October 13, 2010

By Jenna Weber

Take advantage of tasty seasonal produce this week at your local farmer's market! Grab some squash, freshly baked bread, and dried beans and you're good to go. For a vegetarian evening, take an instant trip to India with my chana masala—I promise no one will miss the meat in this hearty chickpea dish! And as the weather starts to turn cooler, try a hot, pressed sandwich for lunch. Eat it by itself or dip it into a thick acorn squash soup. Bon appétit!

Grocery list:
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas
1 onion
1 jalapeño pepper
1 inch knob ginger
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 lemon
Garlic
Salt
Coriander
Cumin
Garam masala
Cayenne pepper
Turmeric
Butter
1/2 pound Black Forest ham slices
Gruyère cheese
2 heirloom tomatoes
Dijon mustard
1 loaf whole-wheat or country-style bread
2 large acorn squashes
1 quart chicken stock
1 pint cream
Curry powder

Chana Masala
Make a double batch and freeze the leftovers
you'll be happy you did!

Serves 4

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1 inch knob ginger, peeled and chopped
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons butter

In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the butter. Once melted, add the onions and cook for about 15 minutes on medium-low heat, or until golden brown.

Once the onions have caramelized, add the garlic, ginger, and jalapeño and stir well. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until it starts to smell like heaven on earth.

Add the tomato paste and pince. Mix in the coriander, cumin, cayenne, and turmeric and stir well. Then add the diced tomatoes, chickpeas, and garam masala.

Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the chickpeas have heated through. Finish with a squeeze of lemon and top with plain yogurt and cilantro if desired!

Ham, Cheese, and Tomato Panini
These hot-pressed sandwiches are fast and tasty...especially on chilly days!

Serves 4

1/2 pound Black Forest ham slices
4 slices Gruyère cheese
2 heirloom tomatoes
Dijon mustard
8 slices whole-wheat or country-style bread
2 tablespoons soft butter

Brush four slices of bread with Dijon mustard and the other four with soft butter. Layer ham, cheese, and tomato slices on the bread and press either in a panini press or in a cast-iron skillet with another heavy skillet on top, butter-side down.

Cook sandwiches for about 3 minutes per side, or until golden and crisp. Serve with additional mustard to dip.

Spicy Acorn Squash Bisque
This is my absolute favorite fall soup to make! It's wholesome, nurturing, and tasty. I can't get enough!

Serves 4

2 large acorn squashes
3 cups chicken stock (or enough to produce desired soup consistency)
1/2 cup cream
3 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Slice both squashes and roast for about 30 minutes at 400°, or until tender. Let cool, then gently peel the rind away.

Throw the squash pieces in a blender or food processor and add remaining ingredients. Add stock according to how thick or thin you want the soup to be. Add curry powder and salt to taste.

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