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Dark Days Challenge Recipe: Sweet and Savory Kabobs

Early this morning, awakened by the dulcet tones of one Mr Hippo singing to the sunrise, I got up, got dressed, and headed to the farmers’ market to see what I could scavenge for our Dark Days Challenge meal.  The fridge was a little bare, since our CSA pick-up last week was canceled due to the holiday.  However, the Unicyclist and I had an inkling of what we wanted: kabobs.  Rich and savory kabobs to slather with the leftover muhammara from our Christmas Eve shindig.  Last night over dinner, just as we’d decided this, the Unicyclist was struck with a bolt of inspiration.

“What about dessert kabobs?”

Brilliant.  And timely.  As everyone knows, nothing makes a party like food on a stick, so consider these recipes my belated Christmas gift to you.  Both the savory and the sweet kabobs we made would be a wonderful, healthful addition to any New Year’s Eve fiestas.

Let’s get into it.  First: the ingredients.

For the savory kabobs, I picked up several pretty eggplants at the farmers’ market (yes, they are still producing here without greenhouses).  In addition, I got several apparently camera-shy veggies including gold potatoes, the very very very end of the zucchini (every week, someone swears it’s done, and every week, there are a couple sad ones left that I have to buy because I think they’ll be the last ones until spring), and a red onion.  As a final touch, I clipped about six stunted red velvet okra that have been in suspended animation in my garden since the temperatures dropped a month ago.

I parboiled the potatoes for five minutes before constructing my kabobs, but the rest of it was a straightforward chop-and-spear approach, except for the okra (which went on whole).  I brushed them with some fabulous garlic-infused grapeseed oil (thanks for the Christmas present, Mom!), sprinkled them with salt, and tossed those shrimp on the barbie.

I kept the flame on my gas grill on the low end of the spectrum and turned them several times during approximately a 15 minute period.  Hippo, sunning himself on the stoop, was most intrigued by all the smells and activity on the patio.

Meanwhile, the Unicyclist set to work on a hearty salad for us.  It was mostly farmers’ market ingredients as well, but there were a few other odds and ends in it.  He started with red lettuce, cucumber, red onion, and a greenhouse tomato (I admit it, I am weak), and finished it off with leftover garbanzo beans (not local) some feta and olives (Queen Creek supplies the olives around here), and a dressing I’d whipped up the other day when we’d had salad.  It has a base of local sun-dried tomatoes and non-local olive oil and white Balsamic vinegar (my favorite), jazzed up with herbs from my garden and some pesto I had made and frozen when my basil plants were threatening to take over the world, starting with my backyard.

Mmmm…kabobs and muhammara.

Oh—and the salad.  Let’s not forget that.  It was durn good salad!

But what about those dessert kabobs?

I’m so glad you asked.

I parboiled some cubed butternut squash (4 minutes here, as it cooks faster than the potatoes), then skewered it with local Granny Smith and pink lady apples.  I put together a flavorful sauce of orange juice, lemon-infused grapeseed oil (thanks again, Mom!), maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg; and I brushed the kabobs with it several times during the grilling process.  Served with vanilla yogurt for dipping (vegans, pick your favorite non-dairy version!), it was a sweet and delicious treat!

That’s the quick version, folks.  I will give you all the delicious details about muhamarra and post the recipe at some point, but right now I have to run take a test for the class I am taking.  Check back later for more details!


3 Comments so far

  1. Mangochild December 28th, 2008 5:34 pm

    I want to come visit you!! If that doesn’t pan out though, can I at least be a copycat for this meal? Food on a stick is fun enough, but those pictures… I’m amazed that you are still getting eggplants now – I’ve frozen a lot of that that I can’t get myself to break into, but fresh can’t be beat.
    Dessert kebabs sound very tasty especially with the sauce – I’d never have thought of that…. but makes total sense. I’m not sure if you get cranberries there, but if so, that could be a good addition to the dessert kebab maybe, or as part of the glaze?

  2. [...] of my kitchen odds and ends and not waste anything.  When I parboiled the potatoes and squash for kabobs the other day, I saved the boiling water and kept it for watering down his food (at first, he [...]

  3. [...] When she wasn’t busy with Hippo, Laurel was making both savory and sweet kabobs. The savory version included eggplant, potatoes, zucchini, red onion and red velvet okra all [...]

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