Winter Squash and Orange Roots

I love starchy things.  We have friends who do that whole high-protein diet thing, but that makes me queasy just thinking about it.  Who really wants to eat all that meat and stuff, without the added benefit of comforting, tasty starches.  Yum, carbohydrates!

At this time of year there are all sort of interesting starches readily available, particularly in the form of squashes.  I make it a point to track down and try different ways of cooking winter squashes.

The recipe that follows is an adaptation of one from the Meet the Shannons blog. I made some changes to reflect what i had on hand, and the fact that i dislike the taste of “smoke” (yuk).

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Chickpeas with spinach and egg

For Minos’s birthday i bought her a cookbook of food from Jerusalem.  On the cover was a really yummy looking recipe for chickpeas and spinach with a fried egg on top.  And then a day later i ran across a similar recipe on Epicurious.  What are the odds?

So i had to make it for her.  We were destined to eat chickpeas with spinach and egg.  And really, with that combination, how could we go wrong?

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Apple Daikon Pickle

Radishes lend themselves easily to Asian pickling.  My last batch was a quick Japanese pickle in rice vinegar.  I’d never tried a European style until I came across David Lebovitz’s radish pickle recipe.  I didn’t have french breakfast radishes and had used my red radishes already, but I had a daikon radish that had gone unused.  My daughter also uncharacteristically left some apples uneaten, and thus this pickle was born.  The apples give a light sweetness that balances the vinegar but isn’t overpowering.  Shallots are also very nice with apple.  Next time, I’ll try adding tarragon.

Daikon

Ingredients
1 medium daikon radish
1 apple (any type that’s firm)
1 shallot
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
2 bay leaves per jar
An herb sprig (tarragon, thyme, dill)

Directions
1.  Thinly slice daikon, apple and shallot.

2.  In clean jars, pack slices (a little of each in each jar).  Add some peppercorns and bay leaves and herbs (if using) to each jar.  I got 4 pint jars from this recipe.  If you come up a little short, add more radish, apple or shallot.

3.  Simmer the remaining ingredients until the sugar and salt are dissolved and then pour into the jars.

4.  If you have canning jars, these can be processed in a hot water bath.  I left these in the pantry after sealing and opened after a week.  The colors had faded, but the vinegar had taken on a slight pink tone.