Winter Squash

Winter Squash

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Winter squash comes in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and textures. Most winter squash are interchangeable in recipes. Winter squash has excellent storability and nutritive value making it an important fall and winter vegetable for the seasonal eater. Winter squash is high in fiber and complex carbohydrates.

How to Prepare:

To boil or steam squash, cut the squash into 1-½ to 2 inch chunks peeling before or after cooking. To bake winter squash, slice in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and place face down on a cookie sheet.

How to Store:

Winter squash will store at room temperature for at least a month. Store for several months in a dry and cool (50-55 degrees) but not cold location. Bruised or damaged squash will deteriorate more quickly.

How to Cook:

You can enjoy winter squash boiled, steamed, mashed, pureed, roasted, or baked.

Information adapted from From Asparagus to Zucchini

Recipes

Squash Hash with Kale and Baked Eggs

Ingredients

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ medium butternut squash or 1 whole acorn squash (1-¼ pounds), halved, seeded, peeled, and cut into ½ -inch pieces (3-½ cups)
  • 10 ounces carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces (1-½ cups)
  • 2 cups packed coarsely chopped kale (from 1 small bunch)
  • 4 large eggs

Directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, and cilantro, then season with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large straight-sided ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes.

Add squash and carrots, season with salt and pepper, and transfer to oven. Roast, stirring once, until golden and tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir kale into squash mixture, along with ¼ cup cilantro mixture. Return to oven 7 minutes. Make 4 wells in vegetables and crack an egg into each. Season eggs with salt. Return to oven and bake until whites are set but yolks are still runny, 4 to 6 minutes. Serve, drizzled with more cilantro dressing.

Recipe and image courtesy of Martha Stewart

 

Roasted Winter Squash

Ingredients

  • 6 pounds butternut squash
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup dark unsulfured molasses
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler. Halve lengthwise, discard the seeds, then cut into 1-inch dice. Place in a large bowl. Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter ceases to foam and has turned a light brown, pull the pan off the heat and immediately add the sage, rosemary, sugar, vinegar (stand back so as not to get splattered), and molasses. Mix well and bring up to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer over medium-low heat for 1 to 2 minutes to meld the flavors. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Pour the vinegar mixture over the squash and toss well, then transfer to a heavy rimmed baking sheet or baking dish large enough to hold the squash in a single layer. Place in the oven and roast, tossing at least once, until very tender and caramelized, about 1 hour. Set aside until cool enough to handle but still warm, so the liquids are runny. Working in batches, if necessary, transfer the warm squash and all the cooking liquids to a food processor and process until smooth. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Recipe and image courtesy of Food Network

 

Creamy Butternut Squash and Parsnip Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 parsnips, chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • plain yogurt and lime zest, for serving

Preparation

Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the broth, parsnips, squash, and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the squash is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Working in batches, puree in a blender until smooth. Stir in the lime juice. Serve topped with the yogurt, lime zest, and pepper.

Recipe and image courtesy of Real Simple

 

Chickpea, Spinach & Squash Gnocchi

Ingredients

  • 1 pound frozen or shelf-stable gnocchi
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced peeled butternut squash or unpeeled delicata squash (1- to 2-inch-long slices)
  • ½ cup sliced shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-14-ounce can vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons currants
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried rubbed
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 8 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1-15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar reduction or 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preparation

If using frozen gnocchi, cook in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Drain, rinse and pat dry. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, squash, shallots and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in broth, currants, sage and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring, until the squash is almost cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Add spinach, chickpeas and the gnocchi and cook, gently stirring, until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes more. Serve drizzled with balsamic reduction (or balsamic vinegar).

Recipe and image courtesy of Eating Well

 

Pizza Del Papa (Butternut Squash and Smoked Mozzarella Pizza)

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1 lb.), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ¾ cup olive oil, plus more
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1-¼ lb. smoked mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. ricotta
  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • 2 small zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 each red and yellow bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 pizza dough
  • 16 fresh basil leaves
  • Fine semolina, for dusting

Preparation

Heat oven to 500 degrees. Toss butternut squash with ¼ cup olive oil and salt on a baking sheet; bake until tender, 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a food processor with ¼ pounds of mozzarella, plus ricotta, cream, and salt; purée until smooth. Heat ¼ cup oil and chile flakes in a 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and salt; cook until golden, 8-10 minutes, and transfer to a bowl. Add remaining oil to skillet; return to medium-high heat. Add peppers; cook until golden, 5-7 minutes.

Place a pizza stone under the broiler; heat for 30 minutes. Working in 4 batches, dust 1 ball dough with semolina. Using your fingertips, press dough into a 10″ circle about ¼ inch thick, leaving a 1 inch crust around the edges. Hold dough straight up, and with fingertips circling crust, slide fingers around crust in a circular motion as you would turn a steering wheel until dough in the center is stretched to about ⅛ inches thick; transfer to a semolina-dusted pizza peel. Spread ½ cup squash purée over dough and distribute a quarter each of the zucchini, peppers, and remaining cheese, plus basil leaves; drizzle with oil. Slide pizza onto stone; broil until cheese melts and crust is puffed and charred in spots, 3-4 minutes. Serve hot.

Recipe and image courtesy of Saveur