Sunday Supper at Lucques, a cookbook published last year, has incredibly luscious but time-consuming menus. I once spent two days preparing a dinner from the book, to the point of doing absolutely nothing else. The results were phenomenal and I would certainly do it again. Of course it isn't meant for weeknight cooking but I longed for one of the dishes I had made.
It was a side dish which featured Kabocha squash, simply prepared and then mixed with a few other ingredients and turned into a salad. What made the dish standout was the squash, which is roasted in small pieces and allowed to caramelize. It was so flavorful it could almost stand alone, maybe I could serve just that to accompany our dinner.
I used a butternut squash, on hand from my CSA. Now normally I loathe peeling and cutting squash, but this time I cut off the bulb and was able to do each part more easily. Next, I tossed it with olive oil, a few teaspoons of fresh thyme and sprinkled with salt and pepper. This went in the oven at 425 f for about 30 minutes, until tender and browned at the edges. I let the squash cool and then shaved some Ouray cheese from Sprout Creek Farm on top, mixed it together and had a perfect side dish for our lamb dinner.
Roasting squash in small pieces was a revelation for me, having been accustomed to squash baked whole or in halves, which seem sodden in comparison. During the roasting process, the texture of the squash is transformed, and the result is like candy. No need to disguise this for any child. Izzy was clamoring for more and the three of us finished the entire squash.
Sunday Suppers at Lucques may be intimidating but if you take shortcuts like this you can ease your way into the book. It is a great place to look for luscious, seasonal cooking. I am going to check it again to see if there are any other shortcuts I can use for weekday meals. This one was truly worth the extra time.
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