Summer's Bounty

>> Friday, September 10, 2010

I bought a ton of great stuff at the farmer's market this week - including a bunch of squash. I know everyone else in the northern hemisphere is sick to death of it by now, but I can't get enough and I know the end is near. I bought yellow squash, zucchini squash and pattypan squash. I bought butternut squash too - but I'll save those for a soup on some chilly, drizzly day.

My favorite way to fix squash is to saute it in a lot of butter and olive oil with some salt. A lot of butter and olive oil - I serve it over rice or couscous or some other grain and the extra butter/oil is a good sauce to flavor that up. If I have some almonds on hand I toss in a handful at the end. And I top it with some fresh herbs - usually parsley but nobody had parsley this week so I used chives. The trick is not to mess with the squash too much - just let it sit in the pan and get a nice crust on it and then flip it to brown the other side.

And for dessert? More peaches. My old peach crisp recipe wasn't perfect so I tried a new one - this one by Ina Garten. There are raspberries in it too - another happy farmer's market find - but I think I could substitute any berry that was in season - or leave them out altogether.

The filling was perfect - her recipe includes a nice trick where she has you let the fruit macerate for 5 minutes and then add more flour if it's really juicy. Mine was really, really juicy so I added even more extra flour than she called for and it was just right.

Some people in the comments on complained that there wasn't enough flavor in the recipe - they added cinnamon, allspice - even cloves! Ina adds no extra spices - just some orange zest that I thought brightened the whole thing up. The result was that it tasted like peaches - summer in a bowl - and I wouldn't add a single thing. The flavor of her topping was good - but the texture was a bit on the powdery side. I like mine to be almost cookie-like on top so I think next time I'll use less flour. There are just enough peaches left for one more batch. . .

By the way - both the plate and the bowl were made by Naomi Dalglish and Michael Hunt. Aren't they pretty?


niki,  September 11, 2010 at 9:10 PM  

We've been using the recipe in the current issue of Cook's Illustrated - it's for apple crisp but we're using peaches - and it's working out really nicely, especially when they're individually baked in ramekins.

Anonymous,  September 12, 2010 at 8:22 AM  

Did Alan eat this?

Wendi September 12, 2010 at 8:51 AM  

Niki - will you send the topping recipe you're using? I was happy with the filling but I want to try a different topping. And I might make my next batch in individual ramekins because. . .

No - Alan did not eat this. Neither will Jo. Jo will happily eat a bowl full of sliced peaches and raspberries, but she does not like it once it's baked with yummy sugar and butter. Where did I go wrong? And did I mention that this makes a HUGE amount of crisp? I will not let a single bite go to waste so I've been eating a very large bowl full every night. So the next batch gets made in ramekins and frozen.

Britt Kaufmann September 12, 2010 at 7:04 PM  

Sorry - I don't know why it didn't let me post as myself last time and so I seemed to make an anonymous jibe. But I have another solution to the yummy-food abundance: INVITE ME OVER TO EAT IT! : )

Niki,  September 12, 2010 at 8:19 PM  

3/4 cup AP flour
3/4 cup pecans, chopped fine
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp table salt
8 T unsalted butter, melted

We're omitting the pecans because so many customers have dietary restrictions or just plain don't like nuts (Crazy!) and the cinnamon because we didn't think it went well with the peaches. It makes enough for a generous topping on 6 6-oz ramekins but it's not, by any means, a ridiculous amount.

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