Perhaps you have come to that point in school where you realize that having just one thing go as planned in your day makes it feel like the best day ever. But no need to go into a deep talk on how college teaches us to appreciate the small victories by making us accustomed to failure (ahem), because I am glad to announce that yesterday the Microfarm had not one, but two victories. One with the farm stand and the other with our butternut squash.
The first on-campus farm stand ran smoothly and turned out to be a hit! Faculty and students alike stopped by to see what we’re about and purchase our super fresh produce. We’ve got malabar spinach, butternut squash, Armenian cucumbers, jalapeños, bell peppers, okra, Thai basil, Swiss chard, rosemary, and a beautiful bouquet of flowers, all cut the morning we sell. Overall, the farm stand was a great success! *cue Borat voice*
Assortment of peppers
Buying local is in the handbook of how to be an Austinite, and this is as local as you can get, my friend. Now I love Whole Foods as much as the next person, but their definition of local is a bit wider-reaching than ours. More over, you can actually come and talk to us about how your food was grown. Get to know your farmer! Can I emphasize that enough?
Ok, on to the second success: Parmesan roasted butternut squash.
Using some of the squash I brought home from the farm stand, I popped it in the oven and ate it as a side with my leftovers. One thing I like about butternut squash is it, though having a very distinct flavor, can be very versatile and compliment several main courses. Even with simply roasting it you can add many different combinations of seasoning and toppings to fit your meal. For instance, I had left over pasta and salad, so I wanted something with an Italian flare and chose parmesan to flavor to squash (recipe below). Think about which foods you will be pairing the squash with. Is it something on the savory, protein-filled side? Maybe garlic with fresh rosemary or thyme fit well. Or is it a Latin dish? Maybe try a dash of chili powder and oregano. Or when in doubt, simple sea salt with fresh cracked pepper is always nice… Like I said the possibilities are nearly endless.
Serves 2 very generously
- 1 large butternut squash
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Peel and dice the squash into 1″ cubes and place in a large bowl.
- Coat the squash with olive oil and then toss with the salt and pepper.
- Spread evenly on a greased baking sheet and sprinkle the cheese over the squash. Bake for 30 minutes, tossing half way.
- Before taking the pan out, turn the broiler on high and brown for five minutes. Be sure to keep an eye out in this step because the squash can go from golden to black in a matter of seconds. Serve immediately.
- Pro-tip: Peel the squash with a potato peeler. Using a knife is quite difficult. Also, don’t forget to remove the seeds, which can be done by cutting the squash in half vertically then scooping the seeded part out with a spoon. Here is a nice tutorial.
As always, we will be having a workday 9-12 this Sunday and I hope to see you there. Cheers.