Thursday, November 19, 2009

Huge Winter Squash Roundup

JJ's post inspired me. Plus the server I need to do my data work is not responding. Maybe if I eat lunch and write this post, it will be up again afterwards?

Our CSA is over for the year, but two years participation have fully warmed me up to cooking with winter squash of all sorts. I admit I began as a winter squash skeptic, but now I find myself buying squash at Whole Foods long after the CSA season is over. I generally like to spice it up, so the squash is not overwhelmingly sweet. That is, unless I'm cooking it for dessert or breakfast.

Over the last couple of months, we have sampled a whole bunch of squash varieties, several of which I was unaware of until about a year ago: butternut, buttercup, sweet dumpling, delicata, acorn, red kuri, kabocha, blue hubbard, spaghetti, and of course, pumpkin.

To keep it interesting, I have tried out dozens of squash recipes, so here are some suggestions from my best-of list. Most of these recipes work just fine with whichever type of squash you have on hand.
-Acorn squash quesadillas
My tips: sub corn tortillas for a really nutty flavor; add a can of black beans; we used just a little bit of pepper jack soy cheese (of course); poblanos are optional.
No tomatillos or jarred salsa on hand? try this recipe: 1 can tomatoes (plum or
fire-roasted, preferably), 1 tbsp scallion, 1 chopped jalapeno, 2
tbsp cilantro, 1 tsp cumin, 1 clove garlic, 1 tbsp lime or lemon juice, salt
to taste.
-Pumpkin lasagna
A seasoned (sage & nutmeg) pumpkin puree takes the place of tomato sauce here. So delicious.
I added some tofu ricotta (Veganomicon-style) between the layers.
I would use white lasagna noodles next time though; the whole wheat ones got a little too mushy.
-Mexican squash casserole
So easy and so healthy and delicious! I have made it a few times now with butternut squash.
-Winter squash & saag curry
Try the Veganomicon recipe--I adapted that one when I made it.
Next up in this vein for me is Manjula's spicy squash subsi--I haven't tried it yet though.
-Spaghetti squash with Tofu cacciatore
J ate this and was asking me where spaghetti squash had been all his life.
-Pumpkin Barley Soup (recipe below)
-Three Sisters Stew with Chard (recipe below)
-Pumpkin, cranberry, molasses breakfast bars
-Pumpkin waffles
recipe from Vegan w/a Vengeance--do you guys have that book?

Three Sisters Stew with Chard and Cornmeal Dumplings
adapted from combining a Modern Vegetarian Kitchen recipe + a Gourmet recipe
Saute over medium heat:
olive or sesame oil
1 onion
1 carrot
1 jalapeno
1 lb winter squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed

Now add:
14 oz can tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried sage
2 cans pinto beans
1 large bunch of thinly sliced chard
vegetable broth--enough to just barely cover the veggie mixture
salt and pepper to taste
Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, before adding dumplings.

Meanwhile, mix together:
1/3 cup cornmeal
2/3 cup AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp brown sugar (optional)
1/2 cup soymilk
1 tbsp olive oil
Mix the dry ingredients above together. Then stir in the wet ingreidents until just combined. Let sit for 5 minutes. Then form into rounded tablespoon-sized balls. Drop the dough balls on top of the stew. With the heat on low or medium/low (a low simmer), cover the pot, and let it steam undisturbed for 20 minutes, until the dumplings are puffed up and cooked through.

Pumpkin barley soup
Note: start this recipe after you roasted and pureed half of a sugar pumpkin.
In a large soup pot over medium heat, add:
olive oil
1 carrot
2 celery ribs
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
...pan fry until tender

deglaze with:
1/2 cup white whine

1/2 of a sugar pumpkin, oven roasted, peeled, blended in a food processor (or ~2 cans pumpkin)
1 slice of baked pumpkin chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
1 diced kohrabi, turnip, potato--whatever you have
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar (to taste, depending on how sweet your squash is already)
...simmer 20 minutes, add water as necessary. add salt to taste.

At the end, stir in:
2 cans cannelini beans, drained & rinsed
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
serve with black pepper, soy parmesan, salt to taste.


Jocelyn said...

Wonderful! I may try the Mexican squash casserole this weekend with my remaining 2 acorn squashes. I had been eyeing a pumpkin barley soup recipe for a little while and if you like it, I will have to make it soon!

jovaliquilts said...

Wow,I am so inspired! I think I want to try pumpkin barley soup soon -- I love barley and it's just the weather for something hearty like that. Yum!!