Savory autumn squash rolls

Savory autumn squash rolls KaleAndAle.com

Savory autumn squash rolls

When my CSA returned last week, I was so excited I roasted some of the veggies right after washing them!

One of the items was a small butternut squash. Because it was small, I roasted it whole, but if you are strong you can cut it in half, sprinkle on salt and pepper, olive oil and even a garlic as it’s roasting. Since it was whole when I roasted it, I cut it open and scraped out the filling. Left with a pile of bright orange mashed goodness, I decided to use it one of my favorite ways: I stuffed it in crescent rolls. The richness of the squash would go great with the buttery rolls, providing an easy-to-eat side dish.

Because I roasted the squash whole, it didn’t have seasonings, so I added them now,  before stuffing the rolls. And I added a deep, rich smoked Gouda to up the creamy, rich depth of this dish. So simple yet such a perfect example of autumn in a nice hand-held size.

Squash rolls KaleAndAle.com

Filling and rolling

Savory autumn squash rolls

Makes 8 rolls

Ingredients

  • I package refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 4 thick slices smoked Gouda
  • Roasted filling of one small butternut squash
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon spices (I used thyme because I had it on hand, but sage would be wonderful for this)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Roll out rolls on a baking sheet. Spread each roll slightly so it’s stretched.
  3. Cut each cheese slice in half. Place each half toward the base of the roll.
  4. Stir together the butternut squash filling, garlic, spices, salt and pepper. Put one round tablespoon of filling on top of each cheese slice.
  5. Fold the rolls so the pointed end comes to the base and the base sides fold up, pinching all sides so they are closed.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.

CSA week three

This week my CSA share has taken a decidedly fall turn.

The summer squash and greens is mostly gone and tomatoes and cooler weather food are in. Tons of greens, radishes, tomatoes, cucumber and butternut squash. Let’s just say I’ve had a lot of great salads these past few weeks. I’m excited what foods will be coming in the future as the weather has cooled a lot in South Florida recently.

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With all these butternut squash piling up (a good problem, trust me!) I though this creamy garlic butternut squash soup would be perfect. It was super simply and thick and tasty. Really, just roast garlic, onions and butternut squash, blend with spices and broth. Soup! Always looking for new ideas: How do you use butternut squash?

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What fall meals have you been making or loving?

Summer 2011 CSA: Week 2

What is one to do when getting an awesome batch of CSA goodies and going on vacation four days later? Figure out a quick way to freeze everything! (First world problems, I tell ya.)

Our second week we got a big bag of arugula, three butternut squash, zucchini and twelve(!) ears of corn. Two people leaving for a week in four days, that adds up to a lot of eating the same thing. So I thought about what to make that would allow me to preserve the food.

What we made

  • Zucchini: Bill came up with the idea of calzones, which worked great since I had ricotta to use. This is one of those recipes that we love making and always make extra to freeze.
  • Corn: I found a printout in my ‘burger recipes’ folder for Mark Bittman’s Midsummer Vegetable Burger. I used about half the corn and froze the patties. Bonus: It also calls for zucchini. We ate the rest on the cob before we left.
  • Arugula: We could only eat so many salads in the next few days, and already had greens on hand before picking up the CSA food. I was stumped and then it came to me: Make pesto and freeze it in ice cube trays (my new favorite way to freeze portions of food).
  • Butternut squash: Luckily this is a winter squash (meaning they grow in the summer and fall but are kept for winter) so it’s hearty and will last a while. However, the squash are building up at my house, as I’m running out of ways to use them. I’ve made orzo and squash, and want to try to make one into “fries” (if it’s possible?). I’m looking for something beyond soup or a pasta dish. Anyone have a good butternut squash recipe?

A shelf for squash? That's butternuts!

Sad news from our farm

I got an email today saying that the pests have been more of a problem this summer than in the past. The farmer tried new ways to farm and the weather has not cooperated this season. Because of that, they are stopping the program a month early. This is only the third summer my farm has offered a CSA since it’s hard to grow food in the South Florida summers.

