One of the beauties of preserving garden produce is that you have the opportunity to enjoy a bite of the season gone by even when your garden is resting. That’s what we did last night with a group of friends.
I decided it was time to start digging into the freezer to see what I had preserved to add some summer sunshine to a winter day. I found frozen yellow squash and pawpaw puree that I wanted to use. I also pulled a jar of our canned tomatoes from the shelf, garden carrots from the fridge, sweet potatoes from the basket and fresh parsley from under the grow light and went to work. Here’s the menu I came up with.
Italian Squash Soup
European Peasant Bread
French Lentil Salad
Sweet Potato Fries with Avocado Dip
Panko Crusted Salmon
Pawpaw Sour Cream Pie
I prepared the pie the night before so it could sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours before serving. The bread, which mixed white, whole wheat and rye flours, I put together during my Friday lunch break. Everything else I began preparing 2 ½ hours before I expected our guests.
The result? The smiles around the table and the requests for seconds told me the meal was a hit. Here are two of the recipes you can try.
Italian Squash Soup (adapted from Neal Brown’s recipe)
2-3 cloves fresh garlic
1 lb. cubed, frozen squash that is thawed
1 lb. cubed potato
1 small sliced carrot
1 jar tomatoes, crushed
16 oz. vegetable broth
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried parsley
Prepare potato and carrot. Heat olive oil. Add potato and carrot and sauté 5-10 minutes, until they begin to soften. Chop garlic and add to oil for one minute. Add remaining ingredients, cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Pawpaw Sour Cream Pie (adapted from Moosewood Cookbook, 1977)
Note: Most pawpaws are quite sweet so when cooking with them it’s important to taste them then decide if you should lessen the amount of sugar you add. This recipe has less sugar than the original. In addition, this pie is similar to cheesecake but not as firm; it’s very creamy.)
1/3 lb. (1 package) crushed graham crackers
8 Tbs. melted butter
¾ tsp. cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
½ cup chopped, slivered almonds
Combine all ingredients and press into pie pan.
¾ cup pawpaw pulp puree
12 oz. softened cream cheese
1/3 cup loosely packed brown sugar
t2 TBS fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup sour cream
Beat together well. Pour into crust. Cover and chill overnight.