.
Effectively, I warmed and crisped the squash without sautéing it. The reheating also further concentrated the squash flavor, creating little squash flavor bombs. I served it, along with the roast mushrooms over a bed of spinach, finished with some St Pete’s blue cheese crumbled over the top. It was a dinner hit.
And that is how the CSA box keeps on giving.