Monday, January 11, 2010

Sasha's Kitchen: Vegetarian Dinner Party and Simple Winter Squash Recipe

My husband and I had a vegetarian (or vegetable-oriented, perhaps a better term for it) dinner party last night with some friends of ours here in Brooklyn.  Here was the menu:

Appetizer: Baby Acorn Squash (recipe below)
Caesar Salad
Green Apple Risotto (My husband, Brad, prepared this and will post the recipe soon)
Sweet Potato Chipoltle Latkes (Pancakes) with Lingonberries
Rainbow Frosted Honey-Vanilla Cupcakes
Mini Chocolate Souffles (prepared by our friends for us, but something I plan on making for this site very soon)

Below is how to prepare the baby acorn squash, a perfect appetizer or side dish for a fall or winter dinner.  This recipe serves four, but they are so good, that you might want to prepare extras.

2 medium sized acorn squash
4 T butter
4 T brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

And a second variation of the dish, incorporating apples that I will be preparing this weekend for another dinner party:

Diced honeycrisp or gala apples, mixed with 1/2 tsp cinnamon and a 1 tsp of lemon juice

Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Fill with the butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. Add the apple mixture too, if making that variation.

Bake at 350 F for an hour and a half.

The end result is a very simple, but delicious farm fresh seasonal treat, best prepared using organic or local produce. I really enjoy cooking vegetarian-style. It's not that I don't enjoy meat and fish - I do, and plenty of it. But too much of our eating revolves around the meat entree, and it doesn't always need to be that way. Sometimes it is nice too cook without meat, and it enhances the fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, grains and other ingredients that you are using. I find that I have learned a great deal of how to better work with these ingredients by occasionally leaving meat out of a meal.  Not only is it healthy to occasionally skip out on meat, but it enhances the experience we have eating everything else, as well as the quality of the produce.  I believe this is why I am such a big fan of the farm to table approach to cooking. I plan to do another vegetable-oriented dinner party next weekend, as well.


1 comment:

  1. Oh man, my mom used to make squash just like that. I used to love that stuff!


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