Saturday, November 15, 2008

Taking Up the Thanksgiving Challenge

I arrived too late at last night's Slow Supper to capture a photographic record of the food, but not too late to enjoy the array of dishes featuring local, sustainable ingredients, many of them from home gardens or local farmers markets. Slow Food members and friends also met the heritage turkeys the Leizermans are raising; quite a few area Thanksgiving tables will feature both!

The group also was inspired by viewing Fridays at the Farm, a beautiful short film about a CSA outside Philadelphia.

Here are a couple of recipes to help us meet the challenge recently issued by the Consumers Union and the Eat Well Guide:

Red Cabbage, Dutch Style from Kris Johnson

1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium red cabbage, shredded
1 small beet, julienne (optional)
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon raw honey
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup water
2 apples, peeled and quartered
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar

Sauté onion in butter in a heavy pan. Add cabbage and sauté briefly. Add bay leaf, cloves, salt, honey, cinnamon and water and cook gently about 15 minutes. Add the apple and cook another 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and serve. (Serves 6)

Marinated Butternut Squash (Scapece de Zucca) from Mario Batali via Paula Ross

2 medium butternut squash, seeded and cut into 1-inch slices
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons plus 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 medium red onion, sliced paper thin
1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 clove garlic, sliced paper-thin
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Season the squash with salt and pepper, drizzle with 4 tablespoons olive oil, and place in a single layer on 1 or 2 cookie sheets.
Bake in the oven until just tender, about 18 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together the remaining oil, vinegar, onion, chile flakes, oregano, and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Remove the squash from the oven and pour the marinade over. Allow to cool for 20 minutes in the marinade, sprinkle with fresh mint leaves, and serve. This dish can be made earlier in the day but should not be refrigerated.

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