Monday, November 14, 2011

Dreaming of Next Season

So it’s been awhile. I was surprised when I came back here today to see that my last post was at the beginning of October. Since then I’ve been cooking all the fall vegetables that have been appearing in my CSA box.

There’s been lots of squash, some potatoes, bunches of leeks, kale, and carrots, plus beets, broccoli and Brussels sprouts too. I’ve managed to eat it all, so I guess I’ve been too busy cooking to write.

Sadly, though all things must come to an end. I realized that as I picked up my last box of vegetables for the season last Tuesday. In a few days I’ll have eaten them all and the CSA season will close for the year. Then I’ll have to make due with what I’ve frozen and begin dreaming about next season. But before I do that I wanted to be sure to capture two new favorites from the last month.

The first, Orecchiette With Braised Kale And Cauliflower, was good enough to be served at an Italian restaurant. I made only a few substitutions, including cutting out the currants and substituting chiocciole for orecchiette pasta, because I couldn't find it. I also planned to substitute almonds for the pine nuts, but forgot to add them before serving and found it was just as good without them. The recipe was a little more complicated than I usually make, with a few ingredients I don’t tend to have on hand such as anchovies, but completely worth the effort.

The second, Ravioli with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon, which I made this week, was from Real Simple. The Brussels sprouts are shredded and tossed with bacon, pecans and a little vinegar before serving with the ravioli. Again, this is a restaurant-quality dish, if I do say so myself, but a little less complicated than the orecchiette.

Of course both dishes are pasta-based, so it’s no surprise they turned out wonderful, but the addition of the farm-fresh vegetables made them even better. I could make these dishes again over the winter with store-bought produce, but I doubt they’ll be the same. Instead, I’ll dream about having them both next summer.