Saturday, August 23, 2008

Summer Squash Cous Cous Pilaf

This recipe began with an abundance of summer squash, and took on a life of its own from there.  I ended up using several odds and ends from my CSA deliveries, and the result was really good - colorful, with an interesting mix of textures and flavors.  

I even managed to use up a giant white radish that looked like a potato!

  • 1 1/2 cups dry cous cous
  • 2 cups of summer squash, diced into half inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup white radish, diced
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cups of diced tomatoes
  • 4-5 large kale leaves, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups chick peas
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint, tightly packed
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil, tightly packed
The Recipe:
  • Prepare the cous cous according to the package directions.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet.
  • Add the onion and radish and saute until just tender.
  • Add the squash and saute for a minute or two.
  • Add the tomatoes and kale leaves, saute until the kale leaves are wilted, and the squash is tender.
  • Add the herbs and chickpeas, saute until the chickpeas are just heated.
  • Take off the heat, and sir in the cous cous until everything is well-dispersed.

You can eat the cous cous just like this, with maybe a little lemon, and it will be delicious.  

But because I was starting with a large pattypan squash, I decided to stuff the shell.  I baked in a pan surrounded by vegetable broth for about 45 minutes. Then I took the leftover broth from the pan and squeezed lemon juice into it, then poured it all over the squash.  The result was a very light, very fancy looking meal.

The one thing I would do differently is next time I'll pre-bake the empty squash shell, because I didn't think it really got tender enough, and then just quickly bake the whole thing to meld the flavors.  

Peach Cobbler

It was good, but not great.  So no recipe, but a so-so photo:

Stuffed Eggplants

This is not your traditional stuffed eggplants.  It has a cream sauce, instead of the usual red sauce, and brown rice makes the filling a bit more substantial.  While this recipe is more time consuming than some of my others, it's well worth it.  

If you want to pack in some extra greens, add a cup or two of chopped spinach or swiss chard with the basil.  

  • 2 medium sized eggplants 
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 10 oz mushrooms (I used baby bellas), sliced
  • 1 cup whole basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup of uncooked brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cups soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt to taste
The Recipe:
  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Cook the rice.
  • While the rice is cooking prepare the sauce - heat the oil in a saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the flour, and cook for two to three minutes.  Add the soy milk, whisking constantly so that it doesn't scald.  Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens.  Stir in the pepper and cinnamon, and remove from the heat.
  • Slice the eggplants in half length-wise.  Cross half the flesh, and scoop it out, leaving about a quarter inch on al sides of the skin.  Dice the flesh into half inch cubes.
  • Add to tablespoons of oil to a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until transparent.  
  • Add the mushrooms and eggplant, and cook until they are tender, and have released their juices.  
  • Add the basil to the pan, and saute until the basil has wilted.  If the mixture is sticking to the pan add a little more oil, and up to a quarter cup of water.  

  • When the vegetable mixture is ready, stir in the rice until it is well distributed, and then stir in the cream sauce.

  • Fill the eggplant halves with the vegetable mixture and bake for 35-45 minutes.
  • Enjoy!