Tag Archives: Squash

End of summer golden gazpacho

3 Sep

I credit ketchup for my love of food. My dad, in his infinite wisdom, introduced ketchup as a last resort to his obstinate toddler as he coaxed her (me) to eat. While successful in the early days, Palate Gal - ingredients for golden gazpacholittle did he know that I would later identify ketchup as its own food group.

For a long time, I loved ketchup more than I loved any other food, and I put it on just about everything that wasn’t salad. My ketchup usage hit such highs that I remember my grandmother telling me to “quit it” as ketchup was just “red sugar” that I was “drinking like soup.” (Probably true.) I don’t recall rethinking my choice for even a minute.

To this day, sometimes I crave ketchup and go out of my way to make or buy something I can eat it with. Just ask the server at America’s Dogs in O’Hare International Airport. Continue reading

Butternut squash and broccoli rabe lasagna with a zesty kick

14 Mar

As a little tyke, my brother was a strict “breaditarian” (a self-imposed title). He, like many kids, dogmatically insisted that he only ate white foods; his menu of acceptable meals included bread, pasta, rice, chicken fingers, and a limited set of other items. Hot dogs were the only apparent exception to this rule.*Zesty cheese and delicious squash

With such a narrow list of food likes, the options for eating out were slim. On the rare night that my parents did not muster the energy to cook or when my brother and I were alone with my dad and he didn’t whip up his famous breakfast for dinner special, we would hop in the car and head down the road to The Italian Village.

We did not go expecting fine dining, though as kids we did not distinguish between good and bad pasta anyway. We loved the excitement of being out for dinner, the predictability of the menu that was full of things we knew we liked, and the paper place mats waiting to be turned into works of art with the complementary crayons provided.Spicy broccoli rabe

For my part, the tempting voice of lasagna always called out to me, but I found I liked the idea of it more than the reality. In my mind, lasagna should be a comforting bite of al dente pasta, creamy cheese, and flavorful sauce.

I occasionally took the leap and ordered The Italian Village’s version, but more often than not I was disappointed with the goopy mess of floppy noodles, stringy cheese, and bland sauce. As a result, I usually defaulted to the boring choice of ravioli with marinara sauce. Continue reading

Hearty meal for a snowy night: Rick’s brisket and roasted squash with lemon-tahini sauce

16 Feb

It has been cold here in Brooklyn recently. Not just normal-winter-in-the-Northeast cold, but biting, wind-swept, I-don’t-want-to-go-outside cold. Visiting friends recently felt compelled to invest in heavy duty goose down parkas, and the sidewalks near my Midtown East office are starting to resemble a zoo of small, furry, brown animals (that is, made into jackets, gloves, and absurd hats and worn by women who lunch).

E and I were hosting some friends for dinner, and we both agreed that a hearty, warm meal was the way to go. Rick’s brisket, Roasted Squash with Lemon-Tahini Dressing, and Pomegranate Hazelnut Wild Rice fit the bill.Brisket - before and after

The star of this meal was Rick’s brisket. It all started with my great grandparents, then came their children, and their children, and their children, and their children. At this point, we’re 60+ people and still going strong. We don’t distinguish between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd cousins, we have a well-used family listserv, and we have welcomed nearly 15 new cousins in the last 8 years alone. Continue reading

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