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eG Cook-Off #71: Winter Squash


David Ross
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Craving something light after all the rich holiday fare. Tired of shopping but I had plenty of odd bits in the fridge and freezer so decided to make use of what was at hand.

 

The result was a vaguely Asian chicken soup with spaghetti squash subbing for the usual noodles. I simmered some fresh ginger and lemongrass with the broth. Very nice. The spaghetti squash fit right in.

 

 

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I learned something new that applies to my area (southern California).  The old people were entranced by the Delicata squash I roasted at Thanksgiving. Turns out that they are not available after Thanksgiving as they do not store well. and the market do not want to sell a product that will get rotty (had that experience with one late in season). I called several markets including Trader Joes and got a consistent answer and was pleased that they both explained the situation and were not selling poor product.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have another squash success to report.  I brought a trial squash dish to my family Christmas gathering. (We all knew there would be more food than we could eat, and several of us were up for an experiment.)  The original recipe comes from a flyer I received from the Seghesio Winery, which gets my  money on a regular basis for some excellent wines, and which includes recipes in their newsletter.  This recipe is not presently on their web site. I took a few necessary liberties with the recipe, but the credit should be all theirs.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash with Whole Grain Mustard Vinaigrette, from Seghesio Family Vineyards.

 

2 lbs. butternut squash, diced into 1-1/2" pieces 

2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

2 T olive oil

 

1/4c whole grain mustard

2T honey

2T cider vinegar

1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

 

Preheat oven to 400F.  Toss squash in mixing bowl with rosemary and olive oil (the 2T at top).  Place in oven on sheet pan in a single layer.  While squash is roasting make the vinaigrette: combine mustard, honey and vinegar in mixing bowl.  Slowly whisk in extra-virgin olive oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Squash is done when there is no resistance when pierced with a toothpick (approximately 20 minutes).  When squash is done, transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with vinaigrette. Seghesio recommends pairing it with their 2011 Block Zinfandel.

 

Liberties:

1. With all the squash I had on hand waiting to be used, I discovered that I did not have butternut squash.  I had acorn squash and some small, bright orange squash of about the same size as an acorn squash.  I diced and used those.  In the process I decided that the acorn squash was a major pain to peel, what with all those ridges.  That's probably why they recommended butternut.

2. I had no whole-grain mustard, and used Dijon instead.

3. I used dried rosemary and guesstimated the equivalent amount, and tossed the entire roasted-dressed assembly with more rosemary before serving.

 

I think this must be a pretty forgiving recipe.  Despite the liberties, the dish was a hit, even to the squash-dislikers at the table.  It's likely to make its way into more family gatherings.  I wish I'd taken a photo, or could link to theirs, but I didn't and can't.  Trust me that it was as pretty as it was good, and I recommend this treatment.

Edited by Smithy
speling (log)
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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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18 hours ago, Smithy said:

I have another squash success to report.  I brought a trial squash dish to my family Christmas gathering. (We all knew there would be more food than we could eat, and several of us were up for an experiment.)  The original recipe comes from a flyer I received from the Seghesio Winery, which gets my  money on a regular basis for some excellent wines, and which includes recipes in their newsletter.  This recipe is not presently on their web site. I took a few necessary liberties with the recipe, but the credit should be all theirs.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash with Whole Grain Mustard Vinaigrette, from Seghesio Family Vineyards.

 

2 lbs. butternut squash, diced into 1-1/2" pieces 

2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

2 T olive oil

 

1/4c whole grain mustard

2T honey

2T cider vinegar

1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

 

Preheat oven to 400F.  Toss squash in mixing bowl with rosemary and olive oil (the 2T at top).  Place in oven on sheet pan in a single layer.  While squash is roasting make the vinaigrette: combine mustard, honey and vinegar in mixing bowl.  Slowly whisk in extra-virgin olive oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Squash is done when there is no resistance when pierced with a toothpick (approximately 20 minutes).  When squash is done, transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with vinaigrette. Seghesio recommends pairing it with their 2011 Block Zinfandel.

 

Liberties:

1. With all the squash I had on hand waiting to be used, I discovered that I did not have butternut squash.  I had acorn squash and some small, bright orange squash of about the same size as an acorn squash.  I diced and used those.  In the process I decided that the acorn squash was a major pain to peel, what with all those ridges.  That's probably why they recommended butternut.

2. I had no whole-grain mustard, and used Dijon instead.

3. I used dried rosemary and guesstimated the equivalent amount, and tossed the entire roasted-dressed assembly with more rosemary before serving.

