(Serves 4)
You can bake the custard in one large kabocha squash or pumpkin, slicing it like a pie to serve - or you can prepare several smaller sugar pumpkins, serving them whole or sliced in half. For the most silken custard, do not use "lite" coconut milk. To make the custard more sweet than savory, add 1/2 cup of sugar to the mix. Very granular sugar substitutes will also negatively affect the texture of the custard.

1 kabocha squash or pumpkin

or 2 to 4 small pumpkins

5 eggs

1 cup coconut milk

1/3 cup coconut palm or white sugar

Pinch salt

Pinch ground cinnamon

Pinch ground cardamom

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Remove greens, clean and cut beets into quarters.

Steam till easily pierced -- about 8 minutes

Cut into bite size pieces

Smear yogurt or crème fraîche across plates

Sprinkle a light design of greenery

Arrange beets on top

Mix honey and fresh lemon juice to taste

Drizzle delicately over beets and yogurt

Serve beets warm or at room temperature

These recipe paintings feature main ingredients and the essential element of the cook's hands. Inspired by luscious displays of fresh produce at farmers' markets around the world and my pleasure in cooking for friends, the paintings and recipes have appeared in the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper--FEAST OF COLOR-- Edible Santa Fe Magazine, and The Zenchilada online magazine of food and culture.

If you own a restaurant or market, produce edible goods or cookbooks, do contact me for paintings of your signature items or recipes.

Gift of the Corn Mother  was commissioned for the cover of Edible Santa Fe Magazine winter 2009. Shown at Tohono Chul Garden Gallery in Tucson in the CHILES! exhibit in 2014, the framed original (image is 17"x23" with frame 28" x 34") is available for $1900.


Beth Surdut

Visual Storyteller ~ Artist ~ Wildlife Illustrator

Creativity is all of life's actions.

Prepare a steamer large enough tohold the squash above the water
for 45 minutes. (If water runs low before custard is fully cooked, add more boiling water to the pot.)

Cut a circle around the squash stem to make a lid.Set the lid aside and scoop the seeds and pulp out of the squash.

In a bowl, beat eggs iwith a fork until well-blended, adding the coconut milk and remaining ingredients as you go.
Pour the mixture into the prepared squash shell.

Place the filled squash in the steamer and set the lid next to, but not on, the squash. Cover and steam for 45 minutes. Test the custard with a fork; if it is still runny, re-cover and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer, or until custard is fully set.

Squash Match painted and served

by Beth Surdut

  Beets Me   

by Beth  Surdut

So good you'll see grown men lick their plates.



            Golden beets or red beets or both

            One good-sized beet per person

            Maché —just a few leaves per serving

             Crème fraîche or Greek-style yogurt

             Honey to drizzle

             Lemon—a few drops into the honey

             Separate small plates


Art From the Kitchen ~ Food Paintings and Illustrated Recipes

Painted and Served by Beth Surdut