Sunday, June 3, 2012

Summer Joys

There are some things that should never be eaten out of season. One of them is yellow squash.

I have several delicious recipes for this wonderful, bright vegetable (or perhaps it's a fruit), but my favorite is very simple.

Speckled Yellow Squash

Pick one medium to small tender squash for each person eating. If the plants get ahead of you, it is better to pick the older mealy squashes and just compost them, than it is to try and save them and eat them. The more you pick from the squash plant, the more it will produce.

Rinse the squashes quickly under cool water just brushing off any little hairs and dirt from the garden. Slice it about 1/2 centimeter thick  and put the blossom end and the stem end in your compost bucket. Peel and Chop 1/2 of a medium sized yellow onion for each squash. Melt 1 teaspoon of lard or bacon fat in the bottom of a heavy cast iron pan, skillet, or pot on medium heat. Add the onion to the hot grease, and saute until just beginning to go translucent. Add the squash slices and sprinkle with sea salt to taste and continue to saute this until just limp and onions are sweet. Spoon mixture into a bowl and top with one teaspoon to 2 tablespoons of pesto (freshly made if possible). Stir to spread those green sprinkles. Serve hot as a side for grilled steak, chicken or pork.

Favorite Pesto

The pesto recipe I like best does not have pine nuts. I use about a cup of basil leaves (from my own plant), about 2 cloves (or more) or fresh garlic, 1/2 cup of soaked and dried walnut meats (from my walnut trees)*, 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of olive oil (or 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of walnut oil), 1 teaspoon of sea salt, 1 teaspoon of whey (left from making yogurt cheese). Blend in the food processor until really mushy. Pack into a small glass jar and either leave out over night to start fermentation or pop it into the frig. A little of this goes a very long way.

I also like to use the pesto as a spread on burgers or steak.

* I've also used soaked and dried pecans when I ran out of walnuts.

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