I love it when we sit down to a meal and realize it’s almost all local food! We made this salad with our first garden harvest of greens (although we’ve been buying local lettuce for a few weeks now), radishes, green onion, and locally grown kidney beans. The sunflower seeds and dressing (homemade with a base of olive oil, vinegar, and minced garlic) prevent this salad from being 100% local.
Second component of the meal: butternut squash soup. We bought 15 butternut squash in the fall; for this meal, we ate the last squash. They kept beautifully for over six months with minimal effort. We put them in mesh bags (the bags that onion come in, for example) and hung the bags from nails in our basement. Simple!
For this soup, we roasted the whole squash, then added sauteed onions, butter, milk, cumin, turmeric, and salt. I blended it all with my stick blender for easy clean-up.
It all came together for a simple, delicious, local dinner.
I really like food — eating food, cooking food, talking about food, thinking about food. Fortunately, the husband shares these interests, so we usually cook together. When my sister asked me for recipes awhile back, I was stymied, because we don’t often cook from recipes. Sure, we have a shelf with lots of lovely cookbooks sitting on it, but except for some tried and true favorites, the cookbooks get little attention.
We prefer to cook with what we have on hand, trying ingredient combinations based on what sounds good and variants of dishes we enjoyed in the past. If we have any ingredient we’re unsure about, well, that’s where internet searches come into the picture. We also prioritize local foods which are abundant here right now, so without further ado, here are some recent creations.
- Sauteed swiss chard* with garlic and sun-dried tomatoes, served with quinoa. Side of broiled asparagus**.
- Broccoli* and celery* stir fry with garlic and peas, served over rice. Side of roasted beets*.
- Chanterelle mushrooms* sauteed in butter and olive oil with garlic. Served over homemade bread with a side of steamed asparagus**.
- Salad of mixed lettuces* and arugula*, topped with roasted beets*, goat cheese**, and homemade poppy seed dressing.
- Whole wheat cappellini with homemade basil* pesto. Side of grilled beets* and sweet potatoes.
* Food we grew (or foraged, in the case of the chanterelles).
** Food grown locally that we purchased from the farmer’s market or farmer.