Monthly Archives: December 2006


Winter Squash Extravaganza

Photo: Ryan Jacobs

Carnival, spaghetti, banana, acorn, turban? What are we talking about? The many wonderful varieties of winter squash, of course! Packed with the antioxidant beta-carotene, as well as vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, dishes featuring the sweet, moist, nutty flavor of winter squash are a tasty addition to all your holiday menus. So whether it’s butternut or buttercup, be sure to enjoy Mary Sue and Susan’s favorite winter squash recipes.

  • A winter squash with deep color and a dull rind is your best bet for a fully ripe, flavorful squash. A shiny rind means a squash was picked too early.
  • Overgrown? No way! The longer a winter squash grows, the sweeter it becomes.
  • Winter squash should be heavy for its size with a smooth, dry rind, free of soft spots or cracks.
  • If stored in a cool (but not cold), dry place, winter squash will keep for up to three months.

Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup
Black Bean and Butternut Squash Tacos
Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauté
Kabocha and Celery Root Puree


Kabocha and Celery Root Puree

1 medium kabocha squash, peeled
1 medium celery root, peeled
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Crème fraiche (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut kabocha and celery root into 1/2-inch slices. Combine with butter, water, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan. Cover and bake until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Finely grind vegetables in a food processor or meat grinder. Adjust seasonings and stir in a touch of crème fraiche if desired. Serve hot.


Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauté

Serves 6

1 spaghetti squash, about 2 pounds
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tomato, seeded and diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove and discard inner seeds. Coat insides with 1 tablespoon of the butter and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Place cut-side down in a roasting pan and add about an inch of boiling water. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

When cool enough to handle, scoop out meat with a spoon, discarding skins. Fluff hot strands with a fork to separate.

Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté squash with remaining salt and pepper about 5 minutes. Add tomato and cook briefly, to evenly heat. Serve immediately.


Pickled Shallots

1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 tablespoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons coarse salt
20 medium shallots, peeled

Combine the vinegar, wine, brown sugar, peppercorns, mustard, chile flakes, and salt in a medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the shallots and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Set aside to cool completely in the liquid. Transfer the shallots and all their liquid to a jar or plastic container. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator up to two weeks.

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