>> Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Yesterday, I dazzled and amazed you with the freak show-worthy size and weight of that opo squash. Today, I'd like to tell you: It's worth more than novelty. Opos taste great! I was quite surprised when I cut into the flesh and found the texture was much more like a zucchini or eggplant. I guess I was expecting it to be hard, more like an acorn squash. I kept my plan simple and roasted large coin-cuts in the oven until they browned and became slightly crispy.
Lesson learned: Don't let weirdly shaped, oddly large produce items intimidate you. Forge ahead and make something delicious.
The instructions for roasting are really as easy as I just wrote above.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a rimmed cooking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil.
- Slice the opo squash (or eggplant, zucchini, etc.) into as many coins as will fill the pan.
- Then drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Cook on one side until lightly browned. Then take out and flip onto the other side. Cook until well browned.
- Serve immediately.
This dish works well for two large servings, or as a side for four.
It features some pretty awesome ingredients, too:
WARM APPLE-FENNEL SALAD (with KALE)
What you'll need . . .
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Four heaping handfuls of kale
- 3 to 4 small apples, chopped
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- Equal amount of fresh fennel, chopped
- 10 pitted dates, chopped
- 1 tablespoon grape seed oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Method . . .
- Prepare your crispy kale by heating the 1 tablespoon of olive oil over high heat in a stock pot. Throw in the kale. Cook on high heat, stirring occasionally, but allowing parts to get crispy/burned a bit, until you reach your desired crispy kale-ness. Keep in the stock pot -- you'll be putting everything back in here later.
- Chop all your other ingredients and toss into another pan, spritzed with a bit of oil. Cook over medium-high heat until everything is a bit tender, but still somewhat crisp, for around 5 to 8 minutes.
- Then mix together the grape seed oil, apple cider, balsamic vinegar, and red pepper flakes.
- Throw the veggies/fruits into the kale pan. Drizzle everything with the oil mixture. Cook over medium heat until warmed.
- Serve with the roasted opo squash coins for a light dinner.
Though I'm not a huge fan of cold salads, warm ones delight me. This one's unique because the fruit gives it an extra punch of flavor -- so the dates and apples are definitely key. The dressing can be adjusted to meet your specific tastes, and if you come up with something great -- please let us know!
What's your favorite salad? Are you like me -- a vegetarian who isn't a huge fan unless there's tons of avocado? Or do you eat one daily, maybe even twice a day? We'd love to know! Just leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com.
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