November 6, 2013

Winter squash stars in sweet, savory recipes

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3 medium or 2 large delicata squash, halved lengthwise and seeded

1 cup quinoa

4 cups water

3 cups kale, stemmed and chopped

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread nuts on a small baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 4 or 5 minutes. Cool.

Toss mushrooms with olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread on a baking sheet. Place in oven and roast for 15 minutes. Stir, then roast another 10 minutes, until mushrooms are browned and liquid has evaporated. Remove from oven. Toss mushrooms with chopped herbs in a large bowl and set aside.

At the same time, place squash halves skin side down on a foil-lined baking tray. Brush the inside of each with olive oil and sprinkle each with a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast them, in the same oven as the mushrooms, until squash is tender (but not collapsed) and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Remove. Lower oven heat to 375 degrees.

Cook quinoa in 4 cups of salted boiling water for 5 minutes. Add chopped greens and continue simmering until greens are tender, about 10 more minutes. The quinoa will be done at this point, too. Drain well and add to mushrooms.

Add nuts, cranberries, feta cheese and lemon juice to mushroom/quinoa mixture. Stir to combine well. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Fill each squash half with filling and top each with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese. Return to oven (375 degrees) and bake 15 minutes, until brown on top.

THIS ARABIAN Squash Casserole from “The New Moosewood Cookbook” by Mollie Katzen (Ten Speed Press, $19.99) is Jan Wilcox’s favorite squash recipe. Mollie Katzen granted permission to reprint it here.


Preparation time: About one hour, after the squash is cooked and pureed.

Good served with tabouli salad or with warmed pita bread and a spinach salad with ripe tomatoes.

Makes 4-5 servings.

4 cups cooked squash

1 tablespoon olive oil

11/2 cups chopped onion

1 teaspoon salt

2 small bell peppers (one red and one green, if possible), minced

4 or 5 medium cloves garlic, minced

Black pepper and cayenne, to taste

1/2 cup firm yogurt

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Optional: sunflower seeds and/or minced walnuts, for the top

Preheat oven to 375.

Place the mashed or pureed squash in a large bowl.

Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized skillet. Add onion and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add salt and bell peppers. Saute about 5 more minutes, or until the peppers begin to get soft.

Add garlic, black pepper and cayenne and saute a few more minutes.

Add the saute, along with yogurt and feta, to the squash and mix well. Spread into an ungreased 9-inch-square baking pan; sprinkle the top lightly with sunflower seeds and/or minced walnuts.

Bake uncovered 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly.


From “Junior’s Home Cooking: Over 100 Recipes for Classic Comfort Food” by Alan Rosen and Beth Allen (The Taunton Press, $24.95).

Makes 11/2 quarts (6 first-course or four light-meal servings)

This soup is a more recent addition to Junior’s menu. The secret of its wonderful flavor is the slow roasting of the squash with Spanish onions, olive oil and seasonings. The roasted squash is then added to the soup pot along with chicken broth, a little maple syrup and a vanilla bean.

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