Last night, I turned to roasting to make room for this week’s veggies. I started with the butternut squash and two acorn squash I’d accumulated. I punctured them with a fork, then put them whole on a baking sheet and stuck them in a 400-degree oven. Then onto okra: I tossed it with a dribble of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then into the oven it went, joining the squash. When the okra came out, I sliced up an eggplant, coated it generously with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and put it in, too, turning when it was brown on the bottom. I knew the squash were done when they gave way easily to a poke with a wooden spoon. The butternut came out first, followed by the acorns, one at a time.
After they’d cooled, I scooped the seeds from the squash, then packed the flesh into containers for the freezer. They’ll make great ravioli filling and soup when the temperature drops. (I can’t seem to shake my association of winter squash with, well, autumn.) I stuck the okra in the fridge to pack in lunches and eat as sides this week. And the eggplant? It didn’t last long enough to be stored. So golden and savory, my husband and I snarfed it down as finger food, right off the cookie sheet.
I also threw together some refrigerator pickles with the cucumbers I had left. I heated approximately equal parts water and vinegar with a handful of sugar on the stove to a boil. Then I ladled that over sliced cucumbers with a bit of sliced burgundy onion and dried dill in a glass container and refrigerated overnight.
A note on winter-squash roasting: Next time I’ll go back to my old method of cutting them in half and removing the seeds first, then roasting on parchment, cut-sides down. Roasting them whole took too long, and it seemed like I lost more flesh than usual when I scooped out the seeds after roasting.