Thursday, June 10, 2010

a changed woman.

When I was a kid I used to hate squash. I hated everything about it, from the taste, to the texture (oh lord, the texture!), to the way it smelled when it was cooking. Mushy and bland, I thought it was a child's worst food nightmare. And so I promised myself I would never, ever, be a lover of squash, and moved on with the rest of my life.

And I didn't look back.

Until, about five years ago, when I met John and he claimed to be the biggest squash-lover there was. He was shocked at my life long contempt for the soft and seedy vegetable and begged for me to give it another chance. Ah, the things we do for love....I gave in and agreed to try some squash- and I'm sorry reader, but I can't say I remember whether it was Butternut, or Delicata, or Acorn, I just remember it was some kind of winter squash- and we roasted it in the oven with a bit of olive oil, sea salt and pepper. We may have even drizzled a bit of maple syrup on it. Regardless, I took one bite, and in that moment, the Earth shifted beneath me. It was good. Really good. Apparently I had been missing out on something unbelievably delicious, and suddenly a whole new world opened up in front of my eyes. And John- who continually claims that in our relationship, their is an odd pattern where he is always wrong (even when he's not, that blessed man) and I am always right- was ecstatic over his victory. And rightfully so. He had proved my food bias to be wrong in every way. Visits to the farmers market now included my once enemy, the squash- and was hence added to my list of vegetables that could and would inspire a wonderful, seasonal meal.

And so. Yesterday John and I were shopping for dinner, tired from cooking a pretty extravagant meal the night before. We wanted something easy. Something simple. We headed over to some fine looking corn, bright yellow and vibrant, and it was added to the basket. For part of our previous dinner, I had roasted some whole, vine tomato's in olive oil, garlic cloves, thyme, salt and pepper, until there skins split open and their juices ran out and onto the pan. They were heavenly. There were still a few left over, so I thought, why not, I'll make a Corn and Roasted Tomato Salad. Basil, arugula, and some Cypress Grove goat cheese was added in the mix. And last, but not least, we eyed some beautiful looking Delicata squash and threw them in the basket too, to be roasted later as an accompaniment to the rest of our meal.

At home, and listening to Billy Holiday (because everyone should do this while cooking in their kitchen), I tossed slices of the leftover roasted tomato with the corn (taken off-the-cob, of course), basil, arugula, goat cheese and some salt and pepper. I drizzled the whole thing with the lovely roasting juices I had saved from the pan the night before, and at the last minute splashed a bit of balsamic vinegar on top. It was phenomenal.

Meanwhile, I roasted the Delicata squash in the oven with thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper. They came out golden and fragrant and wonderful. And I enjoyed every. last. bite.

Roasted Delicata Squash
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut the squash in half, length-wise, and remove the seeds. Cut each piece in half again.
  3. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, a pinch of salt and sugar (or honey, or maple syrup, I suppose), and some freshly ground black pepper. Add some sprigs of thyme leaves, and place in the oven.
  4. Roast for about 30 minutes. Enjoy.

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