eat your vegetables
The first thing to do is to cut open the squash. My daughter taught me a trick to easily open the squash. I use a large two-prong fork and prick around the circumference of the squash. Next, I insert my recently sharpened chef’s knife into the squash and make small cuts until I can break the squash open. Remove the seeds, brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. I baked the squash using a convection oven setting, upside down on a foil lined baking sheet for approximately 35 minutes.
While the squash was roasting, the filling is prepared. The turkey is removed from its casing and cooked in a large skillet. Using a wooden spoon, break the links into pieces. (I substituted turkey sausage for the Italian pork style, which still had the same flavors.) Once the meat is browned, the cherry tomatoes are added along with thyme, red pepper flakes and garlic and cooked for several minutes. Next, a bit of white wine is added and reduced, followed by heavy cream another reduction. Lastly, the beans are added followed by the spinach, which is cooked just until its wilted. The turkey sausage filling is added to the cooked squash and topped with a generous spoonful of Parmesan and perhaps a dash of additional red pepper flakes.
Wow, this was a wonderful meal! It was light tasting, had a bit of punch with the thyme and red pepper flakes and a lovely light sauce to bring it all together. This recipe is a keeper and depending on your oven setting, can be prepared in anywhere from 35-45 minutes.
The next recipe I bring to you is from Chef Frédéric Eliot. This recipe appeared in the Saturday/Sunday edition, September 11-12, 2021, of The Wall Street Journal’s column Slow Food Fast. The dish, Early-Fall Salad with Prosciutto, Stilton and Warm Croutons sounded inviting. As the weather still remains hot and humid, sometimes a little meal is called for.
For the recipe you’ll need a shallot, sherry or apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, salt, pepper, olive oil, prosciutto, sourdough bread, maple syrup or honey, a head of frisée, escarole leaves, red or white endive and either Stilton or another blue cheese.
In reading the recipe, it called for something I never heard of, broccoli spigarello. It turns out this vegetable is an heirloom variety and considered the “parent” of broccoli rabe. It is a native plant to southern Italy, but seeds have been imported to Southern California and grown. Similar to broccoli rabe, it has long curly leaves, but does not have the flowers like broccoli. Unlike broccoli rabe, this vegetable is mild with sweet notes and grass.
The dressing to this salad was divine. Minced shallot is macerated in vinegar, both mustards, salt, pepper for five minutes before adding the olive oil. As my husband is not of fan of frisée, I substituted NJ red leaf lettuce for one of the salad greens. With a bit of olive oil, the prosciutto is crisped up in a frying pan. After that is done, more oil is added to the pan and the bread cubes are cooked until golden. Unfortunately, mine didn’t brown on all sides. The next time, I’ll toss with a bit of olive oil and bake in the oven until golden.
I used a large 6-quart stock pot toss the salad. I drizzled some of the dressing around the sides of the pot before add the greens, adding just enough to just coat the leaves. Crumbled blue cheese and croutons were added next before mixing. The recipe suggested using your hands to toss the salad and scrape the sides to incorporate the dressing. I then transferred the salad to a decorative bowl and topped with crumbled prosciutto.
There were so many flavors swirling in your mouth. The sweet and tanginess from the dressing, saltiness from the prosciutto and punch of blue cheese flavor. The croutons provide some texture and you got a bit of crunch of the crispy prosciutto. A few extra slices of sourdough bread made the meal complete. So, I you need an extra special appetizer or a light lunch meal, this could be your answer.
Sausage and White Bean-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Recipe from Food Network Kitchen
Active Time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
1 large spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casing removed and crumbled
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more for serving, optional
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
One 15.5-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
One 5-ounce package baby spinach
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Early-Fall Salad with Prosciutto, Stilton and Warm Croutons
—Adapted from Frédéric Eliot by Kitty Greenwald of WSJ
The Wall Street Journal, Slow Food Fast Column
Saturday/Sunday September 11-12, 2021
Total time: 20 minutes
½ medium shallot, minced
1 tablespoon Sherry or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
6 thin slices prosciutto
2 cups roughly torn sourdough bread
2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
1 head frisée, leaves separated and roughly torn
½ bunch broccoli spigarello or escarole, leaves roughly torn
2 heads red or white endive, leaves separated
4 ounces crumbled Stilton or other blue cheese
Chef Frédéric Eliot is owner of: Fore Street, Scales and Street and Co., all located in Portland, Maine.
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A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.