On Kabocha Squash

by Kailey Kramer in

Recently my newly acquired roommate just started a newly acquired job on what else but a lovely farm that goes by the name of Allandale. What can I say? I know how to choose 'em. I seem to be in his good graces I am already reaping the benefits of his employment at what seems to be the mecca of Massachusetts small farming. And thus, living and eating in a state of bliss for the past week. Full post on Allandale to come. It's more than worthy. 

Just to preface, I documented this whole trip on Instagram and will be taking you on a visual trip through my memory via tumblr while recounting. This weekend, we venturedto the farm to bring him lunch after stopping at Cutty's where we picked up the most amazing sandwiches in Boston. Literally, they've been voted the "best" by legitimate authorities. I got the swiss chard with crispy shallots and saffron yogurt and it blew my mind with every bite. I'm left with just enough mental capacity to write this post which is ultimately, all that matters. Anyway, Cutty's is for an entirely different post all together let's visit these pals pictured in the above. 

Heirloom pumpkin and kaboucha squash are the new peas and carrots, am I right? Hangin' out on my window sil like old pals, lovers, what have you. I almost couldn't bring myself to separate them. Almost

The first of my take aways happens to be my favorite kind of squash. That is, kabocha squash or a japanese pumpkin. In actuality, it's the distant cousin of a butternut squash and in my opinion, a much better subsitute. Kabocha packs more flavor, comparable to that of pumpkin, and a silkier texture due to having half the carbohydrate value and hence, also saving yourself 20 less calories per cup. But let's be real, when the higher calorie count of the two veggies is 60 per cup as opposed to 40, who's counting. All that essentialy means to me is that I could eat the entire pumpkin if I wanted and probably will. The skin is also edible which means A. less pealing! and B. nutrient denCITY. 


And as for this orange guy, I'm not entirely sure what his actual name is so I've just been calling him "heirloom pumpkin. " At Allandale, the only indication of his proper identity was a sign on the table labeled "Our Own Winter Squash." So maybe I'll call him Allen? Although, I'm not entirely sure why I'm referring to him in present tense (and with gender?) he's already chopped and roasted him for the week. And on that note, tasting notes. Essentially heirloom Allen is the love child of a yam and a fancy squash, like delicata. Not quite as dense as sugar pumpkins, but just as tasty, if not more, with it's yam-like hearty flavor. And as far as I'm concerned, when orange vegetables get together, magic happens. 

In fact due to their orange flesh, winter squash dish heaping portions of beta-carotene into your system for free-radical production and keeping the cancers, aging and all that bad stuff at bay. They're also great sources of Vitamin A and C for good immunity and more visible concerns like healthy hair, nails and eyes. 

 So what to do with all these friendly squash other than make pie (borrrring, albeit tasty)?

On-the-Spot Potential Musings: 

Kabocha and sage soba noodle bowl (click through for recipe)
Pumpkin and date Porridge
Pumpkin Soup with Pistachio pesto drizzle 
Kabocha soup with red lentils 
Kale and kabocha miso soup
Ginger and chocolate chip squash squares
Apple pumpkin butter for toast for delicious sandwiches
Roasted pumpkin and walnuts over bibb lettuce with a chili maple vinaigrette
Squash strata with goat cheese and sage
Pumpkin bread pudding with leftover pumpkin loaf
Treat it like a meat: Cut into large, thick slices, grill and add to sandwiches with good dijon mustard and sautéed mushroom and leafy greens or fresh arugula
Moroccan Roasted squash over date and currant cous cous 
Pumpkin Chili 
Raw chocolate pudding (pumpkin puree based) 
Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt with Mexican chocolate chips
Gingered pumpkin dim sum
Dosas with pumpkin curry filling and chutney 
Flatbread pizza with pumpkin pesto, figs and arugula
Spiced pumpkin hummus or falafel 
Vegan pumpkin milkshake 

....And that's all I've got for now. Plus there's endless options and I'd be here all day if I kept going. It's the most wonderful time of the year, really. 

I'm off to go watch the leaves change before my very eyes. Toodles, 

KK xx

On Sorrel and Garlic Scapes

by Kailey Kramer in

Welcome to the first installment of "Market Finds." The part of the blog where I tell you what interesting specimens I brought home with me from market or grocery and my potential plans for them. Some of them may materialize and even be eventually hyperlinked to later posts. The best advice I can give when shopping seasonally and especially at farmers markets is to buy at least one ingredient that is either a. totally unfamiliar to you or b. extremely seasonal and thus rendered unattainable any other time of year. Hopefully this section will inspire a bit of adventurous decision making your next time food stuffs shopping. Shall we begin? 

After a visit to Roman's and the Brooklyn flea on a lovely Saturday when my petit hermano came for a visit to the city all the way from O-H-I-O, we made a stop at the Fort Greene farmers market to pick up vegetable booty and loots for a dinner party that night and sustenance for the week ahead. After a fair share snacking on of free mini-stone fruits, we made off with some amazing mid-summer produce. Corn, peaches, plums, collard greens, and a multigrain boule to name a few. After all, what's a trip to market with out a freshly picked carb? The highlights of the trip proved to be these two summer specialites: sorrel and garlic scapes.

So very unfortunately, most find themselves generally unacquainted with sorrel greens. Tangy, lemnoy and slightly sweet, sorrel tastes like it could be the leafier sibling of basil. It's freshness and citrusy bite make it one of the ultimate summer lettuces. If you haven't tried, I highly recommend you do -- and quickly before you can't find it anymore! 

Sorrel potential musings: 
Purple potato and leek pizza with ricotta and sorrel pesto
Sorrel and green peas fritatta
Sorrel and caramelized shallot quiche
Fetticine with sorrel pesto and hazlenuts
Sorrel and cucumber smoothie
Asparagus with lime vinagrette, ricotta over sorrel
Mushroom risotto with sorrel
White wine and sorrel vinaigrette

While most simply might not know what sorrel is or tastes like, garlic scapes might be unfamiliar as they just look plain scary. Resembling nothing less than a fibrous snake(....or sperm), one understandably might make a quick grab for a nearby garlic bulb instead. Although, one would definitely be missing out on this fantastic means of incorporating garlic into your dishes. After all, if you're gonna stink get aromatic, make the means worthwhile. While they might look like a scary snake at first, upon further inspection they're actually quite pretty. The tiny little garlc bulbs on the bottoms resemble little flowers and the stems begin to appear much more managebale. Saute them, roast them, chop 'em up and use 'em like scallions. Subsequently toss into pasta, sprinkle atop flatbreads...etc. More ideas below. 

Garlic Scape potential rushing, rushing around:
Garlic scape and spinach spinach miso pesto
Garlic scape and zuchini pancake (see inspiration here)
Simple saute of summer heirloom vegetables, garlic scape with lots of fresh dill
Summer squash, garlic scape and goat cheese galette

Looking forward to a week of good eats, 

KK xx