The mix of summer and fall vegetables we’ve been getting in the Local Box has been wrecking havoc on my meal-planning skills. For the life of me I can’t figure out how I would pair apples and okra. But that’s OK – just the sight of those hard winter squash turn me gleeful in the kitchen.
Growing up in the cold, cold north makes me a bit nostalgic for true autumn every time October rolls around. Since we finally got a bit of chill in the air I took the opportunity to put together a comforting meal.
I roast the squash and onions in the oven for a bit to really bring out the sweetness, but if you prefer you can boil the squash until tender.
Butternut Squash Walnut Pasta
1 medium butternut squash
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups sweet potato greens, washed and torn into pieces
Salt and pepper
8 ounces orecchiette pasta
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel butternut squash and dice into 1/2-inch chunks. Toss squash and onions with a drizzle of olive oil, then spread on a cookie sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes.
Cook pasta according to directions on package. Reserve approximately 1/2 cup of pasta water.
While pasta is cooking, heat a large saucepan over medium. Add a swirl of olive oil, and once heated through, add walnuts and cook for about 5 minutes. Add squash and onions, and stir in nutmeg.
Add stock and reduce heat to medium-low. Place sweet potato greens on top and cover saucepan. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, until greens are wilted.
Add the orecchiette and reserved water. Stir through and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Butternut Squash & Sage Risotto
From BBC Good Food
Hard squash has started making an appearance in the Local Box lately- try this creamy, satisfying veggie recipe where butternut squash is the star.
2 lbs butternut squash , peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
3 tbsp olive oil
bunch sage , leaves picked, half roughly chopped, half left whole
6 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup butter
1 onion , finely chopped
1.5 cups risotto rice (we used arborio)
1 small glass white wine
1/2 cup parmesan , finely grated
Before you make the risotto, heat oven to 400F. Toss the squash in 1 tbsp oil together with the chopped sage. Scatter into a shallow roasting tin and roast for 30 mins until it is brown and soft.
While the squash is roasting, prepare the risotto. Bring the stock to the boil and keep on a low simmer. In a separate pan, melt half the butter over a medium heat. Stir in the onions and sweat gently for 8-10 mins until soft but not coloured, stirring occasionally. Stir the rice into the onions until completely coated in the butter, then stir continuously until the rice is shiny and the edges of the grain start to look transparent.
Pour in the wine and simmer until totally evaporated. Add the stock, a ladleful at a time and stirring the rice over a low heat for 25-30 mins, until the rice is cooked al dente (with a slightly firm, starchy bite in the middle). The risotto should be creamy and slightly soupy. When you draw a wooden spoon through it, there should be a wake that holds for a few moments but not longer.
At the same time, gently fry the whole sage leaves in a little olive oil until crisp, then set aside on kitchen paper. When the squash is cooked, mash half of it to a rough purée and leave half whole. When the risotto is just done, stir though the purée, then add the cheese and butter and leave to rest for a few mins. Serve the risotto scattered with the whole chunks of squash and the crisp sage leaves.
The first signs of fall are creeping in as Butternut Squash returns to the Local Box this week. It is the star of the show in this lasagna, and we promise no one will miss the meat in this hearty recipe. As written the recipe yields 2 lasagnas of 6 servings each, so feel free to halve it for your purposes – although the leftovers would make a great healthy lunch!
Another cool thing is that the recipe also includes instructions at the bottom for making the lasagna ahead and freezing it unbaked, so you have an easy, healthy meal ready to pop in the oven later in the week.
Butternut squash lasagna
- Cooking spray
- 3 cups chopped onion
- 10 cup fresh spinach
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 (15-ounce) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 (15-ounce) carton fat-free ricotta cheese
- 3 cups diced peeled butternut squash
- 6 cups Smoky Marinara (or other marinara of your choice)
- 12 oven-ready lasagna noodles (such as Barilla)
- 1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Heat a large Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add spinach; sauté 1 1/2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Combine provolone, parsley, salt, pepper, eggs, and ricotta cheeses in a large bowl.
