Archive for the ‘Squash’ Category

Winter Squash Agro dolce

1 2lb kabocha squash, peeled and seeded, cut into 1” wedges

2 small delicatta squash, seeded, cut into 1.5” wedges

2 tbsp olive oil

Sea salt and pepper

¾ cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp golden raisins, chopped

1-1/2 small chile, finely chopped (depending on heat preference!) OR a good pinch of chile flakes

Squash 1Squash 2

Preheat the oven to 400. Place squash on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season generously with sea salt and pepper. Roast, tossing lightly occasionally, for about 30-35 minutes.

Squash 3

Squash 4

Meanwhile, bring the chile, vinegar, sugar, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat and mixture until syrupy, about 8-10 minutes.

Transfer the squash to a platter, and drizzle with the agro dolce. Serve!

Spiced Apple & Pumpkin Crumble

This is a great “make ahead” desert for Thanksgiving or Christmas; in fact it tastes even better the next day! To reheat, just simply pop into a warm oven and heat to the middle! YUMM!!!
Crunchy Oat Topping
2.5 cups oats
1.5 cups brown sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup melted butter
Pinch of salt
Spiced Apple and Pumpkin Filling
8 cups apple, peeled and sliced thin (about 10 fist-sized apples)
4 cups pumpkin, peeled and sliced thin
3/4-1 cup white sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
2 oz dark rum
1 tsp vanilla
Combine topping and set aside. Combine apples, pumpkin, lemon juice, cinnamon, rum, and vanilla and pour into a baking dish. Top with crumble topping. Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes, or until the apples and pumpkin are soft and the crumble is crisp. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, or yogurt.

Butternut Squash and Sage Mac & Cheese

1/2 medium butternut squash, cooked, pureed, strained

1/2 pound elbow macaroni OR your favorite pasta

4 tablespoons butter

1 small leek or onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 chili pepper, finely chopped (optional)

4 tablespoons flour

2 1/2 cups milk

1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage

2 cups shredded cheese (whatever you have on hand, cheddar, mozza, gouda, parmesan, etc)

3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

2 tablepsoon melted butter

Cook macaroni according to package directions, drain well. Set aside. In a medium saucepot over medium heat, add the butter. When the butter is melted add onion or leek, garlic, and chili pepper (if using). Saute lightly until soft and fragrant, then whisk in the flour. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add 2 cups of milk and whisk until mixture is smooth. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil while continuing to whisk. After sauce has thickened, turn heat to low and whisk in butternut squash mixture. Stir in the fresh sage, and season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked macaroni to the pot and stir until the macaroni noodles are well coated. Add the cheese, and a touch of milk if the mixture is too thick.

Grease a 2 quart casserole dish. Pour half of the macaroni noodles into the pan. In a separate bowl, mix together melted butter and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes at 375F, or until macaroni and cheese is bubbling. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

 

How to Roast a Whole Squash or Pumpkin

1. Cut the squash or pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds.

2. Smear butter or olive oil over the flesh and sprinkle sea salt and pepper.

3. Roast flesh up on a baking sheet at 425F degrees for 1 hour, until flesh is soft. (If flesh is getting to dark, flip over so the skin faces up)

4. Serve hot as a side dish OR allow to cool completely. Scoop out flesh into a food processor and pulse until completely smooth. Strain slightly if the flesh is to moist. Use this puree in soups, cakes, biscuits or creamy sauces. This puree also freezes beautifully!

How to Roast Cubed Butternut Squash, or any firm squash that are easy to peel

1. Peel the skin, then cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds.

2. Cube the squash and toss onto a baking sheet with melted butter or olive oil, sea salt, and pepper.

3. Roast at 425F degrees for 45 minutes – you can go less time if you want more “bite” to your squash.

TIPS: Dress up your roasted whole or cubed squash with maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, herbs, or a pinch of chili pepper!

