Loquat Granita

What is a loquat you ask? I had no idea until a few weeks ago when a friend pointed out the tree in her yard and asked me if I had ever tried one. They are a fruit indigenous to China with a tart flavor reminiscent of the apricot. Inside they house large brown seeds.Well now they are all over the farmers markets in the LA. So what does a foodie do with a big batch of this sweet and sour fruit? Make granita of course!

Loquat Granita*

  • 1o oz water
  • 10 oz wine
  • 3.2 oz sugar
  • 4.7 oz loquat puree (made simply by removing the stems and seeds and running the loquats through a blender.)
  • 1 oz triple sec

1. Combine the water, wine, and sugar in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil for three minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Once cooled, add the puree and triple sec and whisk together until homogenous.

3. Pour into a shallow pan and freeze over night.

4. To serve, use a fork to scrape out the finished product until it has the texture of a snow cone. I like to serve in martini glasses.

*This recipe is easily adaptable for any puree. Just switch out the fruit and use a complementary liquor.

Spaghetti Squash

My roommate made dinner the other night with spaghetti squash. Although it may not be in season, it was still a light dish that had a summer flair to it.

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 Tbls olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I used Christopher’s jarred)
  • 5 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3 Tbsp. black olives, sliced (basically the entire small can)
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper

Roast the spaghetti squash until tender and scoop out the flesh with a fork. Transfer to a bowl.

Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent, add the squash to heat. Once heated through transfer to a large bowl and toss with tomatoes, cheese, olives, and basil. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve inside the squash for presentation.

Kale Salad with winter squash

Kale Salad with winter squash

It seems like every other recipe request I see at work is for kale salad so this week we experimented with a few. Above is a photo of the kale salad with winter squash. The butternut squash can stand alone but is still a positive addition to this kale recipe. Recipe published here. The key to a good kale salad is massage. No, really. I had no idea that just massaging the kale with a little salt and oil breaks it down to a soft and silky consistency. There is no need for cooking and this tough and bitter vegetable becomes a great base for a salad.

 

The LA Times Kale Salad with Butternut Squash:

For the squash:

1 pound section of butternut squash, unpeeled (preferably the thinner neck)

Olive oil

2 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

Salt

1 ounce grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about ¼ cup loosely packed)

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For the salad:

1 pound kale

1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the butternut squash lengthwise into quarters, then seed and remove any of the stringy center. Cut the pieces crosswise into slices a little thicker than one-fourth inch. Place the squash in a large mixing bowl and add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the garlic, the thyme and 1 teaspoon salt. Toss to coat well. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and toss again.

2. Line a jellyroll pan with metal foil and arrange the squash wedges in a single layer. Roast until the squash is tender, fragrant and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

3. Remove and discard the stems from the kale. Chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Place in a large mixing bowl with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Grab the leaves by the handfuls and massage them roughly. Don’t be timid. After a minute or two, the coarse, stiff leaves will turn soft and silky. You’ll have about half the volume of kale you started with. Add the sherry vinegar and toss well. Season to taste with more salt and vinegar if necessary.

4. Arrange the greens in a low mound on individual serving plates or on a platter. Scatter the cooled squash pieces over the top. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and serve.