Roasted Root Vegetable Dill Stew & Fluffy Biscuits

Our winter CSA (community supported agriculture) pickup was on Thursday. We decided to join a Winter CSA to supplement our diets with organic locally grown vegetables. I knew Andy would initially be hesitant to join the CSA if it would be a lot of money for very little food, or one that supplemented their veggies with out of state food. It was important to me too to find a CSA that was grown within 25 miles of our home, and had convenient pick up. I knew it would be the basic root veggies for the winter, and I was hoping to get challenged with some I had never had before. Normally we grow parsnips and just leave them to winter and pick them as needed, but this year we didn’t. We also don’t have any root cellar which rules out our own crop.

I ended up finding the perfect Winter CSA grown within the 25 miles, and the pickup is right near my office. We can also buy organic eggs and meat separately, which I love. It’s 6 months long and pick up is every 2 weeks. As well, all veggies are locally grown with no non-local supplementation. It goes through May, which will help supplement us until our garden is ready, especially if the next planting season is anything like this year. Also, I can be assured it’s all from right here. I don’t mind buying them at the grocery store, but if I’m paying extra for a CSA, I want it local.

We’re hoping to someday get a cold frame built to put over at least 1/4 to 1/2 of our garden to have our own crops during the winter, but for now the CSA is a great choice for us. We get about a regular grocery bag of food every 2 weeks. While it’s most definitely not all of our veggies, it certainly helps. I also love supporting local farmers so this makes me feel good too.

Tonight after a long day of painting, cleaning & general malaise I decided we needed a hearty stew for dinner. One of the veggies we got was celeriac which I had never had. It turns out I love it.

Ingredients

No need to adhere to the veggies below, just use any root veggies you have on hand and dice them up into bite size pieces.

  • 1 Sweet Potato
  • 3 medium Regular Potato’s
  • 8 medium Turnips
  • 2 bulbs Celeriac (celery root)
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 3-4 small/medium carrots
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 3 medium cloves garlic
  • Chicken Stock (enough to cover vegetables) [To make vegan substitute vegetable broth]
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk (optional) [To make vegan substitute nut milk of choice, almond would work nice]
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch to thicken (optional)
  • Olive Oil/Vegetable Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1.5-2 tbsp Dill
  • Pinch Celery seed

Directions

1.) Heat oven to 400 and start pot of water. I suggest using one pot that will be large enough to make the soup in, or else you’ll need two pots.

2.) Dice all veggies. Set onion & garlic and celeriac aside.

This is celeriac. Cut the top off. Cut the bottom off, and skin. It’s just that easy! Don’t be intimidated.

3.) Add celeriac root to boiling water for 15 minutes. Being honest, I’m not sure why you couldn’t roast it. I read different preparation ways and most places said boil it. Since I’ve never used it I followed the majority. I say try and roast it if you want, I see no reason why it wouldn’t work.

4.) Spread remaining veggies (except onion & garlic) on a cookie sheets or two and drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in oven for 10 minutes. I recommend putting all butternut squash on one end of a cookie sheet, since you’ll want to keep this aside to add in at the end.

5.) Drain celeriac root and set aside in a bowl or on the cookie sheet with the butternut squash to add in at the end.

6.) Add a large pad of butter to the pan. Once melted put in the garlic and onions and saute for 5 minutes. Add in all of the roasted veggies except celeriac and butternut squash. Turn the heat down to medium and let go for about 5 minutes, gently stirring once or twice.

7.) Add chicken stock to cover the veggies, dill, celery seed, salt and pepper and put on low and simmer until the potatoes & sweet potatoes are fork tender. If you want to thicken, take about 2 tablespoons of hot broth out and add cornstarch to it. Whisk until entirely dissolved and add back to the soup. Do not add cornstarch into the entire batch of soup, it will clump and stirring will break your veggies apart.

There’s a reason this is called a Dill stew.

8.) Turn off the heat to the soup. If adding milk, slowly pour and gently stir, or temper into a smaller bowl of hot broth and pour back in.

9.) Biscuits. Get this can. Half the directions of the back for about 9 mug sized biscuits. Add a little more baking soda for fluffier biscuits. Secrets out – this is how my grandpa made his best biscuits, my mom made hers, and I make mine. I have a couple different ways I make them, but these are my favorite.

10.) Eat. Fill that bowl up, butter that biscuit up and mow down.

Happy Cold Winter Days & Hot Stew,

Heather

 

Whole Wheat, Butternut Squash + Prosciutto Pizza

This delicious pizza idea came from Cooking Light. Here’s my issue – I can’t follow recipes to a T. It’s just kind of my thing. If you want to see the original dish, click on over here. I’d like to apologize in advance for my slightly bluish tinted photos. My flash I normally use at night when cooking crapped the bed so there was a little tweaking that had to happen.