- Place squash in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and cook on high 5 minutes or until tender.
- Coat the bottom and sides of 2 (8-inch-square) baking dishes with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup Smoky Marinara in the bottom of one prepared dish. Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup cheese mixture over noodles. Arrange 1 1/2 cups squash over cheese mixture; spread 3/4 cup sauce over squash.
- Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup cheese mixture over the noodles. Arrange 1 1/2 cups onion mixture over cheese mixture; spread 3/4 cup sauce over spinach mixture.
- Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup Smoky Marinara evenly over noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan. Repeat procedure with remaining ingredients in remaining pan. Cover each pan with foil.
- Bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes.
- To freeze unbaked lasagna: Prepare through Step 6. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.
- To prepare frozen unbaked lasagna: Thaw completely in refrigerator (about 24 hours). Preheat oven to 375º. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover lasagna with reserved foil; bake at 375º for 1 hour. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until bubbly.
This week, I’m especially excited about the red Russian kale. If you’ve never had it before, be sure to give it a big sniff before you cook it – it has a wonderful, floral fragrance.
Tangerines – Orange Blossom
Green Onions – Naegelin
Various Lettuce – Acadian
Daikon Radish – My Father’s Farm
Bok Choy – Naegelin
Cauliflower – J&B
Apples – Apple Country
Red Russian Kale – Acadian
Butternut Squash or Avocados
Pork tenderloin stir-fry with tangerines and chili sauce
Herb-poached shrimp with cauliflower couscous and brown butter – This has a long ingredient list, but looks really yummy.
Braised kale with pancetta – Keepin’ it simple. The kale shines here.
Roasted butternut squash with sauteed beets and beet greens – You can leave out the squash if you get avocados instead.
Apple-avocado salad with tangerine dressing – This would be good without the avocados if you get squash instead.
Posted in --this weeks' box contents, 1. LOCAL BOX
Tagged apples, avocados, beets, bok choy, butternut squash, califlower, daikon radish, green onions, kale, lettuce, tangerines
Merry (almost) Christmas! Our box is a bit festive this week with the addition of some rainbow-hued radishes and carrots and some red and green peppers. Here’s the full list and video.
Red and Green Peppers – Juan Farms
Broccoli – My Father’s Farm
Red Leaf Lettuce – Acadian
Rainbow Carrots – Acadian
Fuji Apples – Apple Country
Tangerines – Orange Blossom
Butternut Squash – Gundermann
Cilantro – My Father’s Farm
Holiday Radishes – My Father’s Farm
Green Garlic or Shallots – Green Gate
I dug up some fancy-ish dishes you can proudly serve at any family gatherings you’re attending this week.
Apple-avocado salad with tangerine dressing – Add some sliced holiday radishes. If you still have your avocados from last week, this is a great way to use them; if not, just leave them out. I’m not sure why the author calls for mandarin oranges instead of tangerines to make the tangerine dressing, but instead of trying to figure out her logic I’d just use your tangerines instead. Finally, your red-leaf lettuce can stand in for the bagged salad mix.
Spiced carrot and butternut squash soup – Would make a great first course. This comes from a British newspaper, so use an online conversion site (this one’s my favorite) to convert the metric units to imperial ones. Use your smaller rainbow carrots in place of two large ones, and use chopped green garlic (the white parts) instead of garlic cloves. It’ll have a lighter, but still garlicky, taste.
Bell pepper and broccoli pasta sauce – Sounds like a festive mix of colors, with the green broccoli and bell peppers alongside the red peppers. The recipe calls for all red peppers, but your green ones will be great. You can also use chopped green garlic in place of the regular garlic called for here.
Posted in --this weeks' box contents, 1. LOCAL BOX
Tagged apples, broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, cilantro, green garlic, lettuce, radishes, shallots, tangerines