I love squash blossoms—their gorgeous orange-yellow colour, their wide mouths, their sensuality, their delicious flavour… and this is one of my favourite ways to prepare them. Only the female blossoms develop into zucchini, so the male blossoms can be harvested and eaten. I usually pick them late morning when they are just starting to close and you can still see down their throats to identify their sex. When you pick them, leave some of the stem attached and place them in a glass of water until you’re ready to cook them.
My first introduction to Quinoa was during our family backpacking trip to South America in 2007. It was a common ingredient in soup we ate in Peru and Bolivia and I loved its nuttiness and texture. When we returned home, it hadn't yet achieved its celebrated status in our North American diets, but has since become widely used for salads and side dishes. Quinoa is a seed that is high in protein and is gluten free, and makes a great foundation for salad bowls.
Each of my kids has a favourite meal they request for special occasions, and this is often requested. I took a basic gnocchi recipe and added sweet potato, tossed them in brown butter and served them sprinkled with crispy fried sage. This year, the deer have made a buffet of my garden (even sneaking under the screening to nibble the snap peas) but my sage is flourishing so I was craving the flavour of this dish. I often make a big batch and have some on-hand in the freezer. Serve with a crusty baguette, tossed salad and a chilled bottle of Pinot Grigio.
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Jean E. Pendziwol
I live on the north shore of Lake Superior where I write books for kids and adults. I express love and care through food and have a particular fascination with bread! Join me as I explore the cultural significance of bread around the world and experiment with recipes for everything from quick breads to flatbreads, soudoughs and brioche. It promises to be a delicious journey!