COOKING FROM SCRATCH
After Christmas Dishes in 3 Colors
(yellow) ACORN SQUASH & (purple) BEETS & (green) BRUSSEL SPROUTS
Here's my cure for the "sick-of-eating-lots-of-crap" holiday blues:
ACORN SQUASH ( My friend Dave says this squash looks GROSS, but it tasted good!)
I LOVE SIMPLE FOODS LIKE BEETS AND ACORN SQUASH. They are so healthy and delicious. After eating lots of carbs and one too many slabs of sugar-laden treats this year for christmas... cookies, fudge, caramels, date rolls (marvelous creations my mother makes every year) it's great to get my hands on something simple and nutritious! They are also colorful foods, which I find crave, especially in the winter. Colorful foods are good for your bod!! Take the beet, that bleeds purple, it's such a wonderfully vibrant food. Even if you don't like the taste of beets, it's wonderful to cook with them, in the same way it's fun to paint with indigo oil paint....I had a great time soaking the beet skins in water and considering dying a piece of fabric the same color.... but I wasn't that ambitious!
A FEW days after christmas, I found myself famished for these nutrient-rich greens and garden foods, so started a new tradition... so when my family convened for our "after-christmas" dinner,
I served up a few dishes made with with beets and beet greens, brussel sprouts and pasta made from squash to try and tempt my family and to make myself feel better. It worked!
The beet greens have lots of potassium, folic acid, and magnesium.
Roasted Beet Salad with Beet Greens and Oranges
6 medium beets with beet greens attached
2 large oranges
1 small sweet onion, cut through root end into thin wedges
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
Preheat oven to 400°F. Trim greens from beets. Cut off and discard stems. Coarsely chop leaves and reserve. Wrap each beet in foil. Place beets directly on oven rack and roast until tender when pierced with fork, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Cool. Peel beets, then cut each into 8 wedges. Place beets in medium bowl.
Cook beet greens in large saucepan of boiling water just until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Cool. Squeeze greens to remove excess moisture. Add greens to bowl with beets. Cut peel and white pith from oranges. Working over another bowl and using small sharp knife, cut between membranes to release segments. Add orange segments and onion to bowl with beet mixture. Whisk vinegar, oil, garlic, and orange peel in small bowl to blend; add to beet mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Serve.
Another orange and beet salad Beet Orange Salad
Gourmet June 1991
8 pounds beets ( I used 8 beets), trimmed, leaving 3 inches of the stems intact and reserving the leaves for another use
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup distilled vinegar
1 small bay leaf
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
In a kettle combine the beets with enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches, bring the water to a boil, and simmer the beets removing the small ones as they are done, for 40 to 50 minutes, or until they are tender. Drain the beets and let them cool. The beets may be cooked 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled. Peel the beets and cut them into 1-inch wedges.
In a small saucepan combine zest, the orange juice, the sugar, the vinegar, and the bay leaf and boil the mixture until it is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Discard the bay leaf and let the mixture cool. In a large bowl whisk together the orange mixture, the oil, and salt and pepper to taste until the dressing is emulsified, add the beets and the onion, and combine the salad well.
This Butternut Squash Gnocchi recipe from Sunset magazine became one of my favorite recipes of last year, because for some strange reason, I have become hopelessly addicted to squash (acorn, butternut, delicata) -all those orange colored sweet fleshed things that grow late in the season and keep in the pantry till Winter.
Acorn or Butternut Squash
Equal part flour
Cook squash till soft (turn upside down in shallow pool of water in pan and cook till flesh is soft.) Spoon out and mix up till it squash is smooth. Add just enough flour, to make it easy to roll. Roll into a long rope. Cut into pieces and boil in salted water until the pasta floats on the top. Eat with butter and parmesean cheese!!