Puff Pastry Ricotta & Zucchini Tart

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup ricotta, drained
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1 tablespoon summer savory, chopped
  4. 1/2 cup shredded cheese (romano, mozza, or cheddar; whatever cheese you have on hand!)
  5. Salt and pepper
  6. Olive oil
  7. 1 clove of garlic
  8. 2 small zucchini, thinkly sliced
  9. 1 cup patty pan sqush, thinly sliced
  10. 1 sheet of puff pastry

1. In a bowl, mix together ricotta, egg, herbs, cheese, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

2. In a frying pan, add a drizzle of olive oil, and saute garlic and squash until soft. Set aside.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment and unfold your cold puff pastry sheet right on to it.

4. Lightly roll it till seams are flat and sheet looks even all around.

5. Take a pairing knife and make a 1/2 inch border all the way around being careful not to cut through.

6. Take a fork and prick the pastry all within the border so air can get through.

7. Spread the ricotta mixture, within the border and then lay your sautéed squash on top and a little drizzle of olive oil.

8. Brush the edges with olive oil.

9. Cook in a 350 degree oven until edges are dark golden and crispy and so is the bottom, at least 1/2 hour or more. Ovens vary so just check it.

Enjoy!

Winter squash and chicken

Peel and chop up your squash.

Sautee in a pan until golden. Add some herbs that you have kicking around.  Oregano, thyme, and or parsley would work.  Chop up some boneless skinless chicken breast or chicken thigh.

Add to the pan and sautee until the chicken is browned.  Add salt and pepper to taste.   At this point you can add in about a cup of sliced mushrooms if your pan is big enough 🙂

Add in 3 tbsp mascapone cheese and about half a cup of light cream or full fat milk.  Stir around until creamy and bubbly.  Turn the heat down and let simmer until the chicken is cooked.  About 5 minutes.  I like to serve this with a salad, or on toast, or tossed with pasta.

butternut   butternut caramelizedbutternut add the chickenbutternut chicken mushroom cream

Acorn squash with chile lime vinaigrette

I must admit, I used to think that acorn squash was boring, dull, bland, the lesser of all the squash.  Then I tried this recipe from smittenkitchen.com, fed it to the staff, and we all fell in love with acorn squash.  I put lime and chile on pretty much anything in our house, but had never thought to put it on squash.  Thank you smittenkitchen!

Roasted Acorn Squash with Chile-Lime Vinaigrette
Adapted from Gourmet, October 2006

Makes 4 servings.

2 (1 1/2 – to 1 3/4-lb) acorn squash
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh hot red chile, including seeds
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 450°F. Halve squash lengthwise, then cut off and discard stem ends. Scoop out seeds and cut squash lengthwise into 3/4-inch-wide wedges. Toss squash with black pepper, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons oil in a bowl, then arrange, cut sides down, in 2 large shallow baking pans. Roast squash, switching position of pans halfway through roasting, until squash is tender and undersides of wedges are golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes.

While squash roasts, mince garlic and mash to a paste with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer paste to a small bowl and whisk in lime juice, chile (to taste), cilantro, and remaining 1/4 cup oil until combined. Transfer squash, browned sides up, to a platter and drizzle with vinaigrette.

Simply spaghetti squash.

Those little dark yellow spaghetti squash that we have in store right now are AMAZING.

To prepare simply.

Wash your squash.  Pierce in 3-4 places. Place in microwave and cook on high for 2-3 minutes to soften the shell.

Carefully remove hot squash, cut in half length wise and scoop out the seeds.

In the cavity place 3 tbsp olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic cut up, and pepper to taste.  Place your halves of squash, shell side down, in an oven proof dish.  Add half an inch of water to the dish, casserole, whatever you are using.

Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes until tender.

Remove squash with oven mitts.  Carefully scrape out the spaghetti strands into a bowl with a fork.  Mix the spaghetti up with the garlic that had been roasted in the cavity.

Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash on the grill

Right now we have fabulous small dark yellow spaghetti squash in the store.   Though you can bake, steam or roast these squashes, I love to throw them on the bbq.

Knock off the hard stem of the squash.  Sit the squash on the now stable stemless end and CAREFULLY cut the squash in half length wise.  If you don’t have the right knife or strength to cut through the squash, chuck it in the microwave on high for 2-3 minutes to soften it up a bit.

After you have cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and in the hollow place a knob of butter, salt and pepper to taste, 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and about a table spoon of water.

