While researching CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs and resources, I had the good fortune of connecting with Sheri Castle, author of “The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Enjoying the Best from Homegrown Gardens, Farmers’ Markets, Roadstands, & CSA Farm Boxes.” (The University of North Carolina Press, $35)
Castle, a food writer and professional cooking instructor, wrote this book to help people to “respond to what they have.” The recipes in the book are organized by ingredient so you can find ones tailored for your weekly vegetable haul from the local farmers market, your CSA share or your own garden. Castle says one of her largest recipe sections is devoted to the cooking of greens, which can be intimidating for home cooks.
Castle agreed to share the recipe for her squash and pasta salad from the book. She suggests serving it with crispy chicken thighs, another recipe in the cookbook.
If you have a garden with a productive squash plant, you’ll want all the ideas you can get for using up the bounty!
Herbed Summer Squash and Pasta Salad
by Sheri Castle
- 8 oz. pearl couscous
- 4 tbsp lemon-infused olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cups diced assorted summer squashes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup lightly packed chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup lightly packed chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- Kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste
- Cook the couscous according to package directions. Drain well, pour into a large bowl, toss with 2 tablespoons of the oil, and set aside, stirring from time to time.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the squash and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add to the couscous.
- Stir in the cheese, basil, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and pine nuts. The salad should be quite moist, so drizzle with more oil if needed. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog