This special pie was the perfect way to use my CSA butternut squash and the very last leaves of my homegrown basil. The incorporation of cumin and coriander seeds gave it a unique flavor profile. Fancy comfort food. 🙂
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Yotam Ottolenghi. Lovely.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
For the Pie:
4 T olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan (I used cooking oil spray on the pan)
10 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 T tomato paste
1 T cumin seeds, roughly crushed in a mortar and pestle
1 T coriander seeds, roughly crushed in a mortar and pestle
2 tsp Aleppo chile flakes
1 (9 to 12-ounce) jar red peppers, drained
1 tsp light brown sugar
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small butternut squash (about 1 3/4 pounds), peeled, halved, deseeded and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices (I used a mandoline to slice the squash)
8 ounces dried lasagna noodles, each roughly broken into 3 or 4 pieces (I used oven-ready no-boil lasagna)
7 ounces baby spinach (10 lightly packed cups)
1 packed cup basil leaves, torn in halves
1 cup crumbled Greek feta
heaping 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
For the Béchamel:
3 T unsalted butter
5 T all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk, plus more if needed
2 garlic cloves, minced
fine sea salt
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Heat the oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
Grease a 9-inch springform cake pan then line it with a piece of parchment paper large enough to cover the base and hang over the sides by a couple inches. (I used cooking oil spray.) Place pan on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
Add the oil to a small frying pan and heat over medium. Once it’s hot, add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring until fragrant but not browned.
Add the tomato paste, cumin, coriander and chile flakes and cook for 1 minute more, stirring often, until deeply red. Set aside to cool slightly.
Add tomato paste mixture to a small food processor with the red peppers, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a good grind of pepper; blitz until smooth. (I did this in 2 batches.)
Empty the mixture into a very large bowl and add the squash slices, lasagna pieces, spinach, basil, feta, Parmesan, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and a good grind of pepper. Use your hands to make sure everything is nicely coated.
Transfer this mixture to your lined cake pan, adding a third at a time and pressing lightly to ensure everything is even and compact.
Using heavy-duty aluminum foil, wrap the cake pan all around until tightly sealed, place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 1 hour.
Toward the last 15 minutes of baking time, make the béchamel: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking steadily, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it starts to smell like popcorn.
Slowly pour in the milk 1/2 cup at a time, whisking with each addition until fully incorporated.
Add the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Use a spatula to stir and cook for 2 minutes, stirring to ensure the bottom doesn’t scorch, until nice and smooth.
Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan. *If the pie isn’t done, cover the top with a piece of parchment paper to prevent a skin from forming. The béchamel is easier to handle when warm; if needed, reheat gently with a splash of milk to loosen.*
After the pie has cooked for 1 hour, remove it from the oven and carefully unwrap the top foil and paper, crinkling it down and around the sides of the pan to expose the top.
Spoon the béchamel on top, using a spatula to distribute it evenly over the surface. (Take care not to mix it with the base; you want the béchamel to remain white.)
Turn the oven temperature up to 450 degrees, preferably on convection, and place the cake pan back on its baking sheet and bake for another 10 to 20 minutes, rotating halfway through, until nicely browned on top.
Set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes.
Carefully release the pie from the springform pan, loosening the outer ring then using the parchment to help lift it onto a serving plate or board. Serve warm or at room temperature.
While unloading my CSA box, I spoke with another member about what she was making with all of the butternut squash we were receiving in our share. She said that there was no better way to use it than this soup! It was a great recommendation.
This recipe was adapted from Thomas Keller’s “Bouchon,” via The New York Times, contributed by Amanda Hesser. Hesser described it as “astonishingly flavorful and complex.” It was creamy, silky, and incredibly delicious. I made it for my mom on her birthday! 🙂 It would also be wonderful as part of a holiday meal.
I loved that it incorporated leeks, shallots, and yellow onions- and brown butter, of course. The toppings also gave it a lovely presentation.
Yield: Serves 6
1 3-to-3½-pound butternut squash
2 tablespoons canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 sprigs sage
1 cup thinly sliced leeks (about 2 leeks)
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots (about 2 carrots)
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
6 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tablespoons honey
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock, more if needed
Bouquet Garni made of 8 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs Italian parsley, 2 bay leaves and ½ teaspoon black peppercorns, all wrapped in a packet made of 2 green leek leaves or cheesecloth
1/4 cup crème fraîche
freshly grated nutmeg
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced chives
extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. (I set my oven to convection roast.) Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Cut the neck off the squash and set it aside. Cut the bulb in half and scoop out and discard seeds. Brush each half inside and out with about 1½ teaspoons of the canola oil. Sprinkle the cavities with salt and pepper and tuck a sprig of sage into each. Place cut-side-down on the baking sheet and roast until completely tender, about 1 hour. Remove the squash from the oven and let cool, then scoop out and reserve the flesh (discard sage).
