"Sqelicious" Winter Squash at Eatwell Farm's Annual Pumpkin Party!

We made up a new word! When someone asks you if your squash is delicious, you say "YES, it's squelicious! Have you noticed all the colorful winter squash in the farmers market lately? I used to only be able to name a few: butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and sugar pie pumpkin. Now, I feel like a winter squash expert! OK, not really. But because I talk to many farmers I have learned so much about the different varieties of winter squash. Red Kuri might be my favorite right now for it's bright color and sweet taste.

Yesterday, we went to Eatwell Farm for their Annual Pumpkin Party with a couple of our Jr. Chef Helpers to see the winter squash varieties they're growing this season. In keeping with the squash theme, we made a harvest lentil soup with winter squash and grilled cheese sandwiches. 

It was a nice, breezy day so the hearty, warm soup and golden brown, gooey grilled cheese sandwiches felt so fitting and satisfying. Try making this at home!

Harvest Lentil Soup with Winter Squash

Serves 4 

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 winter squash, peeled and diced (about 4-5 cups)
1 cup green or brown lentils, washed and picked over
1 bay leaf
4 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place the squash on a baking sheet tray and drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper on top. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until flesh of the squash is tender. 

Allow the squash to cool after removing from the oven. Meanwhile, in a heavy bottom stock pot, saute onions in olive oil over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the lentils, bay leaf, and stock and bring to a boil. 

Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Lentils are cooked as soon as they are tender.  Remove the bay leaf, add the roasted squash to the lentils and enjoy! I even like to add a sprinkle of fresh herbs on top or a bit of shaved parmesan cheese to make it extra special.

Eatwell also shared several kinds of roasted butternut squash that we helped judge for best taste. Our votes will help Nigel and Lorraine determine which butternut squash they'll plant! (I voted for #2!)

It was so wonderful meeting families and kids from all over the Bay Area and sharing with them our love of food and cooking. We hope to see everyone soon at future events and classes! Now time to roast up some yummy winter squash. 

-Amy

Apricot and Lemon Verbena Recipe for Farm BoxSF

Recently we met the great people at Farm BoxSF and got a chance to participate in their weekly Farm Box. We were excited to get cooking with great produce from many different local farms such as Frog Hallow, and Heirloom Organics Gardens. The biggest challenge was figuring out how to capture the powerful lemon, and earthy flavors of the lemon verbena from Eatwell Farms. We decided it would pair best with the sweet and tartness of the apricots and combined them in a new crepe recipe below. 

*This recipe first appeared in the Farm BoxSF May 17th, 2014 newsletter. 

Sweet Crepes with Apricot and Lemon Verbena Sauce 

This is a kid-friendly recipe that the whole family can prepare together. It features a variety of skill levels, including use of a knife and the stove. Please work together to make sure everyone is safe and having fun. We suggest reviewing the recipe with your children prior to cooking, and smelling and tasting each ingredient (especially the lemon verbena) as you use it.

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6
By: Amy Nghe and Elianna Friedman

Ingredients: 

For Crepes:
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
½ cup water
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Plus additional butter for pan

For Sauce:
4 apricots, rough chopped, pits removed (or other stone fruit)
15 lemon verbena leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup almond butter (optional)

Directions:
In a blender, combine flour, eggs, milk, water, salt, and butter and mix for 10-20 seconds until smooth. Pour mixture into a measuring cup, cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Put chopped apricots, lemon verbena and the sugar in a small sauce pan over low heat. Cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.

Heat a small, non-stick pan. Add butter to coat. Pour 3 tablespoons of the crepe batter into the center of the pan and swirl quickly to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds, then flip and cook for 10 seconds on the other side. Transfer to a plate or cutting board to cool. Continue until all batter is used. 

To plate, place crepe on plate and fill with some apricot filling. Add almond butter if desired. Enjoy as dessert or afternoon snack!

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