Tuesday, October 21, 2008

VeganMoFo: Dinner From the Garden

Last night's Dinner with Grandpa:
Roasted Butternut Squash (from my garden)
Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes (from my garden)
Tomato-Cuke salad (tomatoes from my garden)
Yummy Kale (from my garden)

Don't get the wrong idea, my veggie garden consists of 3 small 4x6 planters, and I don't regularly harvest enough for 3 people to eat dinner - but I guess it's the right time of year.

Grandmommy's Roasted Butternut Squash
I learned this technique from my grandma, and it's a family favorite. My grandparents grew 143 butternut squash last year (putting my garden to shame!), and this year my grandpa cut back a little and grew something closer to 55.

1 Butternut Squash
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 F
With a good knife, cut the butternut squash in two - separating the long skinny part from the pudgy part. Again with the knife, or with a heavy-duty peeler, peel the squash and remove the seeds. Cut the peeled squash into circles/rings or half-moons/smiles about 3/4 inch thick. Lightly spray or coat each piece with olive oil. Place evenly on a baking sheet lined with tinfoil (don't use a silpat/silicon mat, it will stick), and bake for 45 minutes, turning slices over after 25 minutes, until gooey and caramelized.

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes
2 red cippolina onions or 2-3 large shallots (about 2/3 c when chopped)
1 tsp olive oil
3 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
1/2- 1 c veg broth
3/4 lb whole wheat spaghetti

This really turned out great. I've had many misfires with cherry tomato sauce, because they are just so sweet, which doesn't always work out right. But I was trying to remember something yummy that my friend Fabrizio once made for us... and this time around, I worked to keep the sweet/acidic nature tempered, and the sauce was delicious.

Peel and clean the onions/shallots, then thinly slice them. Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and add the onions. Let them slowly cook until browned and some are even a bit crispy (but don't rush it, or you will burn them) (about 10-15 minutes). Meanwhile, wash and de-stem your cherry tomatoes. When the onions are ready, dump in your cherry tomatoes and saute, stirring often for 3-5 minutes. Then add in 1/2 cup veg broth and let it all simmer and stew on medium heat.

Put on your pasta water now, letting the tomatoes continue to cook as the water comes to a boil, and then cook your pasta. Once your pasta is in the pot, check up on the tomatoes. If it is looking thick and stewy, add in another 1/2 cup of veg broth. I did not have any white wine, but I think that might be nice as well. And sprinkle in salt for taste. Using a wooden spoon, gently pop about 1/2 the tomatoes, to get out the liquidy insides. When ready to serve, taste the sauce for salt. Then drain your noodles, mix it all together and dig in!

Yummy Kale
1 kale bunch, stemmed and chopped in smallish pieces
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
salt to taste

Wash and prepare the kale. Steam it for 10-15 minutes, depending on how obliterated you like your kale. I used half water and half veg broth for the steaming liquid. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. Saute the minced garlic until lightly golden, then set aside. Once the kale is done, put it in a medium serving bowl. Add in the garlic and olive oil, vinegar, and sprinkle on some salt. Gently toss it all together.

Even Musty "I Hate Kale" managed to eat his whole serving!


  1. Such a lucky grandfather, to have that dinner with you; and so lovely that you used a recipe from your grandmother!!

  2. When did you plant your squash? We had a garden for the first time this year and it was like 20x40 and we had corn, snap green beans, beets, 2 carrots (so sad) cabbage, broccoli, green bell peppers, summer squash, and zucchini, or yeah tomatoes and cucumbers too... anyway that was our first time with a garden... I was wondering if you "planted" at a certain time.. sorry for the LONG comment!!

  3. I would have loved to have been at this dinner. It looks fantastic, Amey!

  4. Anonymous12:13 AM

    What a beautiful meal. I would be so proud if this was from my own garden!

  5. That's so cool that you could make that wonderful dinner from your own garden!

  6. Wow, what an awesome dinner! I bet everything was super tasty coming fresh out of your garden. I wish I had the space for a garden. :-(

  7. Wow...delicious looking butternut squash!! No, I haven't received my package yet, but I will be sure to let you know when I do!! I hope there is no trouble with the mail...do you by any chance have a tracking number?

  8. That looks so healthy & fabulous!

  9. Now that's gonna be my goal once I get a garden! I can't believe your grandpa grew that many butternuts!!

  10. Ooh, so lucky! I love eating from the garden.


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