Vegetables of the World, Unite!

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A wonderfully earthy, warm and delicious start on the occasion of World Vegetarian Day. Granted, it’s a pretty obscure day of distinction, but its possibilities in developing into a habit for your health and the earth’s is incalculable. So why not set aside a few vegetables, a little resolve, a dash of optimism and welcome this day, the first of October, with a warm and savory recipe and an equally matched hello to the season. I feel better already!

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This most delectable entry comes out of Karen Swanson’s sumptuous 101 Cookbooks. While guiding us through the adaptation for this magnificently turned out Acorn Squash filled with Corn Pudding, Swanson pays tribute to the creator of the original dish, the late Karen Hubert and her book The Vegetarian Compass.

For the uninitiated, Karen Hubert (along with her husband Len Allison) was the former owner of the three-star New York City restaurant Huberts. She taught at the Culinary Institute of America. The Vegetarian Compass was published posthumously after her death from breast cancer in 1997. (Fitting that today also marks the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness month). Josh Wesson was a young sommelier at Hubert’s in the 80’s and is quoted in Karen’s obituary saying,

 

”Before there was a Greenmarket,
there was Karen Hubert and Len Allison
seeking out little growers
and artisanal makers of cheese
and bringing them down to this restaurant.”

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In describing The Vegetarian Compass, Swanson notes: “It’s not flashy. It is photo-free, and printed with gray and purple ink. And yet, this is a book I’m inspired by each time I pull it from my shelf. It is full of sophisticated ideas, techniques, and flavors. Many of the recipes have a little story attached, and each recipe seems to have real intent behind it. Said another way, you get the sense that she felt strongly about every recipe she included.”

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Roasted Corn Pudding in Acorn Squash

 

Ingredients

1 small (2 lb.) acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
1 tablespoon clarified butter or olive oil
1 cup milk
1 egg plus 2 egg whites
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (or more if you like)
1/4 teaspoon anise seed, chopped
1/2 cup chopped scallions
a tiny pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup grated white cheddar cheese

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375F degrees with a rack in the middle.

Rub the orange flesh of the squash with the butter/oil. Place cut side up on a baking sheet. You will want it to sit flat (and not tip), if you are having trouble just level out the bottom using a knife. If the squash is tilting on the pan, the filling will run out – bad news. Cover the squash with foil and bake for 40 minutes or until the squash starts to get tender.

In a bowl combine the milk, eggs, corn, anise seed, half of the scallions, nutmeg, and salt. Fill each of the squash bowls 3/4 full. Carefully transfer the squash back to the oven without spilling (tricky!). Continue baking uncovered for another 30 – 50 minutes, or until the squash is fully cooked through, and the pudding has set.

The amount of time it takes can vary wildly depending on the squash and oven. At the last minute sprinkle with cheese and finish with a flash under the broiler to brown the cheese. Keep and eye on things, you can go from melted cheese to burnt and inedible in a flash. Serve hot sprinkled with the remaining scallions.

Serves 4 – 6.

Picture 3

 

 

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~ by eaesthete on 10/01/09.

4 Responses to “Vegetables of the World, Unite!”

  1. A feast for the eyes. I think I’ll try the recipe too!

  2. Italia,

    I believe you intended your comment to go here so I took the
    liberty of moving it over. — EA

    All I can say is you help me keep up! I hate cooking and I’ve tried at least 3 of your fabulous receipes, case in point…watermelon with chevre or feta cheese! Ummm-yummie!

    Kind thanks!

  3. I had a party the other day and bought some acorn squash, artichokes and purple onions for my three tier vegetable basket. All bought only for their beauty. Then yesterday I came across this recipe on your blog. The acorn squash with corn pudding was such a hit! The only thing I did differently was to add some leeks I had left over. Thank you so much for posting the recipe. It will have a permanent home in my recipe file.

    • Jill,

      I love to hear back on recipes and their worthiness. I’ve not yet tried this myself,
      but there was something so interesting in the combination of flavors —
      even for the nonvegetarians out there. Who, after all, could resist the comfort of
      corn pudding? I’m so looking forward to trying this. Thank you again for posting.

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