Thursday, September 25, 2008

Four alliums, two nightshades, and a big squid

Tonight's dinner is born out of desperation. The CSA baskets are full of tomatoes, eggplant, summer squash (still!), and I'm still working on onions and leeks from last week. And in a silly impulse, I had my husband buy a box of frozen calamari steaks at the local restaurant supply. I don't have room in my freezer for five pounds of calamari steaks, what was I thinking? So we are having angel hair pasta and julienned calamari with a piquant sauce of julienned eggplant, chopped seeded tomatoes, capers, minced leek, chopped onion, minced garlic, and minced shallot. I've broken the pasta into three-inch lengths to more closely match the 3" x 1/4" strips of calamari. I’m using a small green eggplant, doesn’t have much in the way of seeds so it shouldn't have any bitterness, and also soak up some of the tomato flavor. The tomatoes themselves are quite wonderful, organic heirloom varieties that taste like what tomatoes are supposed to. I'm throwing in a brunoise (very fine dice, 1/16th”) of summer squash just because it's there and it does soak up flavors nicely. And as long as it’s cut very small, it won’t add a rubbery or spongy texture, which does happen sometimes with summer squash. Aside from all the prep involved, it also goes together nice and fast, as we have to dash off to a baseball game tonight. At least this is the last week of the season, no postseason for the astonishingly incompetent Mariners...

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