All that winter squash....

I'll admit it - while I do love growing and harvesting winter squash, I can really only eat so much of it roasted or steamed with butter, etc... The keeping quality and variety of squash available though appeals to the gardener and preserver in me! I want to have more squash in my family's diet - so does anyone here have some awesome recipes or cooking ideas to share???

I did come across an excellent dish that I had in a restaurant recently which I will do my best to replicate at home - it had pureed butternut squash topped with pasta, crumbled bacon, and fresh peas, and I am sure there was some sauted garlic in there too - SO GOOD!!!

Please share some recipes or cooking ideas below - I am all ears! 😊

Comments

  • gardneto76
    gardneto76 Posts: 528 ✭✭✭✭

    I just had a dish the other day with puréed squash on the bottom with bacon wrapped asparagus, seared scallops, sautéed shrimp, pickled onions, and toasted pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top. 🤤. It was so good!

    I am going to slice some of mine thin and bake them into chips, think kale chips but with squash. We have even coated cubes of it and made “baked seasoned fries” out of different vegetables. Our kids love them, just be careful not to over do the cayenne pepper.

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭

    My mom makes terrific soup- saute and onion and an apple, add desired herbs, and blend with roasted winter squash and broth of choice. We have used chicken broth but actually prefer pork.

    I had a squash/pumpkin and beef dish at a Nepali and Bhutanese restaurant the other day. It was called beef Kakaru, and I haven't been able to find a recipe- sorry, not much help here. The waitress did tell me that they slow cook beef with ginger and other seasoning, then cook the pumpkin in the beef broth.

    I have also made squash cheese sauce. I don't have a recipe, I just dump until it taste right, but I blend squash with coconut milk, seasonings, and nutritional yeast. Recently I made it with some lacto-fermented shishito peppers and it was very good- like nacho sauce. There are a ton of recipes online- search for "vegan squash cheese sauce" Oh yeah, and if you haven't use nutritional yeast before, I strongly recommend you get an unfortified yeast, and use it in conjunction with some form of salt and fat. With salt and fat, it taste cheesy; without, not so much.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    Here is a butternut squash recipe that could be adapted for any squash.

    Roasted Butternut Squash and Spinach

    Ingredients:

    1 medium butternut squash

    2 Tbsp olive oil + 1 tsp olive oil

    Salt & Pepper

    ¼ cup chopped almonds

    ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

    1 pinch cayenne pepper

    4 cups baby spinach

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 400°.

    On a large, rimmed baking sheet, toss butternut squash cubes with 2 Tbsp olive oil and salt & pepper.

    Roast for 20-30 minutes or until nearly done.

    Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss the almonds with the remaining oil and sprinkle with the cinnamon and cayenne.

    Scatter the almonds over the squash and continue roasting for another 5 minutes or until the almonds are golden and the squash is tender.

    Remove from oven and scatter spinach over top of the squash and almonds and let sit for 1 minute.

    Gently fold together and serve.

    Serves 4 but can easily be cut in half.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,461 admin

    The tradition where I come from is to dry it and add to soups throughout the year.

  • Obiora E
    Obiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭

    I have made pureed soups with various winter squashes: Butterkin, Butternut, Acorn, Pumpkin, and others. I add various spices to them and sometimes even some chiles if I want some heat. I may also sometimes add carrots, beets, turnips, and other roots to give it a different color and flavor (but in less quantity than the winter squashes). Some of the spices may include Ceylon Cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, nutmeg, clove, black pepper, garlic.

