what I’m loving this week: squash, part two (and three)

In case you missed it a few weeks ago, I love squash. Squashy, squash, squash. (I’m really hoping you said that in your head with your best Ron Burgundy.) And so does my fiance — we love squash. Squashy, squash, squash. (Okay, that’s the last time — promise).

So, to fulfill what has been an unspoken challenge to try every new type of squash we encounter (cue the reason there’s a six-pound pink banana squash currently taking up a lot of countertop real estate), as well as those with which we’re familiar, squash has been a mainstay on our weekly meal planning. Luckily, we’ve had excellent luck with the recipes we’ve tried — except maybe that pumpkin pie made with peanut squash — and even modified one to make it our own (okay, it wasn’t too much modification — we just added bacon). We even inadvertently discovered a delicious vegan squash dish, which we made and enjoyed immensely last night. 

 

Maple-roasted delicata squash with red onion

YIELD: Serves 8 | ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes | TOTAL TIME: 40 minutes
Original recipe by Epicurious (less bacon modification).

Ingredients

  • 3 medium Delicata squash (about 3 pounds), halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 6 slices uncured bacon
  • 2 medium red onions, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch rings
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

    1. Arrange the racks in the upper and lower rungs in the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F degrees.
    2. Cook bacon on stovetop until about halfway done and then remove pan from heat.
    3. Place the squash, red onion, garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper; toss to coat.
    4. Once bacon has cooled a bit, move to a cutting board and chop into small pieces (or whatever size you desire).
    5. Combine bacon and vegetables in the bowl and stir to mix bacon in.
    6. Spread vegetables and bacon evenly onto two large, rimmed baking sheets.
    7. Bake on the upper and lower racks of the oven, tossing, rotating, and switching the pan positions halfway through cooking, until squash is tender and browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
    8. Taste and season again with more salt and pepper, if desired.

 

 

Butternut squash with cumin couscous

YIELD: Serves 6-8 |ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes | TOTAL TIME: 50 minutes
Original recipe by Real Simple. We added the wine part.

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash (we actually used a blue hubbard squash instead since we had it on-hand)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup dark or golden raisins
  • 1 32-ounce container vegetable broth
  • 1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) almonds, chopped
  1. Halve and peel the squash.
  2. Remove the seeds and cut the squash into 1-inch chunks.
  3. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
  4. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic, cayenne, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon of the cumin and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Stir in the squash, tomatoes, raisins, broth, chickpeas, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt.
  7. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. Uncover and cook until the squash is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups water and the remaining cumin and salt to a boil.
  10. Stir in the couscous. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  11. Divide the couscous among individual bowls and ladle the squash over the top. Sprinkle with the parsley and almonds.
  12. Enjoy with your favorite bottle of rose served in a fancy wine glass.

 

 

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