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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Lotsa Leeks (and some Spaghetti Squash too!)


  My Leek 
  Originally uploaded by purplespace.

I've been getting a lot of Dear Foodmomiac questions lately about fall produce. Mir emailed me last week asking for gluten-free spaghetti squash recipes that don't suck. And Lauren has emailed me for butternut squash recipes and just this morning for some leek ideas.

I have a few ideas for these ladies, but I'd love all of you readers to chime in as well. What do you do with your fall produce?

For the leeks, I'm tempted to have Lauren try something out of the ordinary. The usual suspect would be Potato Leek Soup, but with a glut of leeks in the fridge (Lauren belongs to a C.S.A.), why not go for something even LEEKIER. I've been thinking about this all day, and the best idea I have is to try a Braised Leek recipe. This idea came to me after browsing through Molly Steven's All About Braising book (one of my favorite cookbooks). She has a recipe for Braised Scallions. I googled Braised Leeks, and came across a bunch of recipes. Some included cream, some included bacon fat. This one sounds the best to me, mostly because of its simplicity. I also will point you to the phenomenal Mariquita Farm website. Their leek page is brilliant.

And now to address Mir's question. Spaghetti squash is tough, because I don't think it has the depth of flavor that other squash have. It's not as sweet, it's not as rich. Sure, it does that funky spaghetti thing, but that's not enough to make this vegetable sing. As Mir suspected, one of the best ways to make spaghetti squash taste good is to load it up with butter and cheese. But, there have to be some more interesting ideas out there, no? Indeed there are. This one sounds pretty interesting, though making it gluten-free will require a touch of finagling, as it calls for both flour and bread crumbs. However, I'm sure there are some good substitutes out there. Can any gluten-free experts chime in? Finally, not to be repetitive, but I also love the ideas on Mariquita Farm's website. Check out this Spaghetti Squash page. The first recipe is definitely intriguing, but I especially love the idea of making the squash into a pancake (you'll need to scroll down a bit). Again, to modify this for gluten-free, you'll need a flour substitute, but the amount of flour here is relatively small, so I think it will do well.

I'm going to handle the rest of the winter squash in another post. In the meantime, please let me know if there are other fall veggies and fruits that you are trying to use in interesting ways. I'm always happy to help!

(P.S. I have received all of your crockpot inquiries, and I'm working on an answer. The crockpot and I have a love/hate relationship, so it's taking me some time to create a response that is actually helpful. Stay tuned!



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