Place your squash halves on your bbq (shell side down), have the flame set to medium.

After about 20 minutes poke around in the squash with a fork.  If the flesh seems soft enough, it’s done!!

Pick up your squash halves with oven mitts or tongs.  It will be HOT.  Carefully scoop out the flesh from the 2 pieces into a bowl.  Mix up the flesh with the garlic and pepper that was in the cavity. You can enjoy the squash just like that, or at this point you can add your favourite meat sauce and mix it up like pasta spaghetti.

Enjoy!!!

A

Butternut Squash Soup

The butternut is the squash with a booty.  It has a long body that ends in a big round bum that makes it easy to distinguish from other squash.   Its rich orange flesh is perfect for roasting, grilling, pan frying or making soup out of.  This soup takes very little time or effort to make, and is delightfully rich and creamy.

Peel and cube one butternut squash (To do this, I cut the bum from the body, sit the body down on a cutting board and peel it.  Then I can deal with the round portion of the squash that has seeds to remove etc)

Saute in butter or olive oil one large diced onion and 6 cloves of garlic in a large soup pot.

Add in the cubed butternut squash. Saute until the squash pieces start to caramelize a bit.  If you would like to at this point, I sometimes add in some curry powder to make a curried squash soup.

Add cracked black pepper to taste, stir it all up.

Add enough chicken stock to cover the contents of the pot by half an inch or so.

Turn down the heat and let everything simmer until the squash is soft.

Mash the contents of the pot with a potato masher, or blend using an immersion blender (careful not to splash hot soup on yourself)

The soup is now ready to eat!!  You can choose to add some milk, heavy cream, coconut milk, or sour cream in upon serving to adjust the soup’s texture to your liking.

Enjoy!

Cream of (insert vegetable name here) soup.

Cream of (insert vegetable name here) soup

Cream of veggie soups are ridiculously easy to make. It gets even easier if you have one of those stick hand held immersion blenders in your kitchen.

-Peel chop and sautee one onion and a few cloves of chopped garlic on medium heat. You can sautee it in olive oil, butter, margarine, whatever, it’s your soup, do as you will.

-Add about 4 cups of chopped veg of choice to the pot (broccoli works well, so does cauliflower, butternut squash, potato and leek, carrot, corn choose any one of them)

-I like to sautee the veg a bit, getting a little bit of caramelization going.

-Add a quarter tsp of black pepper if you like black pepper

-Add 4 cups (1 litre) of vegetable or chicken stock.

-Stir the whole thing up and let it simmer until your veg is cooked.
How long will it take? Depends on the veg, broccoli will be done in just 10-15 minutes, butternut squash will take longer. Test it with a fork to see how smushy things are getting.

-When your veg is soft, grab that immersion blender, plug it in and CAREFULLY start blending the veg that is cooking in the broth. You can keep your soup as chunky or make it as smooth as you would like. If you have no immersion blender you can mash everything up with a potato masher, or for a smoother texture, let the contents of the pot cool and put small batches in your blender to whisk things up.

-Return everything to the pot if you have removed things for blending

-At this point you can add dairy to make your soup as creamy as you would like. Sometimes I leave it as it and just serve it with a spoonful of yogurt or sour cream. If you are on a diet, low fat yogurt can add a nice thickness of flavour to the soup. Don’t care about the calories? A half a cup of cream will do nicely. Worried that you’ll do the wrong thing. Take a small scoop out of the pot, and try it with a little yogurt. Is it nice? No, try some with a little milk, or some cream, or some sour cream, or some creme fraiche. It’s your soup, make it how you like it.

-Taste your soup. Is it bland? Does it need more pepper? Is there a spice that you have a thought that might go well with this vegetable puree soup that you have made? I like to add some ginger to my carrot soup, sometimes corriander, sometimes I add some curry powder to my butternut squash or carrot soup. My mom likes to throw grated sharp cheddar cheese into everything (you can’t really disagree with a move like that).

Once you get the hang of it, you can churn out a pot of soup in half an hour while doing 5 other things. It’s really that easy.
Serve with toasted Ciabatta, or Alpine grain bread and tada! Lunch is served.