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Columns

Tom’s Cookbook Library: Moosewood Restaurant shares new recipes

“The Moosewood Restaurant Table” includes 250 recipes for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes.
“The Moosewood Restaurant Table” includes 250 recipes for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes.

“The Moosewood Restaurant Table” (St. Martin’s Griffin) offers 250 previously unpublished vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free recipes.

The Moosewood Collective, founded in 1973 in Ithaca, N.Y., sticks to a farm-to-table philosophy, while it monitors the direction taken by contemporary restaurants.

Adventurous cooks will want to take a fresh look at such featured grains as freekeh (a cereal food made from green durum wheat), black rice, flax and farro, among others. Check out the for Sweet Potato Latkes, Nori Rolls with Kale and Cuban Picadillo with Tofu.

Find a good example of how Moosewood Restaurant Table puts its own touch on a traditional dish, Mushroom-Stuffed Winter Squash (recipe below).

MUSHROOM-STUFFED WINTER SQUASH

(Serves 4)

Time: about 1 hour, 15 minutes.

1 large butternut squash, or two large or 6 small delicata squash

Olive oil

1/2 cup water

Splash of dry sherry or wine

ONION LAYER

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chopped onions

2 large garlic cloves, pressed or minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried tarragon

1/3 cup minced fresh parsley

MUSHROOM LAYER

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups thickly sliced white or cremini mushrooms

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons red wine

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

3 tablespoons dry sherry or wine

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil, microwaved with an optional chopped garlic clove

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet.

Wash the squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds. Place the squash halves, cut side down, on the baking sheet and brush the skin with oil. Sprinkle the squash with the water and sherry. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until the flesh is beginning to soften and the bottom surface has browned. Turn the squash over and continue to bake, covered, until tender and done. The baking time depends on the squash you're using.

Make the onion layer: Heat the oil in a large skillet and sauté the onions, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme and tarragon, until the onions are translucent and beginning to brown. Transfer to a bowl and stir in half the parsley. Cover and set aside.

Make the mushroom layer: Add the oil to the same skillet. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until they release moisture and begin to brown. The mushrooms will shrink in volume a lot; keep stirring to brown on all sides. When browned, sprinkle with the soy sauce, red wine and tarragon and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and set aside. Deglaze the skillet with the sherry and any juices remaining in the baking pan and reserve. (If there was no liquid left in the baking pan, add a teaspoon of olive oil and some water.)

Arrange the baked squash on a serving platter. Score and loosen the flesh a little with a fork, and drizzle with the heated butter or olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Spread some of the sautéed, onions on each squash half, and then mushrooms. Drizzle with the juices from the skillet. Neatly mound the remaining onions and mushrooms on the squash and sprinkle with the remaining parsley.

SERVING AND MENU IDEAS

Great served with fresh applesauce, cranberry sauce or a fruity relish.

Journalist Tom Witom, who lives in Elgin, has written extensively for years about food and the food industry. Contact him at editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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