 

I think this must be a pretty forgiving recipe.  Despite the liberties, the dish was a hit, even to the squash-dislikers at the table.  It's likely to make its way into more family gatherings.  I wish I'd taken a photo, or could link to theirs, but I didn't and can't.  Trust me that it was as pretty as it was good, and I recommend this treatment.

 

I like the tangy flavors of mustard and vinegar against the rich, creaminess of squash.  Sounds delicious!

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  • 3 years later...

Time to bring back another favorite in our Cook-Off series.  Just in time for your holiday cooking, Winter Squash.  I just found a recipe for pumpkin grits that looks interesting, and I do a fair pumpkin risotto.  I won't, ever, do risotto for a crowd.  Only for a small number of folks so I can bring it hot off the stove and serve it right away. 

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1 hour ago, David Ross said:

I won't, ever, do risotto for a crowd.  Only for a small number of folks so I can bring it hot off the stove and serve it right away. 

Yup. It’s a trap that Top Chef contestants fall into every season. 

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I'm working on a risotto with wild chanterelle mushrooms right now, maybe will do a winter squash one next week.  I'm blown away when I see a tray of risotto in a buffet line sitting over steaming water.  It's like warm congealed rice. 

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18 minutes ago, David Ross said:

I'm working on a risotto with wild chanterelle mushrooms right now, maybe will do a winter squash one next week.  I'm blown away when I see a tray of risotto in a buffet line sitting over steaming water.  It's like warm congealed rice. 

Only fit for arrancini

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Here's my take on Evan Funke's Triangoli di Zucca con Burro e Salvia (triangoli with squash, butter & sage) from his recent book, American Sfoglino

The filling was a surprise to me.  I expected to add something extra (ham, goat cheese, gorgonzola?) to boost the flavor and temper the sweetness of the squash but when I tasted it, I loved the intense squash flavors and skipped any other additions. 

The recipe says to boil the squash until tender, purée it, then cook it with butter and a couple of sage leaves, stirring constantly until it thickens.  I roasted butternut squash and used rather less butter than he specifies, cooking it down until it reduced to ~ half the original volume.  Edited to add that I posted the recipe for the butternut squash filling over here

The book uses an egg pasta dough, I went with an egg, bread flour and stone ground wheat dough using whole grain, stone ground spelt from Marc Vetri's Mastering Pasta.  I thought this slightly more chewy pasta would be a good contrast to the smooth squash filling. 

2.5" pasta squares with the squash filling:

IMG_1496.thumb.jpeg.50e636726e0bc08d5fe1fdd5cf2f283e.jpeg

 

Triangoli:

IMG_1497.thumb.jpeg.d8e42de8a5b01328b11d4a9d37ce012b.jpeg

 

Plated with the sage and brown butter sauce and my additions of toasted hazelnuts and gorgonzola dolce

IMG_1506.thumb.jpeg.c1075d5e9bb46b1427f35820ab52ea97.jpeg

 

 

Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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  • 3 years later...

I can only get to one mainstream market these days and Delicata squash fonally showed up. Then last trip - nope - BUT picked up this cute Carnival. I've not used it before. Planning to split and stuff to roast - Aidell's cCjun Andouille, egg and few breadcrumbs to bind, and the bits of parm and asiago in frige. The oranges in the photo are just tip of the icebergover here so maybe iclide some zest. Later this week.  Will report back. Re-reading this topic gpt me excoited. On way out of store there was a big pile of what looked like sugar pumpkins for cheap so next time.

IMG_1849.jpg

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21 minutes ago, heidih said:

I can only get to one mainstream market these days and Delicata squash fonally showed up. Then last trip - nope - BUT picked up this cute Carnival. I've not used it before. Planning to split and stuff to roast - Aidell's cCjun Andouille, egg and few breadcrumbs to bind, and the bits of parm and asiago in frige. The oranges in the photo are just tip of the icebergover here so maybe iclide some zest. Later this week.  Will report back. Re-reading this topic gpt me excoited. On way out of store there was a big pile of what looked like sugar pumpkins for cheap so next time.

IMG_1849.jpg

 

That sounds delicious.  I had forgotten about this topic and so had posted the picture of  this year's squash haul elsewhere.  I'll post them below, in it's proper topic.  We are having the last of the delicata tonight with roasted chicken thighs, gravy, stuffing and said squash.  

