My CSA box last week was the perfect example of seasonal transition. It was filled with tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans as well as potatoes, pumpkin, sage, kale and butternut squash (and more!). It was a box that kept surprising me as I pulled out the eclectic mix of seasonal veg. It also served as a happy reminder of what being a member of a CSA is all about…reconnecting our food system to what’s grown locally in a way that’s sustainable to our particular climate and region.
As someone who has the exact opposite of a green thumb, my CSA lovingly forces me to take note of what flourishes in the soil nearest my home, of what grows during a specific time of the year. It’s truly awoken my awareness of the seasons. I cook with the air, temperature, and date in mind. I now look at leaves changing their color and think I need to start getting recipe ideas for winter squash and hearty herbs. I feel the brisk wind in the morning and wonder if I should pick up bread on my way home from work to go with a potato soup or kale and apple salad. My cooking has become completely reliant on the time of year. Which I know is obvious from the title of this blog; but it’s always nice to remind yourself why you do it and how it’s changed you. I’ve always loved to cook, but my CSA has connected me to food in a way that celebrates agricultural heritage, fresh flavor, and a growing education in seasonality and nature.
To find a CSA in your area, visit Local Harvest. And now, pumpkin!
Pumpkin isn’t just for pie…
Herbs, cheese, garlic, bread crumbs, cashews and lots of lemon zest coat the pumpkin slices.
This is the savory side of pumpkin. Crispy crust blankets the tender autumn veg. I’m ready for fall.
Parmesan & Herb Crusted Pumpkin Slices
2/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
3 Tablespoons bread crumbs
1/3 cup crushed or finely chopped toasted cashews
zest of 3 lemons
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh savory or thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed with a garlic press
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more seasoning pumpkin slices
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 – 1/3 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the pumpkin in half then cut the top (where the stem is) and bottom off and scrape out the seeds. Cut the halves into 1/2-inch slices and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
In a bowl, combine the parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, cashews, lemon zest, herbs, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and pepper.
Brush the pumpkin slices with olive oil and sprinkle each slice with salt. Liberally sprinkle on the crust mixture being sure to fully coat each slice. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 30 – 40 minutes, until the crust is browned and the pumpkin is cooked through. If the crust begins to darken too much, place a piece of foil loosely over top.
Serve as is or drizzle with olive oil and reduced balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi