This week's dining column features the much-loved Park Cafe, whose menu is now under the enthusiastic stewardship of chef Drew Racin.
Racin's commitment to seasonal local produce was immediately clear when I called him recently to ask for a recipe. After introducing myself on the phone, I explained that my garden was overflowing with butternut squash and I was hoping he could recommend a use for them. Before I could finish the thought, Racin responded by asking if I would sell the squash to him.
Somewhat sheepishly, I explained that my idea of a bumper crop was certainly less than he was imagining and that I would likely need all the squash I had to make even one meal.
None the less, Racin kindly offered the following recipe:
Bruschetta with Butternut Squash:
2 cups peeled, seeded, diced and roasted butternut squash
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 pears, diced fine
1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/2 cup fresh goat cheese
1 loaf sourdough bread, sliced thin and toasted
Rehydrate cranberries in orange juice and toss with all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Finish with goat cheese and assemble on fresh sourdough.