Eating with the Rhythm of the Seasons
My weekly CSA produce box is one of my simple menu planning tools– I call it the ‘What’s for Dinner’ dilemma solution! Ingredients on hand, and a mental cookbook of recipes, are the best mealtime stress-relievers I can think of!
Greens and beets are overflowing from my box this month, green garlic is abundant, and I have a butternut squash from last week’s bounty. My box helped plan a pasta dinner one rainy night this week, and I didn’t even leave the house to buy ingredients! Now that’s simple! You can add different greens such as collard or kale, or omit the butternut because hard squashes are at the end of their season now. The amounts of vegetables in my recipe are approximate — so use what you have, and what you like!
Another benefit of a CSA – which stands for Community Supported Agriculture – is the weekly news about weather, planting, cultivating and harvesting of the produce I look forward to each week. Though I see blossoming trees in my neighborhood, it’s a different meaning to read about the white popcorn blanketed orchards soon to be providing stonefruit and almonds this summer and fall.
Where ever you live, whatever the season, consider a CSA your answer to What’s For Dinner! A source for finding a CSA in your area is www.localharvest.org . You can also hear my audio posts about cooking with a CSA.
BUTTERNUT, BEETS AND GREENS PASTA
|1||medium butternut squash (about 1-1/2 lbs)|
|3||beets with greens, well rinsed|
|3||tablespoons olive oil, divided use|
|1/2||teaspoon Kosher salt|
|1||stem green garlic, thinly sliced (or 2 cloves garlic, minced)|
|12||ounces penne pasta, cooked|
|3||ounces soft goat cheese|
|Parmesan to pass with servings|
|Additional olive oil for drizzling|
Preheat oven to 425ºF (or 400ºF convection for quicker roasting and more caramelized flavor). Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or a silpat liner.
Peel butternut squash and cut into ¾-inch cubes. Trim greens from beets and slice into ½-inch strips; set aside. Peel beets and cut into ½-inch cubes. Toss squash and beets with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Spread evenly on prepared pan. Bake 20-30 minutes until soft and butternut is lightly browned (caramelized). Test by inserting tip of a knife or toothpick in a few pieces.
When vegetables are nearly done, heat a wide skillet (14-inch* see Kitchen Essentials) over medium heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and garlic. Stir green garlic about 2 minutes, or regular garlic about 1 minute, until softened. Add beet greens and cook about 2 minutes, just until wilted. Stir in pasta, roasted vegetables and goat cheese. Cook just until heated through.
Serve with Parmesan cheese, fresh cracked black pepper and additional olive oil for drizzling if desired. Makes 6 servings