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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dandelion Pesto Spaghetti with Roasted Butternut Squash

Yummmmy. This has got to be my best gourmet dinner I've cooked.

We switched to Two Small Farms these past few weeks but I've been away. I took the whole package this week which included many vegetables I had never seen before! Dandelion Greens (Frastigliata), Fennel, Beets, Green Garlic, Cilantro, Thyme.

When in doubt, I make pesto :) I combined dandelion greens, green garlic, cilantro, thyme along with spinach and olive oil. I added some garden cheese and a bit of pepper. I have NO idea which greens there made a really spicy kick to the pesto. Maybe the dandelion? Who knows, I've always thought dandelions were just pretty flowers, who thought I'd cook them one day. Anyway being a fan of spicy, I LOVED this pesto sauce.

Roasted Butternut Squash
After reading that squash don't go bad for weeks, I kept this one for 3 weeks! I used a carrot peeler to take out the skin, took out the seeds and cut it into 1 inch slices. Put some olive oil, salt and pepper and baked it at 375 degrees for 40 min. The thinner slices turned out to be like chips :) The thicker ones are so juicy and tasty.

Dandelion Greens Fettucine:
This was a failure so I won't really write it in detail. I tried to follow a recipe that got me to blend the dandelion with eggs then add flour until it hardened and cut it into pasta strips. I dunno what happened here but it tasted more like a pizza dough. I might make it into a pizza tomorrow.

Brown Rice Spaghetti:
Well since the make-my-own pasta experiment didn't go well, I always have trusty Trade Joe's Brown Rice Spaghetti around in emergencies like this.

So all 3 are tried and tested and have come out of my kitchen before. But together...the spicy pesto with the roasted butternut squash and the chewy spaghetti. There's no words to describe it. I've definitely not had this combination in a restaurant before. The flavours were so distinct yet complimented each other. I'd definitely have this as a signature dish at Chez Thu.

This weekend was exactly what I needed. We biked to SJC today and discovered some new trails. I'm surprised my legs are still functioning after the hike yesterday. This meal really wrapped up a much needed R&R. I need it for the tough road ahead.

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