September 2011 COTM, Slater/Tender: Pumpkin through zucchini
Please use this thread to discuss and review recipes from the chapters from pumpkin to zucchini (and the chapter a few good things).
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Chickpeas with pumpkin, lemongrass, and cilantro p. 480
This is a vegetarian stew made from pumpkin, chickpeas, onions and lots of spices, with coconut milk and mustard. It was very easy to make, given I used already cut up butternut squash from Trader Joe’s and canned chickpeas, not dried. I made it as part of a ‘Farmer’s Market Dinner’ some friends and I have been having one Sunday evening a month this summer (where I’ve been trying out a lot of recipes from TENDER)
While it did not blow me away, everyone else at the table said it was their favorite thing on the table and the leftovers, what little we had, disappeared by the next morning. So I will make it again. Next time, I’ll do it with pumpkin (as I love pumpkin… there just was none in the store that day). We served it over white rice. Definitely a crowd pleaser, at least with my crowd!
A Classic Dressing, Pg. 518, USA Ed.
This basic vinaigrette was used on a simple salad of torn romaine heart leaves, chopped heirloom tomato and chopped fresh new season purple onion. Slater's ingredients are: 4 parts olive oil to 1 part red wine vinegar, a small finely chopped shallot, salt and black pepper. After tasting the oil/vinegar combination I added 1 more tablespoon of vinegar. Also, since I had onion in the salad I omitted the shallot.
Put a pinch of salt in a bowl, add the vinegar and dissolve the salt. Whisk in the Olive oil and black pepper. I usually just eyeball the measurements and dress the salad right in the serving bowl, except when I'm adding Dijon mustard to the dressing. But, this method of going slowly and thinking about the ingredients as you use them really made the dressing enhance each component of the salad. The Zen of the dressing...
A Supper of Zucchini, Tomato and Basil, Pg. 593, USA Ed.
Ingredients: 5 medium zucchini (I used 3), 3 medium tomatoes (2), olive oil, a handful of basil leaves, lemon. Slice the zucchini into "thick fingers...like homemade French fries". Heat the oil and cook zucchini till they just soften. Add chopped tomatoes along with torn basil, S & P and a squirt of lemon juice. Stir then cover and cook about 12 minutes. The tomatoes and cook down to a basil infused sauce and the zucchini is tender but not browned.
This was a nice side dish with lots of fresh basil flavor and the zucchini had a good fresh flavor as well.
NS says this could be used as a main dish or side so we served it with haddock roasted with potatoes...a recipe from a Marion Morash book for fish and vegetables. G had a piece Italian bread to mop up the juices, I didn't.
A salad of of tomatoes with anchovies and basil, p 580, UK edition
This is another of Nigel Slater's barely-there recipes, without amounts and much description, but which ends up lifting a few perfect ingredients into something even better. I tossed together a mixture of tomatoes, cut into wedges or halved in the case of the cherry tomatoes, added olive oil, torn basil and a few whole rinsed anchovy fillets. You let it sit for a while to let it marinate and then it became dinner with a crusty loaf on a hot late-summer night.
A Lemon- and Garlic-Scented Side Dish - p 281 (UK ed.)
This recipe calls for zucchini, but I used yellow squash, as that is what I had on hand. Cut the squash lengthwise, then into short lengths. You saute some chopped garlic in oil, then add the squash, cooking until tender. Add some mint and parsley, increase the heat, and add the juice from half a lemon. Let bubble for a bit, then sprinkle with salt. Done.
The use of mint with squash reminded me of Batali, who seems to use that combination a lot. This dish, however, had a brighter, more vibrant flavor than any of the Batali squash dishes I've made, thanks to the lemon juice. Adding the lemon juice to the hot pan and letting it boil for a minute creates a kind of lemony glaze over the squash. It really made the flavors of the fresh herbs sing. Once again, very simple, but really nice.