Our small city has a new farmers market on Tuesdays. Andy and I were excited for its opening, since it’s on a lot that has remained empty (and ugly) for the past several months. Yay for civic improvements and bringing people together in a neglected area of town!
Yesterday after running some errands, we stopped by for our first peek at the market. Though it was small- there were maybe five farms represented, plus a few non-farm booths- it was lovely to walk around and feel a sense of revitalization in the oft-criticized Midtown. The afternoon light was perfect for shooting photos of the colorful produce (thanks to Andy for the following four images):
I was instantly tickled by the pattypan squash, and found a recipe on a great blog, Chocolate and Zucchini, for roasted pattypans with chickpeas, which I had to tweak slightly due to the availability of certain herbs 🙂 On Chocolate and Zucchini, I found out that pattypans are best eaten within two days of purchase (I imagine less if it’s from a grocery store as opposed to a market), and roasting them, as with other types of squash, brings out a nice, sweet flavor.
First, I sliced the cute-as-a-button squash, while the oven heated up to 400°F (my usual roasting temperature).
*The recipe I used as a guide called for six 3″ pattypans, but we had only bought three. Also, I decided to roast the chickpeas, since I much prefer to eat them that way over raw.
Then, I drained and rinsed the chickpeas (perhaps I’ll try the dried ones eventually!), put them in a 9×13 baking dish, and slathered all of it with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and dried rosemary.
The approximate half hour roasting time was nice so I didn’t have to rush making the garlic bread appetizer (because why not?) and the fresh herb marinade. The original recipe called for anchovies, cilantro and chives, none of which we had on hand (but cilantro is on the to-be-planted list!), so I used our fresh basil and peppermint instead. I combined about 1/4 cup of olive oil with the juice of 1 lemon, two cloves of crushed garlic, and about 6 leaves each of basil and mint, plus the requisite salt and pepper. After a bit of whisking, the mixture: a.)emulsified, b.) smelled divine and c.) was ready to sit tight and happily meld flavors until the roasting was done.
Honestly, I’m not sure if I did wait 30 minutes, as I usually check the oven repeatedly until whatever it is “looks right” (scientific, huh?), simultaneously stirring the chickpeas and squash around so all sides would get evenly browned. “Right” to me means that the chickpeas were slightly crispy on the outsides and smooth and almost creamy inside, and the squash was soft to the (hot!) touch, with golden bits on the surface.
I poured the perfectly-done veggies and chickpeas into a bowl, slowly drizzled the marinade on top, and added some freshly grated Romano cheese and a sprinkling of crushed red pepper.
Verdict: I loved this easy dish! The flavors all worked so nicely together. Although I might have to add some more garlic next time 🙂
*Above recipe adapted from here.
You find yourself refreshed by the presence of cheerful people. Why not make an honest effort to confer that pleasure on others? Half the battle is gained if you never allow yourself to say anything gloomy. –Julia Child (I will admit that this is something I need to work on lately. More positive statements!)