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SAVOR THE SEASON: Enjoy three winter squash recipes for the harvest season

September 21, 2018
By CAROL SWIRSKY - Ad Rep (cswirsky@adirondackdailyenterprise.com) , Lake Placid News

One of my fondest and early memories of squash is of when my mother used to prepare roasted acorn squash.

The days had grown shorter, the nights had gotten cooler, and fall had surely arrived. It wasn't a complicated "recipe" per se, just a simple preparation as much as anything. Even still, the meal felt a bit special; somehow it felt like an occasion. The oven-roasted, halved acorns served in nature's own bowl added a certain festivity to what might have been an ordinary dinner.

Decades later, I still enjoy enjoy roasting any number of winter squash varieties, experimenting with butternut, buttercup, delicata and others over the years. I always love Mom's classic preparation, but I've also found that the simple addition of a different herb or spice can take the flavor to an interesting new place to suit your mood or menu.

Article Photos

Pumpkins and squash
(News photo — Carol Swirsky)

Another squash variety that I discovered on orchard adventures is the cheese pumpkin. They're smooth-skinned and flesh colored. Their shape is sort of flat and wide, as though someone has pushed down a round pumpkin, making it flat-ish and sort of deflated looking. The cheese pumpkin can be quite large. And much like a Christmas tree, it looks even bigger when you get it home. This variety is fantastic for baked goods, casseroles and soups. I roast it similarly to the other varieties, cool, and then scoop out to use in recipes that call for fresh pumpkin.

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Mom's classic roasted acorn squash

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Take a whole acorn squash (1 squash serves 2), halved vertically (stem to tip). Scoop out seeds; then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Turn flesh side down onto a sheet tray, 13 x 9 pan or large shallow casserole, sprayed with cooking spray. Line pan with foil for easier clean up if you like.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until skin yields easily to pressure.

Turn squash flesh side up and add 1 tablespoon butter, 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar or maple syrup to each half.

Return to oven for additional 5-10 minutes.

Tasty additions: Prior to cooking, lightly sprinkle with curry, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, sage.

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Roasted cheese pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash and dry pumpkin. Halve horizontally, carefully. They can be a bit unwieldy to handle.

Remove seeds, then place flesh side down on prepared, rimmed sheet tray. (You might need two trays depending on the size of the pumpkin.) They put off quite a bit of liquid, so a rimmed pan is important. No seasoning or flipping are needed.

Bake initially for about 45 minutes. Check to see if skin has softened. Continue cooking in 5- to 10-minute increments until done. A knife should be inserted easily when done. (Time varies depending on size of pumpkin.)

Cool completely. Then scoop out flesh and allow to drain in a colander, stirring to release any excess liquid. You may also line your colander with a large piece of cheesecloth, let drain, and then squeeze to drain excess liquid. Use in recipes for baked goods, soups, casseroles, or any dish that calls for fresh pumpkin.

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Pumpkin Nut Bread

Ingredients

3 1/3 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups fresh cooked pumpkin

1 cup salad oil

Topping:

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 cups finely chopped pecans (walnuts work well also)

Directions

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients into another large bowl.

Combine mixtures (I add dry to wet ingredients) until just moist. Bake in two greased loaf pans in preheated oven at 350 for one hour.

Cool for 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack. While warm, brush with melted butter then sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture.

(Recipe source: foodwine@cmuvm.csv.cmich.edu)

 
 

 

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