From Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden
About 2 pounds pumpkin, unpeeled, cut into wedges, seeds scraped out
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground beef chuck
½ pound ground pork
1 cup finely chopped onion
½ cup finely chopped celery
½ cup finely chopped carrot
1 cup dry, unoaked white wine
1 cup whole milk
Cooked pasta of your choice (any short or long shape will be nice)
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Brush the pumpkin wedges with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet and roast, turning once, until fully tender, about 25 minutes.
Let the pumpkin cool, then scrape the flesh into a food processor. Blend until you have a smooth puree. Transfer the puree to a saucepan or large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, scraping frequently with a spatula, until the puree has lost a lot of its water and the pumpkin is thick and concentrated in flavor-like tomato paste, but with pumpkin. This could take 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the moisture level of your pumpkin.
Heat a glug of olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and pork, breaking up any big chunks, and cook until the meats are no longer pink, another 5 to 10 minutes. Take care to not brown the meat; you don’t want crusty bits. Remove the meat.
Add the onion, celery, and carrot. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and lots of twists of pepper. As soon as the vegetables begin to sizzle, reduce the heat to medium-low. Keep cooking, stirring frequently, until they are soft and fragrant, but not browned at all, about 10 minutes.
Return the meat to the pan, then add the wine. Simmer until the wine has reduced to just a small amount of liquid, about 10 minutes.
Fold in the pumpkin mixture and the milk. Season with salt and pepper, and adjust the heat to a very low simmer, cover, and simmer the sauce until the flavors are all nicely married, another hour or so. Check on the sauce during cooking to be sure it’s not drying out; if so, add a bit more water. You want the meat to be in very small bits and the meat fat should have separated out a bit. Taste the sauce and adjust with more salt and lots of pepper, if needed.
Serve with cooked pasta and lots of grated Parmigiano.
Avocado and Radish Mini-Tartines
From The French Market Cookbook
By Clotide Dusoulier
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Hot sauce (optional)
1 slim baguette
A bunch or two of radishes, trimmed
Scoop the avocado flesh into a bowl. Add the lemon juice, cumin, and salt and season with pepper and hot sauce (if using). Mash the avocado roughly to get a slightly chunky texture. Taste and adjust the seasoning; it should be so zesty you have to resist eating the whole bowl with a spoon.
Slice the baguette at an angle into ½-inch slices and spread the slices with the mashed avocado.
Using a mandolin slicer or very sharp knife, slice the radishes crosswise into paper-thin rounds. Scatter on top of the avocado, sprinkle with a touch more salt, and serve.
Stuffed Eggplant with Lamb and Pine Nuts
From Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi
Serves 4 generously
“These are deliciously hearty and best served with some bread or simple rice and come pickled beets on the side.”
4 medium eggplants, halved lengthwise
6 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 lb ground lamb
7 tbsp pine nuts
2/3 ounce flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tsp tomato paste
3 tsp superfine sugar
2/3 cup water
1 ½ tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp tamarind paste
4 cinnamon sticks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Place the eggplant halves, skin side down in a roasting pan large enough to accommodate them snugly. Brush the flesh with 4 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with 1 teaspoon salt and plenty of black pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
While the eggplants are cooking, you can start making the stuffing by heating the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan. Mix together the cumin, paprika, and ground cinnamon and add half of this spice mix to the pan, along with the onions. Cook over medium-high heat for about 8 minutes, stirring often, before adding the lamb, pine nuts, parsley, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon of the sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and some black pepper. Continue to cook and stir for another 8 minutes, until the meat is cooked.
Place the remaining spice mix in a bowl and add the water, lemon juice, tamarind, the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar, the cinnamon sticks, and ½ teaspoon salt; mix well.
Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Pour the spice mix into the bottom of the eggplant roasting pan. Spoon the lamb mixture on top of each eggplant. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil, return to the oven, and roast for 1 ½ hours, by which point the eggplants should be completely soft and the sauce thick; twice during the cooking, remove the foil and baste the eggplants with the sauce, adding some water if the sauce dries out. Serve warm, not hot, or at room temperature.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
(milk mustache optional)
Flora made this sweet potato gnocchi from a recipe included in a monthly kids cooking subscription that she receives (raddishkids.com), which I recommend!
Here is a link to the sweet potato gnocchi I most often use:
But here is the one that I want to try next, because it calls for broccoli raab, which is rapini after flowering. The rapini we grow on the farm will be perfect!
Or this one:
NEWS FROM THE BEND
From planting time to the growing and harvesting seasons,