    You may also try making bread. I made a bread with Paw Paw last year. I am going to make one with Pumpkin this year.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,461 admin

    In my Permaculture Food group, someone asked for options on Hubbard Squash - here was my reply:

    Cut off the top and seed, stuff with ground pork, onions, salt, pepper, red pepper and sage... or your favorite pork sausage... I usually add a little extra sage and red pepper... and use a heavy hand with the salt, because you need to season both the meat and the squash...I like a little garlic, too... roast in the oven until tender. Another option is soup.... puree and combine with chicken stock, cream, herbs and such... or roast, puree, add flour and make gnocchi... serve with butter and sage. Also good in muffins, bread, pies, soufflé, etc. Oh, and be sure to dry some for later use - great in soups or with good, bitter greens. Also, really good roasted and sliced, served with butter and curry or chili powder.... maybe some feta cheese. Good in succotash too, with corn , onions, tomato and lima beans. This squash is also a good combo with stronger/fattier game...

  • Fts
    Fts Posts: 16 ✭✭✭

    One of the really different ways I’ve had winter squash done it as a salad , Using squash roasted squash cubes, cooked quinoa, a little bit of onion and dried fruit. These toss together with balsamic vinaigrette and topped with a little bit of toasted pumpkin seeds. This is also something that can be served warm or cold.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    I really like pumpkin seeds in a salad. But I also like them as a garnish on squash soup.

  • AmberRomkee
    AmberRomkee Posts: 4 ✭✭

    Squash is one of the main reasons I garden, I have several auto-immune diseases, food allergies and sensitivities and lymes diesase - squash is one of the few items I can eat.

    I love Butternut, kabocha and a few other dry fleshed squashes. I cube them up and boil them, stir fry them, but my favorite thing to do is slice the drier fleshed squash with a mandolin then fry the chips in beef fat. OH MY GOODNESS - so yummy!

  • cre8tiv369
    cre8tiv369 Posts: 67 ✭✭✭

    Winter squash can be a treasure for creative cooks. Winter squashes lend themselves to sweet just as easily as savory, a few varieties can cook up fairly moist, some cook up dry and starchy, and all of them can be used to the advantage of your taste buds. The majority of flavor is in the seed slop, and if you are making a soup or puree, you would do well to remember not to waste that flavor (especially for a pie or a soup). But you should also take heed because some human skin is prone to react (like an instant chemical burn) from the slightest touch of that goopy mess, but fear not, heat transforms that skin reaction just like it does for stinging nettles and makes them safe. Squash can also stain the skin, cutting boards, clothing, kitchen towels, etc. so this is a good time to don a pair of surgical gloves and use a few paper towels if you need to. Some squash has thin skin and adds good nutrition without harming texture, so use it when you can and peel it off when you can't. Some winter squashes have incredibly tough skins and protects the inside flesh during roasting. There are tons of recipes online, and be sure to read the reviews as they can help add insights and point out problems. I love to cube butternut squash (skin on, 1 inch), drizzle/spritz it in some olive oil and coarse sea salt (one of the few times I prefer a coarse salt to a delicate kosher because it lasts through the roast and final sauté) once the butternut is roasted, sautéed some greens with butter and garlic (adding some bacon or roasted seeds can be nice as a final garnish for this dish), Greens can be anything you choose, I do this with swiss chard, beet greens, spinach, kale, stinging nettle, mustard greens, collard greens, napa cabbage, etc. once the greens are nice and edible, mix in the roasted squash and mix it/combine well. The soft starchy squash can cut the acidity of any greens, and it makes for a really nice contrast. There are a lot of variations of that recipe, I prefer to use a squash that has a thin skin that isn't too tough. Sweet also goes really well with squash and fruits can be combined with squash in similar ways to the greens but with sweetness as the emphasis rather than savory. Diced apples, sautéed with diced winter squash with cinnamon and brown sugar or maple syrup can bring a perfect pork chop to a new level. Pork seems to goes really well with dry winter squashes, as do sausages and any fatty meats. But winter squashes can go with almost anything including dessert. And if you are doing a soup or will be mashing the squash, then try try try to always cook that slimy pulpy stringy mess that surrounds the seeds and add that in. Save the seeds for roasting or planting, those are pure golden goodness in their own right, but that pulp can take a winter squash dish from ok to wow just by including that flavor packed slop in the finished dish or cooking. You are not going to use it in the sauté I mentioned earlier, but any soups or mashed squash dishes should include it. Mashed squash can be sweet or savory or cheesy or garlicky or vinegar tangy or even lemony to accompany seafood. Acorn squashed halved and baked with butter and brown sugar are a favorite of many, small squashes can be par roasted and then filled with soup and act as an edible bowl (french onion in a mini pumpkin, with a bubbly melted swiss top cap is just as good as manhattan clam chowder in an acorn squash). Make a corned beef squash hash or use it like the indians did in a succotash, our just add it to any soup you can practically think of. Winter squashes are awesome as a pallet or a medium for any culinary artistry your heart desires. No need to just roast or steam it, it's so incredibly versatile, nutritious, healthy, so easy to keep and grow, and it goes with any spices and herbs and pairs so well with the bioavailable animal fats that fuel our omnivore brains. One other thing to keep in mind is that winter squashes clean soil and are used (much like sunflowers) to remediate soil, they are extremely good at absorbing heavy metals like mercury, lead, arsenic, etc. so you always want organic, grown in clean soil, otherwise you will be eating those poisons/toxins (as well as any poisonous/toxic chemicals they absorbed via non organic farming practices - Yuck).

