Salvaging a Crime Scene

This time of year it’s hard for me to eat brunch at a restaurant. Instead of tired florentine or crab cake benedicts (or <gasp> buffets), I grab a bright red bike from the closest Capital Bikeshare dock and ride over to the farmers market. Asparagus bundles line the wooden tables. Bins of kale and spinach also take up plenty of space. But on Sunday, it was all about the strawberries. It was the first time I spied the sultry fruit this season and I couldn’t resist picking up 2 cartons (at $7) from the tiny Bloomingdale market.

The only mistake: riding my bike back home. The berries rumbled around in a box I borrowed from a vendor. When I opened it up at home, it looked like a crime scene as the berries stained the cardboard walls. I managed to save them and decided to use most of them up pretty quickly for a friend’s graduation party. (Congrats, El!) It’s a twist on strawberries and cream, and mostly all of the ingredients can be found at market.

Creating this still cheesy, but much fresher, dish makes me so freaking happy its spring! That was pretty lame, huh?!


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Metallic Is Welcomed in My Nail Polish, But Not My Squash


I had such a complete vision for dinner last night that I sketched it out at 3pm, eagerly waiting to start cooking.  Initially I wanted to try beets, as I’ve been too afraid of a magenta kitchen, but didn’t want to alienate my beet-hating boyfriend so I omitted the ingredient.

Instead I subbed in eggplant  and bonita squash, a lighter-skinned zucchini and a apparently a dish ruiner.

Browned corn kernels, chopped onion, rounds of eggplant and squash, mixed with roughly chopped mizuna and great northern beans. A feta-basil sauce, thickened with a roux, is splattered on top. And on top of that, a scant layer of buttered pumpernickel breadcrumbs.

Actually, let me be clear on the process: the squash was seasoned with salt and pepper then laid season-side down on a non stick pan hot with oil. Only one side was cooked, as I didn’t want the squash to turn mushy when baked.

The dish smelled strongly of feta upon exit of the oven. Success, I thought.

And then the whole fucking thing tasted metallic. Like totally off. Not like I need to spit it out, but more like I’ll eat this fast so it’s over and then I’ll go in the kitchen and eat the remaining pumpernickel and slather it with butter.

I’m now trying to figure out what went wrong. I bought the squash this weekend at the Bloomingdale Farmers’ Market, so it’s new to me, but I have no idea how long the vendor had the squash out of the ground. The reason I’m jumping to accuse the squash is that I had used one on Sunday and it made my scramble with potatoes and eggs taste metallic too. I thought it was one bad squash, but its metallic-itis seemed to inflict all of the squash I bought this weekend.

Is there something that I could have done to avoid this nasty taste? Is it too late in the season to be eating summer squash? Do I suck at cooking?

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