“I have to buy this zucchini…it’s just SO beautiful,” Lula gushes over the phone. Immediately I know she must be walking past the copious Mexican produce markets on the way over to my Mission apartment for a spontaneous lunch meeting. I giggle at the thought of Lula being beckoned by the striped, light-skinned squash.
“Bring it over!” I squeal, “I’ve got the makings for my mom’s famous pomegranate poppy seed salad and some leftover roasted butternut squash!” It’s Lula’s last day in San Francisco before she jets off to Australia and then to Equador, and I’m thrilled at the prospect of sharing food with this gorgeous girl one last time. Exhausted and still buzzing with excitement, we were planning to debrief from our latest video/performance art piece that debuted during ‘Yerba Buena Nights’ the previous weekend. I could imagine no better way to bond than by cooking yummy homemade veggies in my sun-soaked kitchen.
I popped the butternut squash (that I had roasted the night before) back into the oven and began to whip up the salad. I had just learned a new pomegranate preparation trick from an awesome farmer in Marin, and was eager to try it out. (De-seeding the fruit while submerged in a bowl of water makes for fast and easy cleanup!) Lula sautéed the thinly-sliced zucchini with a dash of olive oil, salt, pepper and a garlic clove, and within ten minutes we were ready to enjoy our delicious (and decadent) lunch!
Roasted Butternut Squash
- Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle olive oil and a 1/3 cup water in a metal cooking dish and place squash face down. Cook 30-45 min on 400F or until squash is soft.
- OPTION: Sprinkle salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg over top!
- To reheat, place squash face up in cooking dish and place in 400F oven until warm.
Sheila’s Famous Holiday Pomegranate Poppy Seed Salad
- Wash and clean greens, breaking into bite-sized pieces. (I like to use red-leaf or butter lettuce)
- Toss lettuce in a poppyseed dressing. (I make my own dressing 99% of the time, but I haven’t attempted this one yet. My mom’s fave is Brianna’s Homestyle All Natural Poppyseed Dressing- It’s Vegan!)
- De-seed pomegrante and sprinkle over salad. (Try the underwater trick: De-seed in the water, then strain!)
- OPTION: Get Creative: add citrus fruit, nuts or seeds! My mom always adds orange and grapefruit sections, but today I sprinkled on raw sunflower seeds.
Garlic Seared Zucchini
- Thinly slice the Zucchini and finely dice a garlic clove.
- Sauteé Zucchini and garlic in a little extra virgin olive oil and salt/pepper until for a few minutes or until slightly soft.