Sunday, November 13, 2011

Contest and Giveaway!

I know you're thinking about it already... next year's garden. I'm going to fuel that hunger with a contest.

I just bought some beautiful winter squash from a local farmer. Provide me with your favourite squash recipe in the comments. I will evaluate the recipes, and on December 1st I will choose the recipe my family enjoyed the most. The winner will receive a package of Burgess Buttercup winter squash seeds and a package of Bohemian Flat Podded Sugar Snap pea seed (yes, the pea seeds you cannot buy in stores!).


  1. OK, here is my recipe for Butternut Squash Apple (or Pear)Gratin:
    1 Tbsp butter
    1 medium onion, sliced
    1 apple, sliced (I used a pear)
    1 tsp fresh thyme
    1 butternut squash, peeled and thinly sliced (I might have used an amber cup, as well)
    salt and pepper to taste

    In a bowl...
    1 and 1/2 heavy cream
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp sugar

    Preheat oven to 350F

    Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add onion, salt and pepper. Stir occasionally till golden brown. Then add apple or pear. Cook 21 minutes stirring occasionally. Add thyme and set aside.

    In 9x11 pan:
    Layer squash, overlapping slightly. Cover with some onion mixture. Repeat till all ingredients are used. Puch top layer down firmly. Pour cream mixture over. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and puch down. Cover and put back in over for 15 minutes.

  2. I recently had the most delicious squash I've ever had when I visited some farmer friends. It was like I'd never had squash before. If they were to describe the process, it would go something like this:

    Choose the nicest looking squash you can find in the storage pile...maybe something like a buttercup-hubbard cross, or something.

    Cut a little of the skin off...if the flesh is the brightest orange, cut the squash into segments and remove (and save) the seeds.

    (If the flesh is a little dull in colour, never fear. Cut it into rough chunks and feed it to the milk cow at the next milking.)

    Put the squash segments into a large pot with a little water. Steam, covered, until soft but not mushy.

    Serve as is, hot or cool.

    Repeat the above steps all winter. When the chosen squash is particularly wonderful and sweet with dense flesh, keep the seeds and plant them in the spring to see what comes up.

  3. Squash Risotto

    You can use any sweet firm orange squash, or a crumbly winter squash if you don't mind the risotto being more orange and a bit gloopier.

    - 1 cup arborio or short grain rice
    - 2 tbsp olive oil
    - 2 tbsp butter
    - 1 onion or 2 shallots
    - 1 small-ish butternut or 1/2 big winter squash (turks hat or similar)
    - about 1 litre veggie or fresh poultry stock (we lazy urbanites use low-sodium veggie stock concentrate)
    - 1/4 to 1/3 cup vermouth or white wine (sort of optional but really tastes a lot better if included)
    - 1/2 cup grated hard cheese ie parmesan or romano
    - sprig or two of thyme
    - salt to taste

    Time: 45 mins

    Take the squash seeds out, cut into a few sections (with skin on) and roast in a medium/high oven for about 30 minutes while you start the risotto. Take the squash out of the oven before it starts to get too soft. Score into chunks on the skin.

    Meanwhile . . .

    Soften the onions in the oil and 1 tbsp of the butter. When they are transparent add the rice and stir to coat. Cook for about 5 mins until the fat has been absorbed by the rice. Splash in the vermouth. Stir for a few minutes and then add a cup of the stock, or so. Stir frequently until it's absorbed. Add another splash of stock. Check to see if the squash is done. More stock . . . etc.

    When the squash is partly roasted and cool enough to handle, scrape the chunks off the squash skin and into the risotto. Add the thyme as well. Continue adding stock until the rice is tender and there's no more liquid. You might add more vermouth to taste. Just before serving, stir in the cheese and a tbsp of butter. Salt to taste. This is not a beautiful dish but it is delicious!

  4. Curried squash soup:

    In a large soup pot, sautee a chopped onion in some butter. Add 1 - 2 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger and 1/2 tsp grated fresh garlic. Then add some curry paste-- the amount depends on how much you like heat! Add what's left of baked winter squash from yesterday's supper plus enough chicken stock to cover. Simmer about 15 minutes to soften onions and meld the flavors, add cream and salt to taste. Blend in the pot with an immersion blender, and serve with finely chopped parsley and sourdough bread. May also substitute fresh orange juice for the cream.

  5. Update to risotto recipe above: not sure about the rice amount. Could be 2 cups, not 1 cup, to feed 4. The usual maker of the risotto apparently never measures.

  6. 1 Buttercup squash
    Extra virgin olive oil
    Fresh cracked Black pepper


    1. Preheat oven to 350F

    2. Peel the Buttercup squash, cut in half, scoop out seeds etc.
    3. Slice the Buttercup squash into 1 inch thick pieces.
    4. Lay the slices of Buttercup squash on a baking tray. Don't crowd the slices too much.
    5. Drizzle the slices with the olive oil, grind on the black pepper.
    6. Roast in the oven until the slices have caramelized on the bottom. (You are looking for a golden caramel colour, slightly crispy surface texture)
    7. With tongs turn your slices over and continue roasting until they caramelize on the second side.

    Serve immediately before the cook eats them yummy!!! Any left overs can be re-heated the next day.

  7. I'm going to have a lot of fun deciding. Cream... carmelize...curry... white wine... and letting the squash's flavour speak for itself.

  8. Bet I'm not the only one who put squash on the menu this week! Yum at everything above.

    Autumn Vegetable Soup

    2 tbsp olive oil (or less)
    1 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped
    1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
    1/2 medium onion, chopped
    1 1/2 cups peeled and cubed banana or butternut squash
    1 garlic clove, chopped
    1 tbsp ginger, chopped
    2 tbsp flour
    4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
    1/2 tsp dried thyme
    Pinch ground nutmeg
    Pinch ground clove
    Cream (optional, but better with. 1/2 c. or so.)

    Heat oil in med-sized pot over medium heat. Add the parsnip, carrot, onion, squash, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring, about 5 mins. Mix in flour until well combined. Slowly add stock; add thyme, nutmeg and clove. Bring to gentle simmer and cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes. Puree the soup. Bring back to simmer, add cream. Season.

    (I usually double this recipe and sometimes up the garlic and ginger)

  9. Oh my gosh, my favourite way to eat squash is just mashed up with a tiny bit of maple syrup or brown sugar. A tiny, tiny bit.
    But this does not a recipe make!!

    Easy Fall Salad

    * Cooked hard red winter wheat
    * Feta cheese cubes
    * Diced colourful veggies (peppers? celery? tomatoes? go!)
    * Baked squash, cubed. Don't overbake (you don't want it mushy)

    * orange juice and soy sauce and olive oil
    * maple syrup and lime juice and a bit of sugar and salt
    * lemon juice and parsley and olive oil

    Who can go wrong with squash and cheese?

    From, KLB

  10. Roasted Squash Soup (from my aunt)

    2 litres diced mixed squash
    2 c. diced onion
    1 c. diced carrot 1/2 c. diced celery
    5 T. olive oil
    1 c. white wine
    2 litres chicken broth
    2 T. fresh thyme
    salt & pepper red pepper flakes
    1 c. balsamic vinegar
    1 c. maple syrup

    Toss all vegetables in oil and roast on a cookie sheet 20 minutes at 350 F. Place in a pot with wine, broth and red pepper flakes and simmer 1 hour. Puree with thyme.

    Place balsamic vinegar & maple syrup in a pot and reduce to 1/2 c. Stir into soup. Season. Use croutons for a garnish