A day of cooking and recipes

Today was my first day off in awhile, and it was filled with cooking. As I write this, I have tomatillos and poblanos roasting in the oven for roasted salsa. This afternoon, I toasted off some herbs from the garden that had been hanging all summer and added them to the spice rack. Earlier in the day, I made a mocha chocolate cheesecake - totally not local, but equally delicious - out of the Angelica Kitchen cookbook.

I cannot tell you how much I love this food season. The winter squash is just being harvested, potatoes are more abundant and I get to use, what I call, warming spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, all-spice, cloves) in soups, stews, breads and anything else that needs a spicy punch. Before I left the farm on Tuesday, I was cleaning acorn squash for the markets and took the seconds home. Now, I have a ton of squash and so many options. Squash and/or pumpkin puree is the easy route - steam, roast or boil the squash until tender and throw it into the food processor. It's pretty much the basis for many winter squash recipes.

My new favorite use for winter squash is Squash Hummus, out of "Local Bounty" by Devra Gartenstein. For vegans, vegetarians and hummus lovers who are a little bored with regular hummus, try this unbelievable recipe:

1 acorn squash
1/4 cup tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. dried parsley flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
(1) Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds* (*I save the seeds and toast them off in the oven). Cut the halves into chunks that will fit in your vegetable steamer and steam them for 20 to 30 minutes, or until they are soft.
(2) Scoop out the pulp and transfer it to a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.