Currently viewing the tag: "winter squash"

Be sure not to overcook the spinach. This recipe yields some nice color on the plate. The pepitas (pumpkin seeds) are there to provide a crunchy contrast, but if you don’t want to take the time to clean the seeds or if they are just too few to be worth the effort, use store bought or substitute toasted pine nuts instead. The ingredients list looks long, but half of it is just options you can choose from. This is a fairly simple recipe that can go in many directions with ease.

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With the orange squash and almost black ribbons of lacinato, this dish is great for Halloween parties, although anytime is a good time for these flavors. It is great as a side dish with poultry, pork, and sausage, or add grains and mushrooms to it for a hearty vegetarian main course.

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The “sauce” is similar, I suppose, to a salsa verde (Italian, not Mexican), except it has nuts. And no capers or lemon. Anyway, the bright herbaceousness and the nutty flavors work really well with the earthy sweetness of the squash. Kabocha tend to be drier than other squash, such as acorn or butternut, so the topping is stands out all the more. Pine nuts are a great choice in lieu of hazels, and you could even give this dish a South West slant by using cinnamon and coriander seed on the squash and adding a little cilantro to the garnish. The peel is edible on kabocha by the way.

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cinderella-pumpkinsIt’s starting to feel like fall around here—warm and sunny. At times the sun is filtered through smoke from the Sobrantes fire, casting things in an orange glow. As with past Big Sur fires, because of the rough terrain, it will probably burn until the rains start later in fall, and our air quality will suffer as a result.

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This is a dish I eat for breakfast from left-overs, or as dinner if I am alone and want something simple and satisfying as a “comfort food”. The main parts are the winter squash, onions, and greens, but feel free to add mushrooms, tomatoes, beets, or apple. Eggs poached or fried either way, as long as the yolks is soft and can run into the ingredients as a sauce. I douse them with plenty of something spicy and vinegary.

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Make this with wild rice, or if you have other leftover grains, you can use those. The flavor of wild rice goes perfectly with other ingredients.

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An autumnal salad that is pretty to look at and tastes of the coming season. The ingredients act as foils and links all at the same time, and form a sort of flavor merry-go-round with each other. If you wish, you can add diced apples for more sweetness and crunch to the salad. See the “option” in the recipe.

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INGREDIENTS:

2 large, 4 medium Delicata squash, split lengthwise and cleaned

½ pound lean ground lamb or beef

2 cups zucchini, cut into fine dice

¼ cup onion, cut into fine dice

1 cup chard stems, cut into fine dice, washed and dried

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This dish is a cross of a braise, a soup, and something with a sauce. The liquid is cooked down until it starts to thicken, but it never gets very thick. The pumpkin is roasted in the oven, so it is not a braise, nor is it a soup. Whatever it is, it is good. Serve as a starter, or serve it over rice or noodles. You could add tofu to the soup along with other vegetables to make it more substantial, but I like the way this version lets the pumpkin sing out.

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This pureé makes a nice accompaniment to greens with earthy flavors or meats such as pork and chicken. Roasting the squash makes for a deeper flavor, and keeps the squash from getting soggy leaving the pureé watery and bland. The addition of onion rounds out the flavors.

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Pureeing fennel, leeks, and butternut squash give this soup a rich creamy texture while the absence of cream or other dairy keeps it light and airy. This would even be good as a cold soup on a hot day, or could be used as a sauce for light proteins such as chicken or goat. To use as a sauce, just use less stock to thin it with. Although the recipe looks longish, it really is simple and fairly quick, and does not require a lot of attention.

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A festival of flavors for the face. Sweet, earthy, tart, pungent, freshly herbaceous, it really is a party of tastes. Making the gremolata the day before makes this dish pretty simple to put together.

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This mélange could be used as a stuffing for poultry, Portobello mushrooms, or Delicata squash, a filling for pasta or chard leaves, or just served as a side. Add grains to it for a heartier dish, or top with pine nuts for elegance.

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This is a colorful dish with an interplay of textures and contrasts of flavors to add interest. The sauce is sweet and provides high notes, the cabbage is the mid-range and provides sweet and earthy, where the beets are mostly low range and have earthy notes tinged with a mellow sweetness. The vinegar the beets are drizzled with after roasting adds balance. Be sure to cook the cabbage just long enough render it tender, but still possessing some crunch.

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This recipe is a twist on a soup recipe, only the soup is a little thicker here and becomes the sauce.