20221022_173155.jpg

20221020_155819.jpg

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23 minutes ago, heidih said:

@ElsieD wow nice assortment. The ones that have turrban topknot - is that like the neck end of a butternut- solid flesh?  Looking forward to seeing your vaious preps.

 

Yes, the turban part is edible.

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@heidih, thanks for reviving this. Delicata and Carnival are my two favorite winter squash. I generally treat the Carnival the same way you do. It makes a perfect 2-person meal, sometimes with leftovers.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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2 minutes ago, gfweb said:

 

I recently got a couple.  Roasted them.  They weren't very sweet at all

 

We haven't tried ours yet.  I'll post when we do.  Did you eat the skin?

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1 hour ago, ElsieD said:

 

We haven't tried ours yet.  I'll post when we do.  Did you eat the skin?

Nope.

Henry got it and seemed satisfied 😉

Edited by gfweb (log)
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I find winter squashes can run the gamut from bit blah to "who would add sugar to this?". Maybe growng conditions. When I pre-nuke to get t going I taste amd that gives me an idea of sugar level.

 

Another thing I've noticed over time is how cultures other than US treat"pumpkn" aka winter squashes as an everyday starch to roast or add to stews . My sister in Sydney often does and I've seen it globally (on food travel videos ;) ) The large local Latin market sells cuts fom large ones so you can get what you need and they do the muscle work on the big guys. Local Japanese markets like Mitsuwa and Nijiya usually have kabocha in halves so you see what you get and don't have to buy whole thing.

 

Although incorporating in dishes is fun I do like to roast slices or chunks amd keep on hand as a snack - cold even.

Edited by heidih (log)
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14 hours ago, gfweb said:

 

I recently got a couple.  Roasted them.  They weren't very sweet at all

 

I get these in my CSA sometimes.  I find that although they are not that much sweeter than a butternut, they have a more pleasing texture.  They are less watery. I guess.  Plus, they are the perfect size for serving half to each diner.  Right now I have a bunch of different winter squashes and potatoes in storage from my CSA:

 

IMG_2390.thumb.jpg.314faf81e98e28e23951d0067a7ee09f.jpg

 

I store them in my pantry in a big wooden box I filched from my husband's wine room.  It has four compartments, and usually my various squashes and potatoes slot neatly into it so I can see what I have at a glance.  Right now I am overrun.  I am cooking the orange one and maybe one of the green speckled ones tonight using this recipe:

 

pumpkin stuffed with everything good

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On 11/21/2022 at 11:00 AM, heidih said:

I can only get to one mainstream market these days and Delicata squash fonally showed up. Then last trip - nope - BUT picked up this cute Carnival. I've not used it before. Planning to split and stuff to roast - Aidell's cCjun Andouille, egg and few breadcrumbs to bind, and the bits of parm and asiago in frige. The oranges in the photo are just tip of the icebergover here so maybe iclide some zest. Later this week.  Will report back. Re-reading this topic gpt me excoited. On way out of store there was a big pile of what looked like sugar pumpkins for cheap so next time.

IMG_1849.jpg

 

I made this today and have enjoyed a whole half.  Totally forgot the orange element. I left the stuffing uncooked - worked out well. A note to those who want to pre-nuke: I struck whole guy in cheapo MW for minutes. Could hear bit of spitting. Let it cool down and did another 2. Stuck knife in - hard so did another 1-1/2 minutes. Let cool. At first I thought oops overdone. Scooped out seeds, added stuffing and baked at 375F until smelled great and top bits getting brown. The skin crisped up a bit. I'd do it again. Seeds (so many!) soaked for an hour in very salty water and roasted. Nice. ETA: I added a fat juicy serrano chile and that really made it singe for me.

IMG_1852.jpg

Edited by heidih (log)
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Here's the pumpkin stuffed with everything good, fresh from the oven.  The stuffing expanded and pushed the lids off, which turned out to be a good thing because we all liked the crispy top part the best.  Overall, it was quite tasty but I think the filling could benefit from some sautéed leeks or onions in addition to the garlic that is called for.  

 

psweg.thumb.jpg.af9f9246eb3393bb802c2e4a24d495ff.jpg

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Last night we had a lovely pumpkin dish from Yottam Ottolenghi - glazed a roast with a tahini sauce, “gremolata” and burrata. 
 

The pumpkin was roast in wedges for about 45 minutes with some red onions and spices. Glaze was made with a reduction of balsamic and pomegranate molasses. 

357DB956-38EF-4691-B958-E412447F41E0.jpeg

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