Friday, November 2, 2012

Seasonal squash obsession

We had a fabulous squash harvest this year... not our largest, by any means, but definitely the most diverse. Usually we just sow a few butternut squash seeds and let the earth and sun and water do their magic (one year I counted 65 squash from two plants). This year I sowed a few seeds of many different kinds--gourds and mini pumpkins, butternut and Crown Prince. Again with the water and sun magic, and voila! Harvest!

Since harvest, roasted squash has become a part of our daily diet, quite happily. Such color! Such nutrients! I roast up one or two at the start of the week, and away we go. Sometimes I will eat a bowl fairly plain; and by "plain," I mean with butter and parmesan. But at other times, it's fun to mix it up a bit. Here are two recent variations.

Roasted squash tacos just seemed like a good idea one night. I made them up as I went along--they were amazingly simple and one of my favorite squash dishes so far this season.

Roasted squash tacos
Makes 4 tacos
4 corn tortillas
1 cup roasted squash, roughly mashed
1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup peppers, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup coleslaw, lightly dressed

Sautee the sweet onion and peppers with the olive oil in a medium hot saute pan for a few minutes, stirring and tossing occasionally. When they are limp and al dente, transfer to a bowl. Warm the squash--either in the same saute pan, or the microwave, as well as the soft tortilla shells.

Assemble the tacos: shells first, roasted squash, peppers and onion mixture and coleslaw. Salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy.

Another time, the squash morphed into lovely morsels of ricotta squash gnocchi, based off a pumpkin gnocchi recipe I found on Pinterest. Heavenly!

Roasted squash gnocchi
Makes about 48 little 1-inch dumplings
2 cups roasted squash
1 cup flour
1 cup ricotta
1 cup parmesan
Salt and pepper

Put the squash, flour, ricotta and parmesan in a food processor and pulse a few times to pull all the ingredients together. Once they are roughly mixed, turn the food processor on and process for 30 seconds, until smooth.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, then turn the burner down to a simmer. Drop the ricotta-squash mixture into the water in small spoonfuls, about a dozen at a time. Let them simmer for a couple of minutes, until all the dumplings have risen to the top. Take them out of the water with a slotted spoon, and do another batch of a dozen, until the dough has been used up.

My best treatment of the squash gnocchi was a couple of days after I'd made the dumplings:
Double squash gnocchi
Serves 1
1 cup of roasted squash
10 squash gnocchi
1 garlic clove, sauteed
1 Tbsp olive oil
8 sage leaves, minced
1/3 cup parmesan

Saute the garlic and sage leaves in the olive oil, over medium heat. Add the squash and the gnocchi and toss together with the garlic and sage. When the gnocchi and squash are heated through, add the parmesan, toss quickly and plate!

And of course, there have been a couple of variations on the squash salad a la Ina... and then there's this other salad too... I seem to have a thing for squash. And what a lovely thing it is!

Do you like squash? What's your favorite way to eat it? I am always looking for new ideas!


  1. I roasted some spaghetti squash last night and oh MAN was it good! I just put a little butter and chipotle seasoning on it last night. I have plans for it! Today, there will be some in my salad (I only use balsamic vinegar, no oil). Tomorrow, perhaps some chopped up and stir fried buffalo chicken sausage, carrot, onion on top of a bed of the squash.

  2. I want to GROW squash (it's on my list!) but I'm not sure I want to eat it. No- wait- I do want to try it. I just don't want to have to cook it. Cooking and I are on a serious break right now. Maybe during the holidays the urge to get the oven going and create something really wholesome and delicious might come up.


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