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A variation on a theme, this soup is made easier by simply roasting the squash and scooping out the flesh rather than peeling and cutting and cooking it. It is a fairly simple dish, and is smooth enough to serve in cups to be sipped if you wish, or you could add substance to it by adding shrimp and/or some rice-even easier if you have some left over in the refrigerator. This soup can be made thicker and then double as a sauce for fish or on noodles with peppers and shrimp added to them.

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A medley of textures and flavors, this dish has a nice amount of bitter and tart to offset the sweet elements, keeping it light. This recipe would work well on the Thanksgiving table. If you do not have dates, apples work also. See Chef’s Notes.

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This is the basic technique for spaghetti squash. Using spaghetti squash typically entails two cooking steps. The first is where the squash is actually cooked, and the next is where the “spaghetti” part gets seasoned in a secondary cooking with other ingredients. This is the technique for the primary step, where the squash is cooked and separated into the strands that give the squash its name. From here, you can do all sorts of things to season the squash. Just remember not to over-cook it, and give it lots of room in the pan and minimal moisture to keep it from getting mushy. Also, I find using an oil sprayer really helps ensure an even coat of oil without having really soggy spots or dry spots, which can affect the end results.

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Peeling the squash before cutting makes it easier. Don’t worry about getting all the peel off; a little left on is fine and looks nice. If it is easier, cut it into larger pieces, and use a very sturdy peeler such as the kind with the u-shaped handle. Save the seeds to roast; just wash well and dry, then oil and sprinkle with salt and bake 10-15 minutes at 350°F or until done. Eat as is or save and use as garnish for this dish.

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Here is a twist on a favorite, the “Golden Beets and Kale Salad with Orange Cilantro Vinaigrette”. Here we see Orange Hokkaido fill in for golden beets, and some orange flavored cranberries are added for interest, and the dressing is changed up a little to back off the cilantro a bit, and an Orange Shiso dressing is offered as well, for those that have easy access to shiso.

For tips on peeling and cutting winter squash, see the article “Winter Squash” on the website.

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This is a variation on a theme for soup we call “Monday Soup”, which is a hearty vegetable soup, usually with sausage added, that can be eaten for 2-3 days after for lunches or whenever. This one uses a fair amount of fennel, and so will be a little sweet, which is countered by the greens and with vinegar added at the end.

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This soup has a rich and creamy texture, and a light body. It is a little on the sweet side from the onions and squash. If you wish to add substance to it, you could add cooked rice- Forbidden or wild rice would be nice for color and texture- and various vegetables such as carrots, mushrooms, spinach, etc. If you wish, you can roast the squash or steam it instead of sautéing it.

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This is a variation of the traditional eggplant babaganoush where pomegranate molasses is added in to lend sweetness and depth. Much of the flavor of good babaganoush comes from charring the eggplant. Here, turning the pumpkin skin down to finish the cooking caramelizes it and lends that smoky quality to the puree.

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This salad is amenable to any of several dressings; Balsamic, Maple, Apple Balsamic, Cilantro, Cinnamon Cilantro, or even Traditional Blue Cheese or Lighter Blue Cheese Dressing. Any of these will work, but here the recipe is set up with Cilantro Cinnamon Vinaigrette

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You could view this as a pasta dish, with the collards standing in for the noodles, and the squash as part of the sauce, such as the potatoes in a traditional Pasto alla Genovese, and serve it on its own, or use it as a side dish.

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This is a dish with lots of flavor, and while filling, it will not weigh you down. The apple adds an unexpected lightness and sweetness that plays well with the squash and makes an excellent foil for the earthiness of the other ingredients. Feel free to leave it out if it seems discordant to you. This basic recipe is a good starting point for playing with your food. Try different types of squash. Experiment with whatever leftover grains you might have. Switch the greens around as well as the mushrooms.

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This salad uses a dressing of Date Molasses, which is a thick syrup made of dates that has a tangy sweetness to it. The kabocha croutons can be made ahead. Be sure to use the green kabocha as it is drier than the orange.

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This dressing was designed for the Spinach Kabocha Squash and Dates salad, but will work with other spinach salads as well as salads with Little Gem or Romaine lettuces. If you have nut oils on hand, it is nice to match the oil with the nuts if you are using them in a salad. This dressing would also be a good sauce on chicken or grilled lamb chops.

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This is based on a typical Japanese technique, but the flavorings are a little more forceful than you would find in a traditional dish.

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Carnival SquashIf Dr. Seuss designed a food, I’m sure it would have been what we know as Winter Squash. From dull and stolid looking to wildly shaped and brightly colored, winter squash run the gamut. Like Dr. Seuss books, winter squash also yield a treat when you open them, a warm-colored flesh and a mellow flavor–sometimes mild and nutty, sometimes sweet.

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