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May 2013

Summer Squash Stew

Summer squash stew sm
Squash! They're driving us out of our gourd! This week we'll be serving two new squash dishes, hoping to use up what we have before the next wave hits.  Yellow Squash Stew for Wednesday's Café and Squash and Goat Cheese Tart for Friday's breakfast. 

The Summer Squash Stew recipe is below. It was great to be able to include other gifts of the season - like the lovely herbs we were given at the market, the basket of tomatoes which all hit their prime at once, and even a touch of the last of the season's citrus. Rather than cook the squash (to oblivion) in the soup, I sautéed it separately, then added right before the soup was cooked. It's good!

Summer Squash Stew

a large, sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil 
4 cups roasted tomato pulp and juice - or one 24 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 cup red lentils
minced peel of 1/2 orange
juice of whole orange
2-3 yellow squash chopped into 1-inch pieces
lemon pepper
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (or one 24 oz. can).

If using fresh tomatoes, roast whole tomatoes on oiled baking sheet at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until shriveled. Cool and remove peels. Meanwhile, sautée onion and garlic in olive oil till onion is transparent. Add tomatoes (canned or roasted fresh pulp), and 1 cup of uncooked red lentils, minced orange peel, and orange juice. Add 5 cups water and bring to a boil. When it begins to boil, turn down to low and simmer until lentils are cooked - 20-30 minutes, adding water if necessary. While lentils are cooking, sautée the squash in a separate skillet, with a little olive oil. When it begins to become tender, sprinkle with lemon pepper. Add a splash of water and cover for a few minutes so that it becomes tender but not at all soggy. 

After lentils are tender, add garbanzo beans and gently spoon in squash. Add salt to taste. Sprinkle with chopped,fresh dill and parsley. We offered the addition of mild, pickled banana peppers as a topping. Enjoy!

It has begun: Squash Season

The vegetable donations from local farms has been ramping up these last few weeks, and right now we are experiencing that sliver of time when we have the end of cool-weather veggies along with the beginning of those that thrive in the heat. So this week brought us both the last of the winter greens  in the form of chard, and the beginning of squash. Good old squash - it seems like yesterday you were lining the shelves of the fridge and appearing in every other dish we made. And here you are again. .  . 

Fortunately we also got a lovely bouquet of young purple basil, which goes so nicely with squash, and I had a bunch of onions waiting in the fridge. And then my friendly underground goat cheese provider called offering a cooler full of cheese and- voilá! A recipe is born. When the chard, dandelion greens, and other green cool-weather leafy veg are gone, you can add garden chives, or mix up zucchini with the yellow squash, to keep the colors interesting. 


  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 6 cups tender young squash, cubed (later in the season, when the skins are tougher, you may need to peel them)
  • 6 cups of chard, chopped and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fresh goat cheese
  • A handful or so of basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste (lots of black pepper is very nice in this dish)

Sauté the onions in butter or oil till tender and transluscent. Add squash and stir until it becomes somewhat tender (3-4 minutes). Add chopped and rinsed chard with the water still on the leaves. Stir for a moment, then cover, lower heat, and let steam till tender. Check to make sure there is enough water from the chard and add a little more if necessary. Check after about 5 minutes to see if things are tender. When they are, salt and pepper to taste and pour mixture into serving dish. Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves, then distribrute small glops of goat cheese evenly on top. Gently mix it together and serve with additional salt and pepper at the table. 

{the image is from this, which I found after I googled "yellow squash, basil, goat cheese). It's got leeks instead of onions, no chard, and some different proportions, but it looks a lot like ours did yesterday, before we quickly ate it}