Category Archives: Side Dish

Summer Squash Pancake with Dill Yogurt Sauce (Gluten-free)

Recipe VERY scientifically experimented from: various zucchini fritter recipes 

squash fritters

Have you seen a dead cactus?  I have, because I managed to kill one before. And it’s truly one of the saddest sights you would ever see. It was given to me as a souvenir from my co-worker’s Santa Fe vacation – The entire office was horrified and dismayed when they discovered a brown shriveled shell looping over a tiny Mexican clay pot on my desk months after. I was immediately declared to have “toxic black thumb”, never to care for any living things EVER.

squashesThe fact that I now live with 3 dogs and grow vegetables is not because I am sufficiently rehabilitated, but because animals let me know when they need to be fed, and also I have, over the course of years, haphazardly yet continuously developed a catalog of plants that can survive my gardening skills (or the lack of).

Squashes definitely make the cut in my short list, and every year I plant at least a couple of different kinds – This year I settled with yellow crookneck and pale green pattypan types.  They did not disappoint, and in my opinion, now deserve to be made into something spectacular – Like these yummy fritters.

Of course they are hardly my innovation but rather traditional and popular Mediterranean snack. But I did tinker with various recipes to find the balance that would strike a sweet spot for me every time. Continue reading

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Roasted Delicata Squash with Honey, Pomegranate Seeds and Pepitas

Recipe with more sensible amount of toppings from:  Sunset Magazine (on myrecipes.com

roasted delicata squash with pomegaranate seeds and pepitas

I was cutting into one of these squashes when my roommate Kerry walked into the kitchen.  “Hey there!  Oh, what kind of squash is…*GASP*  Is it… Is it THAT one?”

Yes, Kerry. It’s THAT squash – It’s that squash I became completely obsessed with last year.  It’s that squash I planned the whole Thanksgiving dinner around, then disappeared from the face of freakin’ planet a week before, which sent me to frantic trips to 3 Trader Joe’s, 2 Whole Foods and 1 Sprouts on one desperate evening.  It’s that squash I then ended up finding at Vons nearest my house (don’t ask me why) and kept secret stash of throughout winter by returning to the store weekly and digging through that big barrel of mixed harvests until I bought every single one that was sold.

It’s delicata squash.  It is back in my life again. Continue reading

Braised Fava Beans (Fava Stufate)

Recipe from: A Spasso per L’Italia (By Ai Yonezawa)

Braised fava beans with pancettaWhile fava beans got a bad rep as the choice of side dish for a snobbish cannibal ever since Dr. Lector so eloquently described to agent Starling how he dealt with a census taker who apparently had asked one too many questions, I have a much fonder (and socially acceptable) memory of eating these beans at family dinner table – Fumbling hot beans freshly cooked off the pot, managing to break a black seam and pop it out of the skin, then simply dipping in a bit of salt to eat it one by one… Yum.

But perhaps the joy of eating them is even more amplified by the fact that these beans with perfect green hue would also mark the arrival of warm seasons. Whenever I come across fresh pods of fava beans piled up in the produce section of a local grocery store, the scene evokes such a happy pleasant feeling that it leaves me excited and giggly as well as extremely prone to impulse purchase.

This year I was determined to make this fava bean dish my sister wouldn’t stop talking about for months without actually giving me the recipe. My persistence paid off, however – I finally got my hands on the secret formula to try out myself. And now I am completely hooked. Continue reading