|I am so proud of this picture! Never mind that I had to take a hundred shots for just this one... :)|
Without any more delays here is a photo recipe for "Squash name the dish" from the Weekend in Photos. Some people call it spread, some - dip, and in our family it was always called Squash Caviar.
We actually grew up on it. My mother would make a big cast iron Dutch oven a couple times a week. At age 7-8 my job was to wash the squash, peel the carrots. At the age of 10 my mother taught me how to use a knife and I was promoted to a sous chef, while my brother was washing and peeling.
But the real job I wanted to do was to stand by the stove and stir the pot with a big wooden spoon, almost a size of me then.
I tried to sneak a big spoon a few times, but was always stopped by watchful mother before I even got close to that huge hot pot.
Then my brother and I would spread some of the warm squash caviar on a piece of a rye bread, previously rubbed with a fresh garlic (can you smell it?!), and would take off to play another wild game outside.
Years later, on one of my summer visits, mom was making the squash caviar, and I was helping her. This time I was allowed to stir the pot. When I took the wooden spoon, I smiled: it wasn't that big at all. Maybe a little longer than a regular wooden spoon in my kitchen. Warm memories filled my heart that moment.
Summer Squash Caviar (Spread or Dip)
- 5 summer squashes (zucchini would work too), cut in 2" pieces
- 2-3 carrots, shredded
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1,5 cup tomato sauce (crashed tomatoes, or even fresh tomatoes)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2-3 clove garlic
- 1 tsp dry dill
- 1 tsp sugar (I use evaporated cane juice)
- one Bay leave
- salt and pepper to taste
Wash, peel (if skin it tough), and cut the squash. Sprinkle a little salt, mix it with your hands, set aside.
Peel the carrots, shred it.
Chop the onions.
Heat the olive oil in a deep cast iron dutch oven (or stainless still) until oil just starts to bubble. Reduce heat to a medium-high and add the chopped onions. Season with a little salt to bring up all the flavors, and cook 2-3 min, stirring.
Do not leave the kitchen, onions can burn very quickly!
Add carrots, and stir again. Cook it another 2-3 min.
By this time the squash has released some juice.
|See that water in there? It's the squash juice.|
Add crashed tomatoes and sugar, and thoroughly stir until all the ingredients are mixed well.
Reduce heat to a medium, cover the pot with a lid, leaving a crack for a steam to exit.
Set the timer for 35 minutes, and stir 3-4 times during the cooking to prevent sticking, as you know.
Add a Bay leave, dry dill, mix well, taste.
Adjust seasoning by adding salt and pepper.
Cook for another 3-4 minutes, and turn it off.
Add minced garlic, mix, and serve with fresh herbs of your choice.
Dill is always mine.
|Can you smell this bouquet of garlic, dill, and vegetables?!|
Squash Caviar is great warm as a main meal (in our family), or cold as a dip, or spread.
It can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours (never happens in our family).
During a squash season in the summer this same recipe is used for preserving (I plan to post preserving steps later this year).
Squash Caviar freezes well, just cool it down in refrigerator, place in freezer safe containers, leaving some room (about one inch from the top).
So, what would you name it?
Spread? Caviar? Dip? Or any other name?
Until next time,
Cowboy Country Vegetarian