Monday, November 23, 2009


Our local farm stand is chock full of fresh veggies, so colorful as to inspire art! Treating them properly allows for the retention of their brilliance and crunch. I never know what the plan is when purchasing; here's what I ended up with today.

First step was to clean everything. Each small spaghetti squash was pierced and microwaved for six minutes; then split apart to cool quickly. The peppers were cleaned and nuked for two minutes in an open baggie, with just the water that remained on them, after washing... same treatment for the asparagus. A tip: Undercook and they'll finish as they cool, still remaining crisp; you won't need to cold-water dunk to stop cooking.

The decision was to first mix the squash with freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, lots of parsley, freshly ground pepper, and my very best EVOO. I then stuffed the peppers and froze in freezer baggies. When ready to heat and serve, I plan to top with a creamy pumpkin-béchamel sauce, as follows:

Melt two tablespoons of butter in a pan; add two tablespoons of flour and whisk together; cook for a minute. Then, carefully whisk in one cup of milk, bringing to a slow boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low; add a dollop of pumpkin purée; season with a pinch of salt and a dash or two of nutmeg.

The asparagus are for today. Hmmm; I'm thinking an egg-white omelette with lots of parsley and some of that grated cheese. Excuse me, please; I'm salivating and it's time for the chef's reward!