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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Beauty of the Bounty

Have you ever eaten a purely seasonal meal? If you have, you'll know that the flavors are intensified and without a lot of fuss with sauces and glazes, the natural beauty of the food can shine. Last night, I decided to make a healthy meal using foods readily available in the grocery store. With asparagus, delicata squash, carrots and brown rice, I made an extremely simple meal something extraordinary, solely based upon natural chemistry. I was excited to try delicata squash, a unique variety I sampled during dinner at a friends home. Delicata is a winter squash but shares more similarities with summer squash varieties like zucchini and spaghetti squash.  Delicata is unique because the skin is quite thin making it delicious to eat, just like you would a potato skin. The taste of the roasted squash is unlike any squash I have tried, this squash is richer and packed with intense flavor reminding me of candied butter. The squash is creamy and sweet, but not overly sweet. I would compare delicata to a fabulous sweet potato mixed with sweet corn puree. If you are looking to try delicata squash, hurry up and head to your nearest farmers market or Rainbow Foods before the season concludes. 

In the photo posted above, I have roasted asparagus with a fried egg gooing over the vegetable. If you have never mixed asparagus with an egg, you are missing out! Restaurants all over the country have been rushing to get this to-die-for combo on their app menus. There is something about the creaminess of the yolk with the salty, earthiness of the asparagus that makes this a fearless pair. I recommend a poached egg or fried and adding a bit of toasted panko breadcrumbs over the top for crunch factor! 

If you are curious as to how to roast vegetables here is the skinny:

Roasting Delicata Squash- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and half squash. Remove seeds and excess skin. Place on a baking sheet and brush with melted butter and salt. Cook in oven for 45 minutes to an hour depending on how creamy you like your squash. The skin should be beginning to brown when you take them out of the oven.

Roasted Asparagus and Carrots- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut and wash vegetables, arrange on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes. The carrots will likely need to bake for 10 more minutes past the asparagus. 


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