Ingredients

  • 1 Ball Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
  • 1 1/2 cup Fontina Cheese
  • 1 tbpn Dried Oregano
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • Butternut Squash, about 15 thinly sliced rounds from the top of the squash
  • 1/2 cup Pesto
  • 1/8lb very thinly sliced Prosciutto
  • Olive oil or non-stick spray

Directions

1. Heat oven to 450

2.  Grease or spray down pizza pan so your pizza won’t stick. Any size or shape will work, but you may need to adjust cooking time. I used a regular cookie sheet.

3. Roll out dough and stretch onto pizza pan, being careful not to tear the dough. If you do, just pinch it back together – no biggie.

4. Spread Parmesan fairly evenly onto the dough. Eat some. You know you need to try it ahead of time to make sure it’s perfect.

5. Lay down the prosciutto, leaving about a 1 inch to 1/2 inch alone for the crust.

6. Make sure your pesto is very warm so it spreads easily and spread over the prosciutto. Don’t worry about getting it to even, it’s kind of delicious no matter what.

7. Over this lay down your thinly sliced butternut squash rounds. The easiest way to make these is using a mandolin, but a sharp knife and being careful will work. Obviously remove the skin of the squash before you cut it into thin rounds. They should be no more than 1/4 of an inch in order to cook. Mine were around 1/8 – almost see through. I laid three across and then about 7-8 down, and then in between each of those rows so they overlapped some.

8. Sprinkle your oregano on top of the squash. Ok ok, I put it over my Parmesan. Just put it anywhere under the final layer of cheese and you’ll be ok.

9. Put the fontina on top of your butternut squash. It might not seem like enough to cover the squash and keep it from burning but here’s the magic – the fontina will spread and become a delicious cover to the squash and it will help steam the squash to perfection.

10. Cook for 20 minutes. This was the exact perfect amount of time in my oven. Keep a close eye on it though, you don’t want the fontina to burn since it’s such a soft cheese.

Cut into slices and gobble that wonderous-spectacularness up. The photo below might look slightly soggy but it in no way was. What you’re seeing is the fontina dripping and causing an almost glaze when mixed with the oil from the pesto.

This was so easy and not time consuming at all. By using pre-made pizza dough, and pesto from our garden we froze, it was a 15 minutes of prep and 20 of cooking. I consider 35 minutes for decent and delicious dinner a success.

Delicious.

I love using fall foods in unique ways.

Happy Crunchy Delicious Cheesy Pizza Goodness,

Heather

 

Super Simple Roasted Butternut Squash

It may still be technically Summer, but for all intents and purposes it is most definitely Autumn in Maine. The fog is rolling in on the hayfield and the frost is about to set in soon. It’s one of my favorite seasons for a few reasons. One, it’s chunky sweater weather. Two, the trees are about to burst in a gorgeous collaboration of color. Three, the butternut squash is ready.

Roasted butternut squash is good for a multitude of things, and can be made in a multitude of ways. However, I am going to tell you my very favorite recipe. Brace yourself, it’s super ridiculously simple.

Roasted Butter Nut Squash

Ingredients:

  • Butternut squash
  • 1/2  stick of butter (for two butternut squash, four halves)
  • Brown Sugar (to taste)

Not kidding. Those are the ingredients. You’ll also need an oven for the whole roasting part of the recipe, some tinfoil for easy cleanup and cookie sheet or cake pan. Whatever you use, it needs to have sides on it.

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line your pan with tinfoil and set aside.
  • Chop the top and bottom end off of the butternut squash with a sharp knife so it sits flat on it’s bottom. Be careful, the skin is notoriously tough. I have never had an issue, but I’ve heard it can be hard. Butternut Squash does not merit a flesh wound.

  • Stand the butternut squash on it’s bottom and carefully slice it in half. Scoop out the seeds until the flesh is clean.

  • Melt butter either on the stove top (be careful not to burn the butter), or in a microwavable dish.
  • Pour butter into tinfoil lined pans.
  • Place the halves of butternut squash flesh side down onto the melted butter in your pan. Deliciousness will start to infuse into your squash immediately.

  • Roast for approximately 50 minutes. When you can easily pierce the squash with a fork, it’s done.
  • Pull out of the oven and turn the broiler on.
  • Flip the squash flesh side up. Sprinkle the top of the squash with brown sugar and place back under the broiler until the sugar very lightly melts/caramelizes.

Now, here’s the best part. Just eat it warm right out of the skin. If you prefer you can peel the skin off and puree or mash it up. However, I’m a purist. I either like it straight out of the skin, or with a little brown sugar toasted on top. It’s incredibly easy, incredibly healthy (especially if you nix the sugar, since it’s so sweet anyway) and wonderful. It works well on it’s own, or paired with a simple pasta salad.

The beauty of this is how simple it is. Food shouldn’t have to be complicated and this is the epitomy of simplicity and deliciousness.

Here’s to a roasty, toasty Fall,

Heather