WIn the future final summer season, I discovered a pumpkin within the pool parking zone. My son seen this and, pondering it was a toy, half hidden within the indirect bamboo marking the top of the story, he ran after it. For a second, I assumed he had discovered a model’s limb, a brief leg or a protracted arm, and yelled at him to place it again. But it surely was too late; A really lengthy putty-colored pumpkin was operating in the direction of me, and the subsequent factor I keep in mind was within the automotive and she or he was driving dwelling with us. We washed it, measured it (1.2 m) and discovered what it’s lengthy squash, however determined it seemed like a lute crossed with a baseball bat. We then got here up with implausible explanation why it was within the pool parking zone earlier than we put it on high of the closet. That was two months in the past, and each couple of days I catch my eye, a wierd summer season memento, hinting at what to cook dinner.
Though not a memento, however one thing purchased from Marco within the Testaccio market, which grows and sells completely different types of pumpkins and zucchini (all of which he calls pumpkin) who sit like individuals on a bench on a shelf in the back of his counter. There appears to be no urgency in pumpkins and zucchini. It is as in the event that they knew their longevity that they might be nice the subsequent day or two months from now, to allow them to sit again whereas different, extra determined greens vie for consideration. All of this modifications when they’re minimize open and orange insides flare up – then they really want consideration. Whether or not chopped and baked, or made into soup or mashed potatoes, or added to risotto, or fried for caponata.
Caponata, bittersweet The Sicilian dish is most frequently made with eggplant as the principle ingredient, complemented by celery, onions, tomatoes, capers, olives, sugar, and vinegar (plus variations). Historically, it was a summer season meal, a approach to take pleasure in and cope with the abundance of eggplant. My Sicilian mother-in-law, whose mother and father have been farmers on the south coast and raised eggplants, says that the caponata was all the time current throughout the summer season. Additionally about how, because the summer season drew to an in depth, her mom added sufficient sugar and vinegar to make it darkish, pleasurable, and final till fall.
Nonetheless, the precept of caponata doesn’t finish in summer season, as a result of eggplants, like most different merchandise, are consistently out there nowadays, and likewise as a result of caponata is on the market at any time of the yr: in winter, eggplants change apples or pears, and in spring – artichokes. , and within the fall pumpkin or squash.
The bizarre factor about eggplants is that they change into wealthy and velvety when fried. The squash and squash are silky, however a lot denser, making the dish nice, however nonetheless nice, and the celery appears much more necessary right here. A summer season memento tailored for autumn, the walnut caponata is appropriate virtually all over the place, however particularly good with sausages. Ours remains to be on the closet.
Pumpkin or musk caponata
Butter, for frying or baking
1 kg butternut squash or pumpkin, minimize into cubes 1-2cm
4 stems celery
1 handful caperscompletely packed in salt
1 handful olives
1 giant purple onionpeeled and minimize into half moons
200 ml tomato sauce or commerce winds
50 g currants (optionally available)
30 g pine nuts or almonds (optionally available)
50 g sugar
50 ml purple wine vinegar
Warmth 5 cm oil in a small deep skillet with a heavy backside, then sauté the diced zucchini till golden brown, drain and sprinkle with salt. Alternatively, place the cubes on a baking sheet, rub with oil and sprinkle with salt and bake at 180 ° C (160 ° C fan) / 350 ° F / fuel 4 till golden brown.
Trim the stalks of celery away from the robust ends or strings, then minimize them in half. Dip the celery in a pot of boiling water and cook dinner for about 5 minutes, till tender however nonetheless scorching. Drain the celery and, when cool sufficient, minimize into 1cm items and put aside. If the capers are salty, soak them for 2 minutes, then pressure; if in brine or vinegar, pressure and rinse. Place the olives within the pits.
In a big deep skillet, warmth 4 tablespoons of oil over medium to low warmth, add the onions and cook dinner, stirring often, till tender. Add the tomato sauce and cook dinner for one more three minutes, then add the capers, olives, currants and nuts.
Make a despair within the heart of the skillet and add sugar and vinegar to dissolve over the warmth. Stir and cook dinner for 1-2 minutes, making an attempt to determine should you want extra sugar or vinegar. Flip off warmth, add pumpkin and celery, and stir gently to maintain the courgettes in separate items. Go away it on for 2 hours, or higher but just a few, stirring gently a couple of times.