Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dark Days Update #4: Delicata Squash & Bean Gratin

For Sunday evening's Dark Days Challenge meal I wanted to use 2 of the delicata squash I had on hand, but wasn't sure to stuff them with. I picked up some cherry tomatoes that were grown in a greenhouse at a local farm (a nice treat this time of year) as well as some local cranberry beans. I roasted the squash and made a simple and flavorful cranberry bean gratin to stuff it with:
Roasted Delicata Squash & Cranberry Bean Gratin
for the squash:
1 or 2 Delicata Squash
--Preheat oven to 400 F
--Cut squash in half and remove seeds and guts.
--Roast Squash, cut side down on a cookie sheet for 45-50 minutes

Cranberry Bean Gratin
Inspired by Alice Waters "The Art of Simple Food"
1 1/4 cups dried cranberry beans
coarse salt
1 shallot finely chopped
2 small carrots, peeled & finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
6 sage leaves, chopped
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup toasted breadcrumbs
--Place beans in a large bowl and cover with 4 cups water; let soak overnight.
--Drain beans and transfer to a medium saucepan; cover with 2 inches of water. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat and skim foam from surface. Simmer beans until they are tender; 30 to 45 minutes, adding more water as necessary. Season beans with salt and set aside to cook in their own liquid.
--Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium, heavy-bottomed skillet heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium head. Add shallot and carrot, cooking until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and sage, and season with salt, cook an additional 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, cook 5 more minutes and remove from heat
--Drain beans, reserving the liquid. Transfer beans to skillet with vegetables; stir to combine. Pour bean/vegetable mixture into a medium baking dish. Add enough bean cooking liquid to almost cover. Drizzle with olive oil and top with toasted breadcrumbs.
--Transfer baking dish to oven and bake for 40 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure the dish has not dried out. If it does start to try out spoon a little bean liquid into the dish.
Just before the beans were finished, I placed the squash back into the oven to let them warm a little bit. I spooned the gratin into the squash and let the dish cook a few minutes before serving.
The meal was simple and hearty. Perfect for a chilly night!

Local ingredients in the Roasted Delicata Squash & Bean Gratin: Squash & Carrot's (Stillman's Farm), Vermont Cranberry Beans (Moraine Farm - Baer's Best**), Shallot & Garlic (Allandale Farm) , Cherry Tomatoes (Schartner Farms), Sage (My Garden), Breadcrumbs (leftover from my brioche)
**For a great article about Charlie Baer and Baer's Best Beans head over to Edible Boston!

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