Abundance is the word of the week. Over the past few weeks, we have been on a journey to share locally grown eats recipes to deliver new ways of discovering local favorites, like R & G Farm, Dexter Produce, Market on Madison’s weekly farmers market, and Dexter Meat Company. Thanks to each of the makers & producers behind these businesses, our kitchens are abundantly churning out summer flavors we can savor all year by freezing, canning, and dehydrating.
In honor of all this abundance, we are bringing you two recipes this week, courtesy of R & G Farm’s partnership with Common Market Southeast’s farm basket program. Developed to help connect farmers with local communities across the Southeast, each week’s box offerings is a delightful surprise that somehow makes Fridays even more Friday-er! This weekend’s box had almost everything I needed to make two of my favorite recipes: Roasted Tomato Sauce & Squash Lasagna. I plucked the basil from my garden and headed to our local Piggly Wiggly for the olive oil & cheeses. There’s nothing like going to the farmers market downtown and picking up any other locally grown eats ingredients you might need at the Pig.
Roasted Tomato Sauce
1-2 lbs. of small tomatoes, any variety works
1 onion roughly chopped, any variety
4-8 cloves of chopped garlic (to taste)
1/4 cup olive oil + a few tablespoons
A couple small handfuls of fresh basil, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll tomatoes in a few tablespoons of olive olive, then put them on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in oven until the tomatoes start to split & shrivel, approximately 25-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until onion begins to sweat and garlic is lightly golden. Remove roasted tomatoes from oven, and add to the saucepan, including all the juice and browned bits. Add basil. Salt, thyme, pepper, and other spices can be added to taste if you like.
Allow mixture to simmer over low heat covered for at least 30 minutes and up to one hour. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender to blend sauce to desired consistency.
Although this sauce cannot be safely canned, it freezes beautifully for later use. It can also be safely stored in the fridge for a week. My favorite thing to use this sauce in is a squash lasagna, which also freezes wonderfully, and is better if made a day or two ahead of time and stored in the fridge for a mid-week dinner.
Locally Grown Eats: Yellow Squash Lasagna
I do NOT like yellow squash. It is not a food I had ever tasted prior to moving South, and that squash and onion thing? No thanks. I do not like waste though, and having found myself with an abundance of yellow squash, I needed to find a way to use it and enjoy it. I love zucchini, zucchini lasagna, and all zucchini recipes, so I figured why not a locally grown eats recipe like yellow squash lasagna? I tried it, loved it, and tried it again and yet again just in case. I even had a couple of friends try it, and the verdict was in:
Yup! It’s that good, especially with the roasted tomato sauce.
I recommend not using the center of the yellow squash with the seeds for the slices as they get too thin and mushy.
2-3 yellow squash (or zucchini) sliced length wise and thin with a mandolin slicer or box grater slicer.
7 oz. ricotta cheese
4-8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese (based on how much you love cheesy-ness)
2 cups Roasted Tomato Sauce
1 lb. fresh ground sausage (any flavor although I prefer hot) from Dexter Meat Company
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease an 8″ x 8″ pan.
Mix the ricotta with the tomato sauce.
Brown sausage over medium low heat.
Lay one layer of sliced yellow squash in bottom of glass pan, covering entire bottom. Top with browned sausage. Add a layer of the ricotta sauce mixture. Sprinkle with cheese.
Repeat layering three times.
If cooking immediately, bake for approximately 45 minutes uncovered until squash is tender and cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.
Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes. This will help the lasagna be less water-y. The ricotta tomato mixture will help it thicken and become more saucy.
Slice & serve with more locally grown eats: a salad made from lettuce from R & G Farms. Want the wonderful-ness of a Common Market box each week? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for all the details.