Warm Winter Slaw

This recipe came to me as one of those happy accidents.  During the middle of a catering job for 50 people, I popped what was meant to be a lightly cooked cabbage and squash slaw with flecks of both strewn throughout, into the oven.  A few guests arriving, a few mini-catering emergencies later and this dish morphed into something even better.  The cabbage had held together nicely, but the squash, much to my inner dismay, had become mush.  However, one taste in and I realized that the mush had become caramelized on the edges and combined with the tooth of the cabbage worked really well.  And onto the platter it went.  When I served it, I was able to move it from pan to platter without mixing the squash in all that much.  However, because the cabbage isn’t all that lovely without some of the orange squash showing through, I disturbed it a little once it was in the platter to have the color show though.

This recipe ran in the Portland Press Herald recently with a typo on the oven temp, so I post it here for those who had questions about it.shredding squash for warm winter slaw recipe

Winter Slaw
My girls will eat this dish as if it’s candy rather than squash and cabbage – the sugars of both caramelize and turn simple vegetables into something akin to an addictive confection.

finished dish of warm winter slaw with squash and cabbage
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound peeled, seeded and grated butternut squash, about 4 cups or 1/2 of a medium-sized squash
1 1/2 pounds sliced green cabbage, about 4 cups or 1/2 head of cabbage
3/4 teaspoon salt (sprinkle half over squash and half over cabbage)
several grinds of black pepper
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Heat a large, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil.

butternut squash on the stove top

Add the squash, sprinkle with half of the salt and sauté until heated through.  It will stick to the pan, but don’t worry, it will loosen up at the end.

cooking butternut sqaush and cabbage together

Add the cabbage, sprinkle with the other half of the salt and all of the black pepper.  Break the butter into smaller pieces and dot the top of the cabbage.

Transfer to the oven and cook for 35 to 45 minutes or until the cabbage is cooked through, but still a little firm.  If you can, slide the whole mess out of the pan at once.  Slightly mix the squash into the cabbage and serve immediately.

Serves 6-8

Using up garden veggies

Russian Penne

When I made this recipe this week, I wouldn’t tell anyone what was in it until they tried it.  Then I shared.  Knowing that the combination of ingredients don’t sound good unless you are a desperate vegetarian or have a bumper cabbage crop.  Turns out, the combination hits you just right when you want a cosy pasta dish filled with gooey cheese and healthy veggies.

This is a recipe that harks back to a time when Jon and I were vegetarians and ate more cheese than two people should ever consume in one year.  We wanted to see if we felt healthier by a change our eating habits.  And while it’s true, we did eat more vegetables, we also ate a ri-di-cu-lous amount of cheese.  No surprise that we didn’t feel much different at the end of our vegetarian year.  The reason for so much cheese? – we were looking for the big boosts of flavor that meat can bring to food and cheese was the solution for us.  Of course now, there are all sorts of great vegetarian cookbooks that would help us build flavor in our food without adding so much dairy.   Turns out we couldn’t wait that long and only lasted a year before we succumbed to burgers and bacon.  Molly Katzen’s cookbook, Moosewood Cookbook, was one of the few highlights of that year and I still use the dog eared, grease-stained copy.

Russian Penne
Adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook by Molly Katzen

1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup grated cheddar
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 diced scallions
1 diceded green pepper
2 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 pounds sliced mushrooms
1 shredded carrot
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 cups uncooked penne
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
several grinds of fresh black pepper

Cook the penne in salted boiling water until just underdone.  Drain and reserve.  Over medium-high heat, melt the butter and saute the cabbage, green pepper, mushroom and carrot.  Combine everything in the pasta pot or large bowl.

Bake in a buttered 9×13 pan, covered, at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Serves 6-8

I dare you to try it!

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