  • chimboodle04
    chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

    @cre8tiv369 wow! after all of that wonderful info, I have to ask.... Do you have any particular favorite varieties to cook with??? Part of my problem may very well be I have been sticking with the butternut/acorn same old same old....! Thanks for the inspiration never the less!:)

  • archer777
    archer777 Posts: 4 ✭✭✭

    Squash Flan

    preheat oven 350

    2 cups baked squash cooled ( North Georgia Candy Roaster is really good.)

    6 eggs

    6 tsp home grown ground green stevia

    1 tablespoon organic pumpkin pie spice

    1/4 cup honey plus a few tablespoons

    nuts walnuts or pecans work well

    coconut oil


    Blend in food processor squash, eggs, stevia, pumpkin pie spice and honey

    In a oven proof pan (I use my small cast iron Dutch oven. ) melt a few teaspoons coconut oil. Add honey and then Cover the bottom of the pan with nuts. After the nuts lightly brown remove from heat. After the coconut oil sets up a bit so it won’t spread all over pour the squash mix in pan. Place covered pan in a skillet of water Bake for 1 hour until knife comes out clean.

    Remove from oven let cool completely. Then refrigerate pan. After a few hours. Run knife around the edge of the pan. Put a plate that is bigger than the pan over the top and flip it over. The flan will come out with the nuts on top. Slice and serve with a little honey drizzled over the top.

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭

    @Merin Porter I use left over baked squash.

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Oh, I'm going to try some of these! I have never really acquired a taste for squash, but I'm willing to try again.

  • cre8tiv369
    cre8tiv369 Posts: 67 ✭✭✭

    No favorites, I like anything I can get or grow. There are so many varieties of of squashes and there can be a lot of variation within a basic class, sweetness, moist or dry, flavor intensity, etc. Squashes have been a winter staple for an incredibly long time all over the world. There is a ton of variety to be had just by looking for recipes from different parts of the world (its a great way to explore, learn about history, discover cool stories, and learn more about the world and the ingredient, stumble onto new varieties, etc.). I find I enjoy the journey and history as much as the foods. In japan they do a lot of veggies and squashes Nimono style, and asian cuisine has a lot of history and wisdom with food and balance of texture, flavors, and appearance. Kabocha no Nimono is a simple dish that is worth looking into and can teach you a lot about squash (if you let it) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrGEKkdBVnE ... I like all the different cool and unusual looks and colors of different squashes, red kuri or Guatemalan blue, turban, delicata, hubbards, butternuts, pumpkins, etc. They are very artistic and fun to look at as decoration as well as good eats. If you get tired of the squashy-ness of squash, then I recommend looking for recipes that do hardcore alchemy and seriously transmute the squash into different forms; pastas, ravioli, risotto, breads, pastries, meringues, butter cream frostings, cake, cookies, ice cream, or archer's flan recipe above, etc. Squashes have a nice sweet earthy flavor that goes well with baking spices and they are really easy to puree and that gives them a lot of potential to flavor a serious chunk or baking or cooking applications.

