09 October 2010

A vegetatation sensation

I have not been around the homestead very much lately with work travel taking me all over. As a result, we've had a bit of a buildup from our veg boxes. There is currently a surfeit of carrots and sweet potatoes, which I will deal with later on. However, I did manage to make a dent in all of it with last night's dinner: leek and gruyere tart and some squash soup.

A couple of weeks ago, we got a double helping and that week included what is known as delicata or sweet potato squash. Here it is inside and out.

I've not used or eaten it before and didn't know what to expect. But I marshalled on and hoped my extensive kitchen experience and general know-it-allness would keep me afloat. So I cut it up and started by roasting for about an hour with just a bit of salt. Once it was softened, I took it out of the oven and removed the skin and went ahead with my plan for slightly spicy roasted squash soup.

Roasted delicata chipotle soup (4-6 servings)
  • 2 small or 1 large delicata/sweet potato squash roasted and peeled
  • 1 dried chipotle, seeds removed and sliced thinly.
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • few tablespoons of sour cream
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil or butter
  • salt & pepper to taste
In a medium-sized pot, saute the garlic and onion in the butter or oil until it is soft. Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Then lower heat to medium-low and add pieces of squash, nutmeg, chipotle, and salt and pepper. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and blend until smooth. Check seasonings. Serve with a little dollop of sour cream.

The other half of the dinner didn't seem all that complicated but somehow it all took forever. It was pretty delicious and used up the whole lot of baby leeks I had on hand but next time I might make my own pastry as the frozen pie shell I used was a bit too greasy. But here's my recipe.

Leek & gruyere tart
  • Some leeks (I had about 10 or 12 baby leeks of various sizes and it was about right)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme (I used some from our window herb garden)
  • salt & pepper
  • 75 grams of gruyere, grated
  • 1 frozen pie crust thawed out
Preheat the oven to 400F.

Cut the leeks into 2 cm rounds and rinse well (discard the dark green end leaves). Saute the leeks and thyme in a frying pan until they are soft, probably about 15 minutes or so.

Lay the softened pie crust out flat on a piece of parchement paper and put half the cheese in the middle of it (leaving about 5 cm around the edge uncovered). Then spread the leeks on top of that and finish it off with the rest of the cheese. Slowly fold the edges of the pie crust up until you have a nice round tart with an open middle so the cheese can get all nice and brown and crispy. Slide the tart and paper onto a baking tray and put in the oven for about 25 minutes until the pastry turns a lovely golden brown.

It is rich but also very yummy. We ate the soup and tart together. I also roasted a few grape tomatoes which added a sweet, sweet extra to the whole affair. The tart is enough for 4 people if you add a salad or eat lots of the soup. I, however, managed to eat a half by myself, no problemo! Both of these recipes are adapted from about 50 things I looked at on the internet, so let me know if you try either one and how you liked it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wish you guys lived closer. That meal looked so yummy! Hope you are having a very nice Thanksgiving!
Love ya
Aunt Linda


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