Friday, September 2, 2011

Door to Door Organics: Summer Squash Parmesan

A couple of weeks ago I received an e-mail from Door to Door Organics asking if I’d like to do a review of their produce to get the word out about how good it is. I agreed and just a few days later I found a nice size box waiting for me on my doorstep. Now, I do have to say that there is nothing like a box on the front porch with my name on it to put me in a good mood, but I calmed myself down so I could truly be objective. I carefully opened it and inside found a delightful mix of Colorado produce.

Door to Door Organics is similar to a CSA in that fresh regional fruits and vegetables are delivered to your door from farms in your area but without the waiting lists that are usually involved with most CSAs. To find out more about their service and availability in your area, please click here.

Inside my “Bitty Local Farm Box”, Door to Door Organics had sent me a very manageable selection of beautiful fresh veg. There was 1 bunch of green onions, 1 cucumber, 2 yellow squash, 5 heads of garlic, 1 Napa cabbage, 1 small head of romaine lettuce, 1 small bunch of green chard, 1 small bunch of collard greens, a big beautiful eggplant and an ice pack to keep it all cool on its way to my door.


It was a really hard decision for me as to what my first creation would be. After much deliberation, I decided that I was going to prepare a simple summery fresh version of Eggplant Parmesan only this time with yellow squash and a little bit of kale and a simple green salad on the side.

I know that using squash may seem a bit strange since there was a beautiful eggplant inside, but I have to admit that I really don’t like eggplant much so yellow squash is the perfect substitute for me. If I would have read up on them a little earlier, I would have known that if there is something in their box that you don’t care for, you can easily customize your box with just a short notice.

If you’re not like me and don’t necessarily enjoy creating your own recipes, the folks at Door to Door Organics have developed a recipe section called “Kitchen” on their site to help you figure out how to make the most of your box. These recipes are developed by food bloggers and home cooks like me so you know they have to been good, if I do say so myself. Be sure and check it out.

If you’d like to order a box of produce of your own to try them out, Door to Door Organics is offering my readers in their service areas in Colorado, Kansas City, Chicago and Michigan a one-time 40% discount on their “Bitty Box”. All you have to do is enter the discount code “eatdrinkwashup” at check out. Keep in mind that they deliver all year round, but their local farm boxes are only available June thru October, so if you are interested don’t wait too long to place your order.

Summer Squash Parmesan

2 large leaves kale
4 large size yellow squash
1/2 cup oil for frying
1 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons milk
4 – 5 slices bacon, cut into 1/2" wide slices across
1/2 medium size sweet yellow onion, sliced into very thin slices
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon sugar
1 – 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese

Wash and dry kale well. Remove spine before rolling kale cigar fashion and slicing in thin strips and then down the middle; set aside.

Wash and dry the squash well. Remove both ends before slicing in half lengthwise. Cut the halves in half lengthwise; lay on paper towels in a single layer.

Place oil in a medium size frying pan set over medium high heat and heat until the oil is hot and shimmering.

While the oil is heating, place the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs separately in three large shallow bowls.

Dip each slice of squash first in the flour, then the egg and finally in the breadcrumbs; place in the hot oil and brown on each side for approximately 3 minutes or until it is golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining squash; set aside.

In another medium size frying pan, fry bacon until it is brown but not quite crispy. Add the onions to the bacon and its drippings. Cook until the onions turn translucent. Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, sugar and tomatoes; stir well and set aside.

Grease a 9” square pan. Ladle 1/2 cup or so of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the baking dish; layer 1/2 of the squash on the bottom of the dish in a single layer. Sprinkle half of the kale over the top followed by half of the cheese and half of the remaining sauce. Repeat the layer with the remaining ingredients ending with the cheese on top.

Place in the preheated oven and cook for approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until it is bubbly and heated all the way through. Remove from the oven and rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 6 – 8.
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