It’s a precious time, really, to spend an evening relaxing, laughing and cooking with family, especially when they have a nice balcony, great grill, enthusiastic epicurean appetites, and a little wine to share…along with pleasant breezes and a long weekend. With the garden just beginning to pop, my contribution was a thick handful of ramps, two varieties of pickles from last season (received well!) and some homemade sundried tomato hummus.
We wandered and deliberated, then decided on a Mediterranean style dinner… simple, wonderful. Gluten free of course. Do I even need to write up a recipe? Noo…. we surely didn’t follow one. Okay, we did season with oregano, marjoram, rosemary, basil, chili pepper flakes, a crunchy, coarse ground salt – and a drizzle of oil.
We baked the halved, deseeded spaghetti squashes for about 40 minutes in a hot (425 degree) oven before adding them to the grill for that irresistible, smoky flavor. If you’ve never tried substituting fine, tender spaghetti squash for pasta, you simply must. Do it! It’s really delicious.
We were excited to taste the grilled ramps, too – and have a conversation about them – my son lends a hand (make that both hands, and he probably juggles rutabagas or some such behind the scenes, too) to a huge produce department in a local Denver store, when he isn’t filming for Open Media Foundation, volunteering for the Denver Film Society or working one of the music festivals – and we know how pricey ramps can be. This batch was wrenched up from the garden (and if you’ve removed ramps from the ground before, or leeks, or onions, you understand I truly mean wrenched. )
Now this is where Paul Newman comes in … for want of a leisurely, get-to-spend-time-and-catch-up dinner, we chose Sockarooni, a Newman’s Own marinara (“This concoction will blow your socks off! Peppers, spices and the whole shebang!”) from the grocery shelf. Paired with our chopped grilled vegetables – yellow squash, carrots and zucchini, plus the ramps of course – we deemed it worthy, a savory treasure of a sauce. We could have been watching The Sting, or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid…..if we really wanted to play the Paul Newman theme, but it was such a nice evening to be outside…
So, voila – over a spoonful or two of the scooped out of the shell, grilled spaghetti squash, along with a wee bit more wine and a nice seat on the balcony –
So good! Grilled yellow squash, zucchini and the velvety ramps have to be some of my very favorites! And that SAWSE! With plenty of garlic (and good butter) toast to go with. A fine collaboration. With hugs.