  • Marjory Wildcraft
    Marjory Wildcraft Posts: 1,613 admin

    Wow, I too am loving all these recipes. I've got a good stash of winter squashes in my pantry... one thing I like to do is let them sit for at least amonth (three is better) as they get sweeter given time. The starches turn to sugars... yummy.

    Right now I am just loving the zucchini I froze from the summer's garden. It was so tasty this year.

  • cre8tiv369
    cre8tiv369 Posts: 67 ✭✭✭

    Slow cooking will also convert starches to sugar, (in case you just can't wait for your gourds to cure or find some that are a wee bit too starchy for your taste).

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭

    My mom used to make a cheesy squash casserole. It was really good, but we got away from making it- and now I am restricting my dairy. So I came up with a variation a few a weeks ago. We really love it. Yesterday I made it again, and ..wonder of wonders... I remembered to write down my proportions this time. This makes a big batch.

    Saute until lightly browned

    1 large onion in

    4 tbs. coconut oil( other fats should work)

    Set a aside to cool slightly, then beat in

    3 medium eggs

    7 tbs. almond flour

    1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil(probably could skip, was looking to add a nutty flavor)

    2 tsp. salt

    5 tbs. nutritional yeast

    6 c. mashed hubbard squash.

    season generously with thyme, black pepper, cayenne, and garlic powder. I highly recommend that you take a spoonful of the mixture out and pan fry it to test for seasoning- it may take more than you think.

    Heat oven to 400 F. Melt 1 tbs. coconut oil on a large deep baking sheet.(I stick in in the oven a minute to melt the oil). Spread the squash on the sheet and bake for 25 minutes, or until set and browning at edges.

    Please note that I used hubbard squash, and it was quite dry. A wetter squash might need more almond flour or more time in the oven.

    This would make a good side dish on its own, but we top it with beans and veggies and use it as a main dish. Yesterday I used a bean saute (soldier beans, carrots, onions, celery, spices, a little marmite) to top it when we served it. The first time I topped it when it was partly cooked with pesto seasoned garbanzo beans, radish greens, and shallot, and cooked until the garbanzos started to get crispy. I was inspired by this pizza recipe, but wanted the sauce and crust all in one.https://minimalistbaker.com/butternut-squash-veggie-pizza/

  • herbantherapy
    herbantherapy Posts: 453 ✭✭✭✭

    Wow, so many great recipes I want to try! I’m going to be printing this thread.

    My two cents is not a recipe per se.

    If you have an instant pot and haven’t cooked a whole squash yet...do it!! The whole skin peels off and there is no flesh left behind.

    1 cup of water.

    Put the whole squash on a rack to keep it out of the water.

    Set it to pressure and manual time at 7 to 10 minutes. (Depends in size and hardness. As an example: A medium spaghetti squash is only 7 minutes typically.)

    Then just slice through a butternut like...well, like butter!

    Now that it’s so fast and easy I make up a couple at a time and portion them out for meals and freeze. 💕

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @herbantherapy Thanks for the Instant Pot directions! I should be able to eat more squash now (I have a hard time peeling and cutting the hard squashes.)

  • I just saw a short video by a chef (I can look up the name if anyone is interested) about winter squash. She said that you can bake them whole then cool and use however. This keeps away those nasty cuts when the knife slides on the tough skin lol. I'm going to try it. She uses it on spaghetti squash as well as butternut, acorn, small pumpkins etc. I'll have to look for the video because I don't remember the time and temp lol. The video was less than 2 minutes I think.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    @seeker.nancy I saw this recently on one of Jamie Oliver's shows! It was a butternut squash that he was using. I haven't tried it yet but certainly makes things look easy. It was 350° for an hour and a half. But I would think that the time would depend on the squash size and variety you are using.