Winter Squash and Pumpkin Recipes

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Winter squash and pumpkin can be used pretty much interchangeably in recipes calling for either. However, the pumpkins bred to be a little sweeter, like Small Sugar, are generally a better choice for a sweet dish. If all you have is the old-fashioned kind of pumpkin like Connecticut Field, you might want to add a couple of extra tablespoons of sugar for something like pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread. Do try making your own pumpkin puree. It’s the easiest thing going and makes a real difference in taste and texture. Canned pumpkin puree just can’t compare.

Easy Squash

Peel the squash, cut in 1-inch chunks and steam it. Or slice in half-inch thick by two-inch slices and saute in coconut oil.

Squash Bake

Squash of any kind lends itself to a variety of fillings. Most recipes out there are for acorn squash. Use the same filling you would use in your favorite stuffed pepper recipe. Or add some cooked sausage to leftover spaghetti sauce and fill the cavity with the mixture; sprinkle on a little Parmesan. Other options: brown sugar or maple syrup and butter sprinkled in the cavity and brushed up the sides several times during cooking; apricot preserves; butter and cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves. You can also use the bulbous end of Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck or a butternut squash in place of the acorn squash.

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Caramelized Onions

  • • 2 lbs. butternut squash
  • • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • • 1-1/2 cups Romano cheese, grated, divided
  • • 1/4 cup dry bread crumb
  • • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • • 7 cups sliced onions
  • • 2 Tbsp. olive or coconut oil
  • • 8 oz. lasagna noodles
  • • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • • 8 oz. mozzarella cheese, sliced

Halve and seed squash and place cut-side down in baking dish. Add 1/4-inch water to dish, cover and bake in a 400 degree oven for 35 minutes or until tender. Scoop out squash and mash with garlic, 1/4 cup Romano cheese, bread crumbs and nutmeg. Salt and pepper to taste. Turn onions into large skillet and sauté for 15 minutes in oil until tender and golden. Boil noodles until al dente, drain and rinse. To assemble, place half the noodles in oiled 13×9-inch baking pan. Layer all squash mixture evenly over noodles. Top with all onions. Dab ricotta cheese over onions then add mozzarella and 1 cup Romano cheese. Layer last half noodles on top and sprinkle with final 1/4 cup Romano cheese. Cover and bake in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until hot through.

Fried Winter Squash

  • • 6 pounds butternut squash – peeled, seeded and sliced about ¼ inch thick
  • • 1 egg, beaten
  • • 1/2 cup milk
  • • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • • 1 pinch salt
  • • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • • 1 cup coconut oil or lard for frying

Combine egg and milk together in a small bowl, mix well. In a second bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Dip squash slices first in the egg mixture, then dredge the squash in the dry mixture. Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Fry squash until golden brown.

Butternut Squash Jam

  • • 2 pounds of winter squash
  • • Juice of 1 lemon
  • • 1 ¼ cups water
  • • 1 vanilla bean split open
  • • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

Cut the squash into slices, peel it and dice it. Put it in a pot and cook it over low heat with lemon juice and water for about 35 minutes, until it softens. Stir often to prevent it sticking. Depending on the texture of the squash you might need more or less water, more or less cooking time. Puree with an immersion blender. Add sugar and vanilla bean; simmer 10 minutes to thicken. Spoon the jam into sterilized jars, close them tightly and store in the fridge. Don’t try to can it; it’s too thick. Makes four small jars.

Winter Panzanella with Winter Squash and Sage (from Martha Rose Shulman)

  • • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and sliced into 1/2-inch moons
  • • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • • Salt
  • • 8 ounces stale bread, torn into bite-size pieces (about 5 cups)
  • • 2 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • • 1 teaspoon white balsalmic vinegar
  • • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • • 1 plump garlic clove, passed through a garlic press
  • • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • • 3/4 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • • Ground black pepper
  • • 2 romaine hearts, washed and torn into pieces
  • • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • • 2 ounce shaved Parmesan
  • • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

Heat oven to 425 °F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Toss the squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt to taste. Roast 25 minutes or until soft and caramelized on the edges, turning the slices over halfway through. Remove from heat. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add bread and stir until crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegars, salt to taste, mustard, garlic and 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) olive oil. Combine bread, celery, radishes, half the squash, thyme, parsley and pepper in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup vinaigrette and toss together. Whisk 1 tablespoon olive oil into remaining vinaigrette and toss with lettuce and chives. Place on a platter or in a wide bowl and top with bread mixture. Garnish with remaining squash and the Parmesan shavings. Sprinkle sage over the top and serve.

Shells with Bacon/Pumpkin Sauce

  • • 24 frozen stuffed shells (or make your own with plain ricotta filling)
  • • 1 lb bacon, diced
  • • 1 cup onion, finely diced
  • • 1/4 cup flour
  • • 1 cup chicken stock
  • • 3 –1/2 cups milk
  • • 1 (15–oz) can or 2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
  • • 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • • 1 tsp salt
  • • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • • 2 cups Fontina cheese, grated

Heat oven to 350°F. Place the shells in a 13×9 baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Sauté the bacon in a medium-size sauce pan until browned, about 10–12 minutes. Remove some of the bacon fat from the pan, leaving about 1/4 cup. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 6–8 minutes. Stir in the flour then add the chicken stock and the milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it thicken, stirring constantly. Add in the pumpkin puree, rosemary, thyme, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture back up to a simmer. Pour the sauce evenly over the shells and top with the grated Fontina cheese. Place the pan on the middle rack in the preheated oven and bake for 35–40 minutes, or until bubbly and browned on top.

Sweet Roasted Pumpkin

  • • 1 small pumpkin or 1/4 large pumpkin
  • • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
  • • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • • 2 teaspoons sea salt

Heat oven to 400 ° F. Using a large metal spoon, scoop out the seeds and insides of the pumpkin. Save the seeds for roasting. Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut slices of pumpkin 1 inch thick. Place pumpkin slices on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and rub on both sides of pumpkin. Season with salt, spices and brown sugar. Roast for 18-20 minutes, depending on thickness of pumpkin slices (check at 15 minute mark).

Fresh Pumpkin Puree

Cut a pumpkin in half and remove the seeds. Turn on the oven to 400°F. Place pumpkin on a baking sheet cut face down. Bake 40 minutes or until the pumpkin halves are tender when pierced with a sharp knife or fork. The skins will brown and lift off the pumpkin a bit when done.

Remove from the oven and cool until you can handle. Using a serrated or very sharp knife, cut off the pumpkin skins. Place the skinned pumpkin pieces into a food processor and process until the puree is smooth. Use within two days or freeze.

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