Voracious this year asked local food producers to provide their favorite Thanksgiving recipes. We'll run one recipe each day through Nov. 23; if you collect them all, you'll have a complete feast.
The nightly recipe calls for squash, Brussels sprouts and "chanterelles, if we can get them," says Erickson-Brown, who concedes the accoutrements probably aren't necessary.
"It just looks fancier," she says.
But the farm's Delicata squash is Thanksgiving-ready all by itself, she says. Erickson-Brown likes simple recipes best because they're easy for farmers market shoppers to remember after they return home with their cornucopias of fruits and greens. While most of Erickson-Brown's customers are comfortable in the kitchen, she regularly encounters first-time market goers who aren't accustomed to dealing with fresh food.
"There's a small percentage of people every year who are like 'I know I should be eating vegetables, I'm going to try this thing out'," she says.
Erickson-Brown this season helped a rookie shopper recreate a PCC kale dish she loved.
"Now she's a three bunches of kale weekly shopper,"says Erickson-Brown, a five-year farming veteran who raises lettuces, radishes, tomatoes, beets and a variety of other crops. Although the Browns haven't pursued USDA organic certification - "It's sort of a political statement," she says. "I don't think it's all it's cracked up to be." - they pride themselves on being able to explain their farming choices.
"We do all our business direct, so we can answer any question," Erickson-Brown says.
Including, of course, how best to prepare squash for Thanksgiving.
Roasted Delicata Squash
Sage leaves (optional)
Scrub the squash and rinse to remove any dirt.
Cut lengthwise into two boats and scoop out the seeds and stringy parts. Cut the boats into half-inch segments. Delicata squash skin is completely edible and delicious when prepared this way. There's no need to peel.
Lightly grease a cookie sheet with a high-heat oil like grapeseed or canola. Arrange the pieces of squash on the cookie sheet in a single layer, then flip them over so they have a little oil on both sides. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Bake at 375-degrees until the bottoms are slightly browned, then carefully flip over each piece, continuing to cook until pieces are browned on both sides and soft all the way through. The whole process should take about 30 minutes.
If you want to get fancy, fry some whole sage leaves in butter until crisp, then pour over the cooked squash pieces.
"Choosing a good squash is the most important step," Erickson-Brown says. Shoppers should seek out a squash which was harvested when fully ripe; the giveaway is bright orange skin. "If you don't see orange anywhere on the squash, don't buy it," she says. "It won't be as good as it should be."