Meanwhile, using a paring knife, peel away the skin from the neck of the squash until you reach the bright orange flesh. Cut the flesh into 1/2-inch pieces (you should have about 4 cups).
Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and thinly slice into half moons. Soak in a bowl of water. Using a slotted spoon, lift from the top before using.
Put the remaining canola oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat, add the leeks, carrots, shallots and onions and cook, stirring often, for about 6 minutes.
Add the diced squash, garlic, 11/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook gently for 3 minutes, reducing the heat as necessary to keep the garlic and squash from coloring.
Stir in the honey and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the stock and bouquet garni, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the squash is tender.
Add the roasted squash and simmer gently for about 30 minutes for the flavors to blend.
Remove from the heat and discard the bouquet garni.
Transfer the soup to a blender, in batches, and purée. Alternatively, use an immersion blender in the pot.
Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning. Let the soup cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Place the crème fraîche in a small chilled bowl and stir in nutmeg to taste. Whisk until the crème fraîche holds a shape. Cover and refrigerate.
Gently reheat the soup until just hot. If it is too thick, add a little more stock.
Heat a medium skillet or butter warmer medium-over high heat. When it is very hot, add the butter and rotate the skillet over the heat as necessary to brown the butter evenly, scraping up any bits that settle in the bottom. As soon as the butter is a hazelnut brown, pour it into the pot of soup — keep a safe distance, it may sputter — then stir.
Ladle the soup into six serving bowls. Top each with a dollop of crème fraîche. Grind some black pepper over the top and sprinkle on the chives. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top.
1 pound dried pasta, such as medium-sized shells or elbow macaroni (I used rigatoni)
12 ounces extra-sharp white cheddar, grated (about 3 cups)
2 ounces Parmesan, grated (about 2/3 cup), plus more for serving (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
toasted breadcrumbs, for topping prior to serving, optional
Peel, seed, and cut the squash into 1/2-inch cubes.
Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add the squash and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until tender enough to smash with a spatula without much resistance and beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
Add the rosemary, sage, and garlic and cook, stirring often, just until the garlic is aromatic and no longer raw, about 1 minute.
Increase the heat to high and add the warm water, evaporated milk, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil and add the pasta. (The pasta won’t be completely covered by the liquid.)
Boil over medium (even reducing to medium-low if necessary) heat, stirring often, until the pasta is al dente and about two-thirds of the liquid has evaporated, 12 to 14 minutes (al dente). If at any point the liquid evaporates before the pasta is tender, add additional warm water (1/2 cup at a time- did once after 12 min) and continue cooking.
Remove the pot from the heat and add both cheeses. Stir until the cheese is completely melted and has emulsified into a creamy sauce.
Let the pasta sit for 10 minutes. (This is necessary to allow the sauce to thicken.) If the sauce becomes too thick, adjust the consistency by adding additional warm water 1/4 cup at a time.
Season to taste with additional salt and pepper and serve immediately with more black pepper and parmesan, if desired.
I have one more root vegetable side dish to share. This dish was a flavor-packed way to enjoy the parsnips from my CSA share. The honey and coconut oil enhanced the natural sweetness of the parsnips.
The recipe was adapted from 177MilkStreet.com, contributed by Rose Hattabaugh. I omitted the coconut topping and modified the proportions. The original recipe advises not to use very large parsnips because they can taste bitter.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
3 tablespoons coconut oil, preferably unrefined
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon yellow or brown mustard seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 to 2 pounds parsnips, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick on a sharp diagonal (I used 8 medium parsnips)
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil, torn or chiffonade
3 tablespoons unsweetened wide-flake coconut, toasted, optional (see note)
Lime wedges, to serve, optional
In a large Dutch oven over medium, combine the oil, honey, mustard seeds, turmeric and curry powder. Cook, stirring, until the mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add 1 1/4 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, then bring to a simmer.
Stir in the parsnips and return to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until the parsnips are almost tender, 5 to 7 minutes. (*Don’t stir more than once or twice while the parsnips are simmering in the covered pot. Lifting the lid allows heat and steam to escape, which slows the cooking and may cause the pot to run dry.)
Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the water has evaporated, the parsnips begin to sizzle and a skewer inserted into the largest piece meets no resistance, another 3 to 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Transfer to a serving dish and spoon on any liquid remaining in the pot. Sprinkle with the basil and coconut, if using; serve with lime wedges, if desired.
Note: To toast the coconut, spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350°F until light golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
I considered making this side dish as part of our Thanksgiving feast but was unsure if the bag of root vegetables I received in my CSA share contained rutabagas or turnips! I didn’t want to take the risk. 😉
The interior of a rutabaga is a creamy yellowish-orange versus a turnip which is very white inside. Rutabagas are also much more mild and sweet in flavor compared to a turnip which can be spicy like a radish.
