I know you might find this shocking, but sometimes I make mistakes. I make lots of mistakes in life (daily, hourly even) but over the years my mistakes in the kitchen have dwindled to few and far between. Which is not to say that I’m an amazing perfectionist, but just that I know what I like and I often pull from my trusty stable of recipes when I’m cooking casually. Sadly I’m experimenting less because I have less time. While cooking is a consistent joy in my life I find myself lacking lazy afternoons to grocery shop, prep, cook and eat. Cooking for me these days is usually a simple pasta or fish dish.
However, with this newfangled thing called Community Supported Agriculture, every two weeks I receive half a share of vegetables which are pre-selected for me. I have no say in the matter and for some reason- that reason probably being that it’s cheap and large-there’s lots of yellow squash to deal with. Now I don’t love yellow squash. It’s too seedy and is only delicious when lightly salted and oiled and thrown over a flaming hot barbecue grill. I do not currently have access to a barbecue grill so I’ve been searching for other ways to use all that squash. Saute? Yawn. Roast? Eh…squash is a little too liquidy to roast effectively. Slicing it very thin and layering like a gratin sounded like a sound solution. To mask the squashyness I thought I’d add beets on top for flavor and because their pink color is pretty to look at.
I layered thinly sliced squash with olive oil and Maldon salt thinking that baking at a high temperature would caramelize the squash. Perhaps my oven wasn’t hot enough or I used the wrong pan but I didn’t get crispy caramelized squash, I got soggy bitter squash. I’m not going to share the recipe because it wasn’t very good. Edible yes, but not tasty. The layers of squash melted together and the seeds were sort of floating in this primordial ooze of squash water and olive oil. The beets didn’t even come out right because there was too much liquid steaming up the oven. Next time, I think I’ll draw the bitterness out of the squash by soaking it in salted water. I’ll also add some cumin or other spice to give the whole dish a bit more flavor.
So I’m sorry to say this post is not inspirational or useful but I hope it will make you feel more comfortable about your own cooking to know that even food bloggers screw up sometimes.
Now that you’ve made it this far how about a delicious summer recipe from the archives that WORKS?!
Grilled Peaches and Halloumi
You will need:
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 oz Halloumi cheese
1 Tbs basil
1. Heat up a cast iron pan, grill pan or whatever you have that will get really really hot.
2. Cut the peach in half along the natural fold (lengthwise). Slice each half again so you have 4 rings. Lightly coat in olive oil. Slice the cheese into 1/4 inch piece and grill. Grill the peaches as well.
3. Cut the basil into small strips (a chiffonade if you will) and sprinkle on top.