Sunday, February 5, 2012

I Feel Good about Squash

This has not always been the case.  In the past, any dish made with squash was to be avoided, lest the mushy mixture should make me gag.

With age comes many things, including a growing fondness for squash ... especially baked Acorn Squash with butter and brown sugar or raw Zucchini in salads.

Then, an intriguing recipe popped up on my radar, containing something new to me -- Butternut Squash -- that looks like this when you buy them:

And like this when you cut them open:

While preparing the new recipe, I discovered this lovely yellow stuff is quite delicious raw.  It's crunchy and nutty flavored, as well as being filled with vitamins, carotenoids, and antioxidants.

Research revealed that the word "squash" comes from the Narragansett language (belonging to Native Americans living in Rhode Island long ago) and means "a green thing eaten raw."

In fact, squash was one of the "Three Sisters" planted by Native Americans:  corn, beans and squash.  Is it a fruit or a vegetable?  Experts say it is both, since it's considered a vegetable when used in cooking, but because it has seeds it's technically a fruit.

The bottom line is the deep yellow/orange flesh of Butternut Squash tastes great in a recipe for "Tortellini with Butternut Squash" originally found in Real Simple and modified by swapping out the mushrooms for sweet Italian sausage.

The surprisingly tasty ingredient in this recipe is the squash, which is cut into chunks, seasoned with salt and pepper and sage, tossed in olive oil, and then baked on a cookie sheet quickly in a hot oven until it looks like this:


Check out the recipe HERE.

This dish will provide the entree for another Birthday Dinner at my house next weekend, served with a shrimp, avocado and fennel salad ... and topped off with a luscious Limoncello Cake.

How do you like your squash?

7 comments:

  1. Loved the limoncello cake I used to be able to get at a bakery in Anacortes, which is no longer there. Thanks for the vegetarian recipe, I printed it out!

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  2. Love it! Printed it! Gonna make it!

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  3. Hmm. I see my comment didn't post from my iPhone. Sometime I am gadget challenged.

    Well, my comment was that the squash certainly looks tasty and I really want to try that recipe soon. When I was a kid, I hated squash. I had an older cousin who had pronounced it awful and inedible, so I would not eat it. Eventually, my older sister asked why I didn't like squash and when I told her it was because of what Cousin Paulette said, she told me I should make decisions on my own and through my own experiences instead of basing them only on the opinions of others. The next time we had squash, I gave it a try. Boy, was the cousin wrong.

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  4. BL, I love squash! I have made roasted acorn squash with bacon, zucchini chips, and butternut squash soup! Oh how I love the soup! Your dish looks great! I am very tempted to go get a squash as I have most of the other ingredients on hand, will let you know if I do.

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  5. P.S. I don't think the squash is hard to cut, I just use a big chef's knife and lop the top off from the bulb then peel and cut the rest!

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  6. OK - Here's the bet. Spam instead of squash - in my kitchen at least - and war with Iran to compete with NASCAR races for best Neilson ratings. Maybe not US vs. Iran. But SOMEBODY vs. Iran.

    THis song is dedicated to that area of our bodies located behind and below our navels. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gmZ4RJp5GQ

    HOpe I'm not too obnoxious for a serious blog..... XOXO

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  7. I think there might be an apple pie in the mix too!

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