Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Ugly Food = Good Food

Sometimes good food isn't the prettiest food.

I can be sure of that every time I make one of my summer standards, squash rice casserole. The final product never seems to look nearly as delicious as it tastes, and I often find myself apologising for its appearance.

Originally, this recipe was a simple Italian-inspired dish with sauteed zucchini or summer squash, parmesan cheese, and rice. But, every time I haul out the recipe, I seem to be inspired to make some sort of change. The other night, I decided on a Mexican twist.

It's been fairly warm here in Wisconsin (yes, it does get warm here in the summer, People!), and I'm a big fan of smoky sweet vegetables. So, we hauled out the grill to cook the summer squash.

I had pattypan squash on hand from the farmer's market.
As well as some eight ball zucchini (which you should seek out if you can find it). It has a tender, sweet disposition, few seeds (even as it gets larger), and is perfect for slicing into rounds for sandwiches.
When the squash were grilled, I set them aside to cool, and put together the remainder of the casserole -- brown rice, black beans, sour cream, eggs, Monterey Jack cheese, and some seasonings.

After being baked in the oven, it came out looking something like this.
As I warned you, it's not the prettiest food in the universe, but it's quite satisfying. We usually eat it as a main dish, but it would make a fine side with grilled chicken or chipotle shrimp. And it makes great leftovers for lunch.

Squash Rice Casserole with Black Beans

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  1. My grandma once said that presentation is 90% of a meal (when I was haphazardly setting the table) and I replied back, "So what if it doesn't taste good?" She agreed with me after eating a beautiful but so so meal. Hooray for ugly food!

  2. Good food is often ugly! I think it sound delicious and healthy! I love the idea of grilling the squash and then making the casserole.

  3. Very little of what I cook could ever win a beauty contest. If people tell me it tastes good, I'm happy.

    Although I get very unhappy when people say that we eat with our eyes first. Phooey on them!

  4. Thank goodness our taste buds don't have eyeballs, is what I often say!

  5. I don't think your dish was all that ugly. :) It does sound great.

  6. I've always said the best tasting food is not always the prettiest (it should be a rule somewhere). May I ask for a refill, please? :)

  7. That casserole sounds rather nice. I have a garden full of summer squash, and this recipe is a keeper!

  8. This is a comment on this blog and the quesadilla blog - loved them both. I will try this recipe as I always have the best intentions of cooking squash and then never know what to do with it. This recipe looks great - as does the picture. Not ugly at all :-)

  9. Gosh this looks so good!

    Thanks for visiting my blog! Yours is great...I'm exploring it right now!


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