Thursday, October 8, 2009

Enjoying the Harvest at Stone Barns

As I hinted in my last post, I've had a crazy few weeks. The big news is that I did it -- I moved out of New York City. I am now a resident of Westchester County. Although I've been consumed with unpacking and setting up my new place, I have been exploring my new area. In fact, last weekend I made it to Stone Barns for Harvest Fest.
Ever since the farm was featured on Top Chef (not to mention a slew of blogs), I've wanted to visit. When I saw the listing for Harvest Fest online, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity.
I admit, I was a bit surprised by the admission fee but I figured I was actually making a donation, since the farm operates as a nonprofit (on a typical day, the center has a $5 parking fee, reimbursed after purchases totaling $15. If you want to attend a program, those have a separate fee). I was also a bit surprised by the lack of program information online, but ended up just going with the flow.

The program, which I received once I arrived, was pretty extensive, with music and demos and hayrides and a street-fair like farmers market. The place was also packed -- but more with families than foodies. Let's just say the stroller brigade was out in full force (one of the reasons I did not take the hayride).

But I enjoyed wandering the grounds and greenhouses, as well as sampling the food: from Stone Barns' own grassfed beef sloppy joes and roast pork sandwiches to tacos from Chipotle (hey, they were a sponsor, and their tacos are good) to Mast Brothers Chocolate to Balthazar's baked goods.
Stone Barns also had a table full of produce for sale, including delicata and dumpling squash. I had never seen dumpling squash before, and since they looked ideal for stuffing, had to buy some. The ladies at the stand recommended a savory stuffing built around rice, as well as a sweet stuffing with apples and nuts.
I opted to go for the former, and combined cooked brown rice with chopped fresh spinach and diced chicken sausage in a light cream sauce. The end result was super cute and tasty, but I realized one thing...I am not a huge sweet, winter squash fan. Oh sure, I like it as a side or in a salad, but squash as a main course is a bit too glutenous for me. Live and learn!

Stuffed [Sweet] Dumpling Squash

As with delicata, you can eat the skin/rind of dumpling squash.

Two dumpling squash, cut in half through stem end and de-pulped and de-seeded
1 Clove of garlic, minced
1 Shallot, minced
1 T. Olive oil
1 c. Cooked brown rice
1 c. Baby spinach leaves, chiffonade
1 Link chicken sausage, chopped
Splash of chicken broth
Splash of half and half
Dash of red pepper flake
Dash of nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375.
Place squash halves in greased baking dish cut side down and roast for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, saute the garlic and shallot in olive oil; add baby spinach until wilted.
Turn off heat and add rice, chicken sausage, liquids and spices to taste.
After 20 minutes, remove the squash and turn cut side up; season interior of squash with salt and pepper; pack loosely with rice filling.
Cover dish with foil and return to oven for another 20 minutes.
Serve immediately.

1 comment:

Linda Kroski said...

Squash receipe sounds really good but I've never seen dumpling squash-not sure I can find it locally. Think I'll try making it with acorn squash. Love your blog Ali and can't wait to see your new place. Hope you're settling in. See you soon