This recipe was adapted from 177MilkStreet.com, contributed by Rose Hattabaugh. I modified the method and proportions. I loved the combination of the starchy caramelized roasted rutabagas with the sweet pears and browned butter. Very nice.
Yield: Serves 8
6 T salted butter, divided
1 1/2 T minced fresh rosemary, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/4 pounds rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 ripe but firm Bosc pears (about 1 pound), unpeeled, quartered, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 T honey
2 tsp sherry vinegar OR cider vinegar OR white wine vinegar
Heat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the middle position. (I set my oven to convection roast.) Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small saucepan over medium, melt the butter; remove from the heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon of rosemary, 3/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and 3 tablespoons of melted butter.
Add the rutabaga and toss to coat, then distribute in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet; reserve the bowl.
Roast the rutabaga for 15 minutes on convection or up to 20 minutes in a standard oven.
Meanwhile, in the same bowl, toss the pears with 1 tablespoon of the remaining melted butter; set aside.
Set the pan with the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter over medium and cook the butter, occasionally swirling the pan, until the milk solids at the bottom are golden brown and the butter has a nutty aroma, about 1 minute.
Off heat, whisk in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon chopped rosemary, the honey, vinegar and generous 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper; transfer to a heat proof bowl, cover and set aside.
When the rutabaga has roasted for 20 minutes, add the pears to the baking sheet and toss to combine with the rutabaga. Roast until a skewer inserted into the rutabaga and pears meets no resistance and the rutabaga is well browned, 10 to 12 minutes; stir once about halfway through.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven, immediately drizzle the rutabaga and pears with the browned butter mixture and toss to coat.
Taste and season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a serving dish. (I sprinkled fine sea salt over the top of the dish.)
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Peter Som. I modified the method and proportions. The sauce was amazing!
The original recipe notes that if you can’t find gochujang, Sriracha can be substituted, to taste.
Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
1 1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts (from 1 stalk), trimmed, halved if large
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional) (I omitted them)
3 T unsalted butter
2 T gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
1 T pure maple syrup
2 scallions, thinly sliced, divided
zest of half a lemon
Flaky sea salt
Set a rimmed baking sheet in the center of the oven; preheat oven to 500°. I set my oven to convection roast.
Toss brussels sprouts with oil in a large bowl to coat; season with kosher salt and pepper. Carefully (baking sheet will be hot!) spread out in a single layer; reserve bowl.
Roast until brussels sprouts are charred in spots and tender, 12 minutes in a convection oven or up to 16–18 minutes in a standard oven.
Meanwhile, if using walnuts, toast in a dry medium skillet over medium heat, tossing often, until fragrant and slightly darkened, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool.
Cook butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, swirling occasionally, until milk solids are a deep amber color and butter smells very nutty, 5–8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in gochujang and maple syrup. Season with kosher salt and pepper.
Combine Brussels sprouts, half of walnuts (if using), and half of scallions in reserved bowl; add brown butter mixture and toss to coat.
Transfer to a platter or serving bowl and scatter (remaining walnuts) and scallions over the top.
Finely grate lemon zest on top; sprinkle with sea salt. (I used Fleur de Sel.)
I loved everything about this beautiful salad. We ate it with Turkish Grilled Chicken– such a wonderful meal. It was one of the best zucchini dishes I’ve ever made.
This recipe was adapted from Milk Street, contributed by Elizabeth Mindreau. It was re-created from a salad served at Coal Office, a modern Middle Eastern restaurant in London.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
about 3/4 to 1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 T tahini
zest from 1 large lemon, plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp plus 2 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to serve
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
15 1/2 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 small shallot, halved and thinly sliced
2 T red wine vinegar
2 tsp za’atar
2 small/medium zucchini (12 to 16 ounces total), quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced on a steep diagonal
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint, finely chopped
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh dill, finely chopped
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro
ground sumac, to serve, optional
In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, tahini, lemon zest and juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; set aside.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, stir together the chickpeas, shallot, vinegar and za’atar. Cover and microwave until the shallot is wilted, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Uncover and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. (see Tip)
When the chickpeas have cooled, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the zucchini, mint, dill and cilantro. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the chickpea-zucchini mixture to a platter, spooning it around the edge.
Scoop the yogurt mixture into a mound in the center of the chickpea-zucchini mixture.
Drizzle with additional oil and sprinkle with sumac, if using.
Tip: Don’t forget to cover the bowl containing the chickpeas and shallots when microwaving. Covering traps steam that helps wilt the shallots and soften the chickpeas. And remember to occasionally stir the chickpea-shallot mixture as it cools. This helps ensure the chickpeas evenly absorb the seasonings pooled at the bottom of the bowl while also hastening the cooling.