October 26, 2006 at 6:45 a.m.
Some people call them autumn squashes because they’re harvested in autumn, but others call them winter squashes because they keep so well through the winter. And other people, because they’d rather not be reminded by a veggie about the winter that lies head, call them hard-shell squashes.
To identify them, the best description might be, “squashes that are the least like zucchini.” Unlike zucchini, they don’t show up on your doorstep because your neighbor overplanted in the spring. So, I’m calling them winter squashes and here are recipes for just four out of the nine varieties that I’m familiar with.
I’ll start with . . .
BAKED ACORN SQUASH WITH APPLE STUFFING
2 small acorn squash (about 1-1/2 lbs.) halved and seeded
1 large or 2 small apples, peeled and diced (Granny’s, Haralson, Honeycrisp)
2 T. celery, thinly sliced
2 T. finely chopped onion
2 T. butter or margarine, melted
2 T. water
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray. Put squash, cut-side down in pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
While squash is baking, combine next five ingredients in a bowl; mix well. Turn squash cut-sides up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Divide apple mixture to fill the cavities of the squash.
Cover pan with foil and continue baking for 30-35 minutes or until squash is tender. Serve hot (of course). Makes four servings.
And a recipe using butternut squash...
FALL VEGGIE BAKE
1 small rutabaga
1 small butternut squash
1 large sweet potato
3 T. olive oil or canola oil
1 t. crushed, dried rosemary
Peel veggies and cut into 1-inch cubes. Toss veggies and oil together in a bowl. With a rubber spatula, turn them into a lightly greased 9x13 inch pan. Sprinkle with rosemary.
Bake at 500 degrees (that’s correct) for 35 minutes or until veggies are tender. If veggies start to brown, cover pan loosely with foil. Makes 5-6 servings.
And, for you who are a vegetarian or just like lots of veggies. Don’t let the variety of spices or black beans scare you from trying this recipe. It’s different but very good.
SPICY SQUASH AND BLACK BEANS
1 T. butter or margarine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, cut into very thin wedges (1 c.)
1-1 lb. buttercup squash, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes (2 c.)
1 t. ginger
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 t. ground allspice
1-15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 large green pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
1-15 oz. can black beans, drained
3 c. hot cooked rice
Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add next three ingredients. Cook until onion is tender, stirring often. Add next six ingredients; bring to a boil. Lower heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until squash is almost tender. Add beans; cook five minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Serve over hot rice. Makes four servings.
And lastly, one of my favorites...
SPAGHETTI SQUASH BAKE
1 small spaghetti squash
1/2 c. water
1 lb. hamburger
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped sweet red pepper
1/4 c. chopped green pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1-15 oz. can diced tomato, with liquid
1/2 t. oregano leaves
1/4 t. salt (optional)
1/8 t. pepper
1-1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Put squash, cut side down, in a baking pan; add water to the pan. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes or until squash is tender and easily poked with a fork. When cool enough to handle, scoop out squash, separating strands with a fork; set aside.
In a large skillet, cook next five ingredients until meat is browned and veggies are tender. Drain off fat. (I dump the mixture into a colander to drain as much fat off as possible. Squirt a little dish soap down the drain and run hot water to wash down the fat.)
Add next five ingredients to mixture. Continue to cook and stir for about two minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Turn mixture into an ungreased 1-1/2 qt. casserole; stir in 1-1/2 c. cheese.
Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining one cup cheese and bake 3-4 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Makes 5-6.
Thought for the day: There is a little plant called reverence in the corner of my soul’s garden, which I love to have watered once a week.
Oliver Wendell Holmes