It’s harvest time for winter squashes. How many of these beauties have you tried?
- Sweet Dumpling
Winter squashes can be baked or boiled, though boiling is a lot more work. Peeling and dicing the tough skinned veggies in order to boil the inner flesh isn’t easy. The simplest way to cook these wonderful anti-oxidant filled beauties is in the oven.
Fist scrub the outside under running water to remove all dirt. Carefully cut the squash in half and remove all seeds and strings. Brush the flesh with oil and cook right side up in a 3500 preheated oven until tender (30-60 minutes). Or don’t brush it with anything and cook it with the cut side down. Or even easier, bake it whole after piercing the skin several times with a knife or a skewer.
For a sweet version, you can brush the flesh with orange juice, cook until it is 80-90% done then cover the flesh with a glaze of honey, brown sugar, oil and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, a touch of cayenne). If you score the flesh before putting it in the oven, it will hold the juices better.
Winter squash can also be filled with any concoction from vegetarian rice or quinoa based stuffing to meat based stuffing. Or you can cook it and cut it into cubes to store in the freezer to add to recipes as needed.
Spaghetti squash is unusual due to its stringy texture. You can cook this one with the cut side down or cook it whole. You can use it like spaghetti with any sauce you choose or heat up butter with lots of fresh garlic, basil, and parmesan cheese and toss with squash strands. All you have to do to get the strands is scrape the pulp out of the cooked squash with a fork. It divides up into strands much like pasta.
Delicata Squash Fries Recipe
My favorite thing about delicata squash is that you can eat the skin. It makes them perfect for squash fries.
- 1 delicata Squash
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- Sea salt, black pepper, paprika to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Cut the delicata squash in half and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into pieces roughly ¼ of an inch.
- Put the squash in a mixing bowl and add the coconut oil and spices. Mix it all together. It’s easier to do this if you heat up the coconut oil so it coats the squash.
- Distribute the squash evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat. Bake the fries for 30 minutes or until slightly browned and crispy, turning them over halfway through the baking cycle.
The fries taste the best hot out of the oven.
Since this recipe is a fairly simple, it’s great for experimenting with different spices and flavors. You could substitute cayenne pepper for paprika if you want more of a kick. You could also try using herbs like rosemary or thyme. The possibilities for a delicious fall veggie dish are only as limited as your imagination!
It would be fun to try every squash on the list, if you haven’t already had the pleasure. Kabocha tastes like a combination of a sweet potato and a pumpkin, sweet dumpling squash tastes a little like corn, and turban tastes a bit like hazelnuts.
What are your favorite winter squash recipes?