January 21, 2011

local lunch

It was a good greenmarket week. I managed to get to three of my favorite markets, and now the fridge and pantry are bursting with wintry produce - squash, cabbage, potatoes, apples, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, onions, and beets.

For my work lunch today I made a hearty salad with thinly sliced purple cabbage, shoyu-roasted carnival squash, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and currants, dressed with extra-virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and  black pepper. Crunchy, savory, and sweet, with added protein from the nuts and seeds, it was a simple combination that really worked. Alongside the salad was a rutabaga mash with Ronnybrook butter and mellow white miso. I love rutabaga - its flavor is similar to a turnip but sweeter and more buttery; its flesh, which is pale yellow when raw, turns a lovely gold after it's cooked.

A delicious, seasonal, plant-based meal, much of it sourced from farms located within about a hundred miles of where I live.* That makes me happy.

shoyu-roasted winter squash
I used a carnival squash, which is similar in size and shape to an acorn squash but with a buttery yellow skin that has orange and/or pale green stripes. I left the skin on, but you can peel the squash if you prefer; older or larger squashes may have tougher skin so in that case it's a good idea. Shoyu, traditionally fermented soy sauce, provides salt and depth of flavor, with an umami savoriness that plays nicely off the sweetness of the roasted squash.

1 winter squash, stem and seeds removed, and diced into 3/4-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
2 Tbsp shoyu
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a large bowl stir together the squash and shoyu. Then add the oil and a few grinds of black pepper and toss again (I add the shoyu first so it has a chance to coat the squash - the oil would interfere with that to some extent).

Spread the squash mixture out on a baking sheet or pan, and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and caramelized.

*Not counting the condiments, nuts/seeds, and currants.

1 comment:

  1. I just returned from the Union Square farmer's market, and I continue to be impressed with their dedication, hauling produce and meats in these frigid temperatures. I agree with you on rutabagas, I ought to incorporate them more frequently into my meals. And I will definitely try squash with shoyu the next chance I have.