Squash as candy... almost
Had we planted too many vines? Should we let the weeds take them early? Oh, constant squash, they never let you down. Early one Saturday morning as I lay sleepless, I whispered to Steven, “We need to get a hog.”
“For the squash.”
He knew I couldn't be serious. We didn't need a pig.
~Barbara Kingsolver "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life"
There's something about the abundant feeling of squash that makes me happy for the change of season. Ours are from our garden, our neighbors and from Harlequin Produce. I store (hoard) them away in a spare closet, wiped with white vinegar (which I read somewhere prevents mold) and wrapped in newspaper. There they quietly sit, a bank of deliciousness for winter nights.
Delicata Squash aka french fry candy
Years ago, a neighbor brought over a squash dish made from her homegrown Delicata squash, that blew me away. Now I look forward to eating these lovely squash like french fries. Unlike other winter squash, you eat it skin and all. Less work! They don't store as long as other winter squash, so we eat it early in the fall. Here is an easy recipe we make often.
The original recipe is here. My notes:
- I made the mistake of lining my sheet pan with parchment paper to have less clean up. Don't do this! You need the contact with the pan to get that delicious carmelization.
- Follow the recipe and go light with the olive oil.
- Watch them carefully, and if your oven has uneven heat like mine, rotate the pan. They really don't take very long to cook through.
- There will be no leftovers. Any that aren't eaten with dinner are picked off the pan and eaten while doing the dishes.
- 2-4 depending on size (~1.5 lbs) Delicata squash
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- to taste salt
Curried Squash Soup
This recipe is from Erica Strauss's book, "The Hands-On Home: A Seasonal Guide to Cooking, Preserving & Natural Homekeeping." I have felt like my soups were a bit on the bland side in the past, but now that I am making homemade broth (more on this in future posts), soups taste so much richer. This one was amazing. Thick, creamy, and sweet. Even better as a leftover. I used the squash called Sunshine Kabocha, which added to the bright orange color. I did go ahead and make the garnishes. I also used homemade chicken broth.
- 4 pounds (about 2 medium) butternut squash (or your choice of winter squash)
- 3 Tablespoons butter, melted, divided
- 1 Tablespoon curry powder
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 large baking apple
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon lightly packed light brown sugar
- to taste Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Stuffed Butternut Squash
We made this recipe when we had friends over for dinner, and I'm glad we made it for a special occasion, more than a regular dinner with ourselves. It was a bit decadent and rich. It is from the "River Cottage Every Day" cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. I am really enjoying two of his cookbooks that I acquired this summer. He writes that this is an easy recipe to adapt and alter the stuffing. He has even made it with acorn squashes.
My notes: We made this pretty much as it is written, even going to the garden and digging under the snow for fresh thyme. We had goat cheese cheddar from our neighbor, Frank.
- 1 large (about 3 pounds) or 2 small ones butternut squash
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- a little olive oil or canola
- 1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and very coarsely chopped
- 6 ounces blue cheese, crumbled into small lumps (or use a crumbly goat cheese)
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 scant Tablespoon honey