A quintet of squash

Well, Scott and I dove head first into the wonderful world of squash the past few weeks. More specifically, we tried butternut, acorn, spaghetti, yellow, and zucchini. Yum! I was new to butternut and spaghetti and a recent convert to yellow and zucchini, so you might say my eyes have been opened. 🙂

Alas, no pictures were taken of the dishes, but we do have recipes to share and I took the liberty of “borrowing” squash images from this website.

What a delightful time of year, where you can get both summer and winter squash. First, the summer:
This is a bit more crooked than ours was.
Don't overcook.  Yuck!

The yellow squash and zucchini, we just add to our other veggies and sautee with Tilapia or chicken.

Good with sugar and spice. Mmmm...
We bake the acorn squash (cut in half with squashy sides down) and eat it with a bit of cinnamon and brown sugar.

Spaghetti squash
However, we decided to get adventurous with our spaghetti squash, with this recipe from allrecipes.com, my favorite recipe site:

* 1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 onion, chopped
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
* 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese – we used fat free
* 3 tablespoons sliced black olives – we left these out
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. Place spaghetti squash cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet, and bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance. Remove squash from oven, and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion in oil until tender. Add garlic, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook only until tomatoes are warm.
4. Use a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash, and place in a medium bowl. Toss with the sauteed vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and basil. Serve warm.

NOTE: I used a fork to pull the strands apart. I made sure the squash was “al dente” and it was a delicious alternative to pasta!

Scott's favorite squash

We made this butternut squash soup from epicurious.com, Scott’s favorite recipe site:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/4 cups chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 2 1/2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
5 1/2 cups (or more) vegetable broth

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté until tender, about 12 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Add squash and 5 1/2 cups broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until squash is soft, about 40 minutes. Cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return puree to pot. Add 1 teaspoon thyme and orange peel. Thin soup with more broth if desired. Simmer 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and chill. Rewarm before serving, thinning with more broth if desired.)

Ladle soup into bowls. Swirl 1 tablespoon Roasted Red Pepper Puree into soup in each bowl.
Not roasted, just fresh!
(not a squash, but definitely a pretty veggie)

Roasted Red Pepper Puree:

1 cup coarsely chopped drained roasted red peppers from jar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

Puree all ingredients in processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature before using.)

-Anne

UPDATE: We’ve made the butternut squash soup many times since, but the red pepper puree was not our favorite. We found it wasn’t worth the effort and didn’t add much to the soup.

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About beanland

Scott is a family practice doctor and Anne is a full-time mother and teacher to three beautiful girls and one boy.
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