Oh My Gourd! 5 Ways to Cook with Squash

Spotting the fruit of the fall season in my local supermarket conjures visions of cozy winter dinners complemented by inspired autumnal table settings (which I will never set). But on rare occasions when I have taken the squash home to my kitchen, it's greatest accomplishment ended up being a cumbersome centerpiece (at least one fantasy sort of came true).

Luckily, I work with a group of sophisticated editors who are also competent cooks. They help crack the squash code with 4 simple recipes they’ve gleaned from personal experience. And then there's mine, which is for those days you eat only to survive.

IN BREAD
From Allison Austin Scheff, food editor
Every fall I make two or three batches of the Macrina Squash Harvest Loaf recipe (which makes 2 loaves). It's become a tradition in my house.

First you roast the butternut squash, then puree it, then toast walnuts, pecans and pumpkin seed; make a quick bread with fresh ground nutmeg and cinnamon, the squash and the chopped nuts, and you end up with a moist nutty bread that smells divine and tastes of the season. Of course you could just *buy* a slice at Macrina, but that'd be too easy and convenient.

IN CHOWDER

From Brangien Davis, arts & culture editor
My fail-safe recipe list is not so much a list as a single bullet point: the butternut squash chowder I make every Thanksgiving.

Made with a whole lotta squash and plumped up with white corn, this pureed chowder has a serious kick, thanks to chipotle chili peppers (which you can take down a notch for tender palates).

While Bon Appetit magazine says you’re supposed to form, freeze and fry your own goat cheese croutons to float on top (puh-leeze), I find that a dollop of fresh goaty goodness in each bowl is all that’s required. I also forgo the pancetta and substitute veggie broth for chicken broth—it’s plenty rich without the meat. You too can add this bullet point to your bag of tricks: Just search “butternut-corn chowder” on epicurious.com.

ALL MASHED UP
From Rachel Hart, editorial director
My recipe comes courtesy of Jamie Oliver's The Naked Chef cookbook that I bought whilst in London before he was Jamie Oliver here years ago.

His recipes don't really bother with measurements, but rather offer instructions like "take a knob of butter and mash it all up."

So, in that spirit: Take steamed/boiled butternut squash, boiled potatoes, boiled celeriac (celery root), mash it all up, and add a bunch of butter, salt and pepper to taste. It's delish with pork tenderloin!

IN A DELICIOUS PASTA MEDLEY
From Kate Calamusa, fashion editor

This is a (very) modified butternut squash pasta recipe that I originally I got from the Seattle Pi, but I added awesomeness courtesy of sausage and pecorino!

Mix together cut butternut squash and onion with brown sugar, salt, pepper, olive oil and a dash of red pepper flakes. Roast at 400 degrees, shake veggies occasionally; squash will soften. Once it begins to caramelize, throw in big handfuls of curly endive or some other hearty green. Once those have crisped up (about 3-5 minutes), pull them out of the oven.

In a big ceramic roaster, mix in cooked penne pasta and cooked crumbled Italian sausage with the roasted veggies. Mix in 1/2 cup of cream, salt and pepper and top with a (generous) layer of pecorino cheese. Broil 5 minutes until cheese is browned and bubbly.

AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE
From Bond Huberman, online editor
Get yourself a Lean Cuisine Butternut Squash Ravioli meal. Follow instructions on box. Eat.

 

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