I’m bummed to hear I won’t be getting produce, and I’m sad for the farmers and staff. I’m sure this was a difficult decision for them. They are refunding the difference, which surprised me. I’m not sure how much four weeks of a ten week program will hurt them. And this was part of the gamble when signing up for the CSA. The point is to buy a share and spread the risks and gains among members.

Hopefully they continue the program next year, and I will certainly miss all the great food I got last summer that I won’t be getting this summer. I already had plans for the beautiful melons like those I received last year.

Today we pick up our final summer share. Fall/winter/spring shares return in about six weeks.

Summer CSA: Week Five

We had our last summer vegetable pickup. Although it was about an hour round trip to get the food, I always enjoyed picking up the veggies at the place they were grown. I went to a farm, would sometimes see the farm workers or other subscribers and could choose the produce I wanted.

Week Five food

We will continue with the program, but a box of food will be delivered every other week. This will also be my last regular post on my CSA food, although I’m sure I will blog here and there about what I’m receiving and what I’m eating.

What I got:

  • 3 eggplant
  • 4 yellow squash
  • 2 green peppers
  • 2 butternut squash
  • 2 bags of greens
  • radishes
  • star fruit
  • honeydew
  • huge watermelon

What I MADE:

I am not the biggest fan of yellow squash, but I knew I would get it. I have a zucchini fritters recipe I really like from the New York Times recipes for health series. This is a really good series of recipes, broken down by ingredient, that features healthy and flavorful dishes made with basic and everyday ingredients. I also had a recipe from the series similar to baba ganoush that I hadn’t tried, an eggplant and yogurt dip. I made that and, with vegetables and homemade bread, we had a greek feast.

Greek fritters and eggplant dip

Lunch of greek fritters on greens and eggplant dip with veggies and wheat bread

I finally made the butternut squash ravioli I have talked about all summer. I roasted the squash with garlic and onions and pureed it with salt, pepper and cinnamon. Then I put the filling in wonton wrappers, sealed them up with some egg whites around the edges and boiled some and baked some for a few minutes. They were topped with olive oil and Parmesan. I was afraid the boiled ravioli would turn out mushy, but it was better than the baked ravioli, though both were good.

Butternut squash ravioli

Butternut squash ravioli: Baked on the left, boiled on the right

The rest of the food we ate here and there.  I’m really glad we were in the summer CSA, but I’m excited for the variety of food the rest of the year holds, and that the food will be delivered to us.

Summer CSA: Week Three

CSA | Kale and Ale

CSA week three food

I have been looking forward to this day for a while. Another bundle of CSA joy. If it seems like a long time between weeks two and three, that’s because it has been. Trust me.

I only get food from the farm every other week, and the last pickup day I was out of town, meaning I haven’t gotten farm-fresh food for a month. I found out the hard way that when they say there is no leeway for picking food up a different day in the summer, they mean it. I even emailed the farm and never got a response at all (which doesn’t impress me, but that’s a different issue).

I’ve also been looking forward to this pickup because, after two rounds of food, I kind of have an idea of the food I get. Since my last pickup, my Google Reader has been giving me a lot of mouth-watering recipes for summer produce, so I’m ready to start cooking. This week’s food was four eggplant(!), a handful yellow and green zucchini, four cucumbers, two butternut squash, a bag of arugula and a honeydew.

Again, I made a cucumber and onion salad. I love summer salads, as I had a lot of them growing up. They are great as a quick snack or side dish, and during the summer, they are already prepared with no cooking required.

Gratin so good it didn’t last long!

I made a tomato, zucchini and eggplant gratin with homemade wheat bread. It is highly recommended; I had some for lunch and kept thinking about it the rest of the day. The key is olive oil and garlic infused and cooked into the recipe.

The last eggplant was used for a spread I made in my slow cooker (one of my favorite kitchen tools) and then chilled that goes great with veggies or bread. The butternut squash was roasted and the rest of the food was used as odds and ends or add-ins to other dishes. I really want to try making ravioli or something a little more difficult and complex with the butternut squash, but am not sure what to make or my skill level. Maybe “next week,” though I say that every week.

I have two weeks left in the summer CSA, and should find out within a week if I’m accepted into the fall/winter/spring program.