Winter Squash and Gruyere Gratin

Serves 4

Crookneck squash or pumpkin also works well in this recipe.

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock or canned broth
  • 2 medium butternut squash (1 1/2 pounds each)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium leek, white part only, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • One 12-ounce can evaporated skim milk or 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 2 ounces of a baguette (thinly cut into 8 small slices) or 2 slices peasant bread (cut into 4 equal pieces), toasted
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 basil leaves, shredded

Preheat the oven to 400°. Halve the squash lengthwise and remove the seeds. Place the squash, cut side up, in a baking pan. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper and cover tightly with foil. Bake for about 1 hour, until the squash are tender but not mushy. Let cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the leek, olive oil and 2 teaspoons of water. Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the leek is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Uncover and stir in the wine. Increase the heat to high and boil until the liquid is reduced to approximately 3 tablespoons, about 3 minutes. Stir in the stock, milk, sugar and remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Remove from the heat. Using a big spoon, scoop the flesh from the squash in large pieces. Place in a medium bowl.

To assemble the gratin, preheat the oven to 400°. Bring the leek mixture to a boil. Spoon half of the squash into a 6- to 8-cup casserole. Ladle half of the leek mixture over the top and cover with half of the toast and half of the Gruyère. Repeat the layers with the remaining squash, leek mixture, toast and Gruyère. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top. Bake the gratin for 30 minutes, or until the top is browned and bubbly. Garnish with the basil and serve.
From Food and Wine  Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes, The Best Squash Casserole Recipes. Published November 1993

Winter Squash and Coconut Soup with Thai Pesto

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 winter squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste
  • 2 c. chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 c. coconut milk

Thai Pesto:

  • 2/3 c. roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp. Sriracha sauce
  • A small bunch of cilantro
  • A large handful mint leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar (optional)

Put oil in a heavy-based saucepan and set over medium heat. Add the cubed squash and onion, partially cover with a lid, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often until starting to soften. Add the curry paste and cook until the paste becomes fragrant. Add the stock and coconut milk and simmer until squash is tender. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and whiz until smooth. Return the blended soup to a clean saucepan. To make the pesto, put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until you have a chunky green paste. Gently reheat the soup, then ladle into bowls. Top with a generous spoonful of Thai pesto to serve. Serves 4. Adapted from Easy Veganfrom Ryland, Peters and Small.

Squash Cornbread

  • ¾ cup yellow cornmeal
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. allspice
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup soft butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 cup pureed cooked winter squash
  • ¼ cup milk

Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, spices and salt.  Cream butter, add sugar and beat until light.  Add eggs, lemon juice, squash and milk.  Beat together, then gradually add dry ingredients until well combined.  Pour batter into a buttered, medium-sized loaf pan.  Bake in a pre-heated 3500 oven for 50 minutes or until a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean.  Cool in pan for ten minutes, remove and cool on rack.

From The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash.

Spaghetti Squash (Vegetable Spaghetti)

The SPAGHETTI SQUASH, or vegetable spaghetti, is one of our favorite squashes.  It is a low-calorie, crisp-textured vehicle for sauces or seasonings.  This particular variety we grow is called Hi-Beta Gold.  It has been developed to contain a high percentage of beta-carotene.  It is excellent with any sauce you would use on regular pasta, especially primavera types.  There are two ways to cook it; boiling and baking.  In both cases the squash should be left whole.  For boiling drop into boiling water and cook for 20 to 30 minutes.  When a fork goes easily into the flesh, the squash is done.  To bake, prick squash and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes to 1 1/2 hrs. or until tender.  When the squash is cool enough to handle, cut in half length-wise, remove seeds, then with a fork “comb” the squash flesh.  The spaghetti will pull off in long strands.

Oriental Spaghetti Squash Salad

  • Flesh of one cooked spaghetti squash
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 Tbs toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs grated ginger
  • 4 Tbs soy sauce
  • 3 Tbs rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup veg. or sesame oil
  • hot pepper oil (optional)

Whisk together oil, lemon juice, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and hot pepper to taste.  Stir in onions and sesame seeds.  Pour dressing over spaghetti squash, mix gently and serve.  This can be served as a warm salad, or refrigerated over night to allow greater melding of the flavors and served cold.

Indian Pumpkin Curry (Sambar)

The Indian curry served in most western countries is usually a rice dish covered with a thick, yellow sauce containing commercial curry powder. In authentic Indian cooking, there is no specific dish called curry, but there are many dishes with sauces, each made with its own special spices and ingredients. The delicious sauce in pumpkin curry is made with coconut milk and lentils. If you can’t get fresh pumpkin, try making this southern Indian specialty with a winter squash such as acorn or hubbard.

  • 1 small pumpkin or winter squash, about 3 cups chopped
  • 1 cup brown or split red lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 curry leaf, optional

Cut pumpkin into quarters, scrape out seeds, cut off peel, and chop into 1-inch squares. Place lentils in a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Remove any inedible objects from lentils while washing. Put 4 cups of water in a large kettle. Add cayenne pepper, cumin, turmeric, and salt and bring to a boil. Add lentils, cover, and lower heat. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender. If you are using split red lentils, they will cook in about 15 to 20 minutes. Add pumpkin squares to lentils. Cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until pumpkin is tender. Add coconut milk to kettle and stir. As soon as mixture begins to boil, remove from heat and set aside. In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add fenugreek, mustard seeds, onion slices, and curry leaf and fry for 4 to 5 minutes, or until mixture is brown. Add onion-and-spice mixture to kettle. Cover kettle and let stand 5 minutes. Stir pumpkin curry before serving over rice.

Crisp-Baked Acorn Squash Rings

  • 2 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups fine fresh bread crumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 small acorn squash, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and seeded
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs, milk and honey. In another shallow dish, stir together the cornmeal, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper to taste.  Dip the squash rings into the egg mixture and then into the crumb mixture, coating them well and patting the crumbs on well. Generously butter 2 rimmed baking sheets. Arrange the squash rings in one layer on the sheets and drizzle with the melted butter. Bake for 30 minutes, turning once halfway through, or until they are tender. Sprinkle the squash with salt to taste and arrange on a heated platter. Makes 6 servings.

From Gourmet magazine, November 1985.

Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes and Celeriac

  • 3 Lbs. chicken thighs
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ Tbs. ground cumin
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 Lb. sweet potatoes or Kabocha squash peeled and cubed (1/2 inch)
  • 1 celeriac peeled and cubed (1/2 inch)
  • 1 Tbs. honey

Rub chicken pieces with salt, pepper and cumin.  If time allows, let stand for 1 to 2 hours.  Covering the chicken and refrigerating overnight would be best.  When ready to prepare the dish, heat the butter in a large casserole or Dutch oven and cook chicken in batches until golden on all sides.  Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add raisins, saffron, cinnamon and ginger and cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Pour 2 cups water into the casserole.  Cover and cook the chicken for 30 minutes over low heat.  Add the sweet potatoes or squash and the celeriac along with additional salt and pepper.  Simmer the stew, covered 20 minutes.  Carefully stir in the honey, taking care not to mash the vegetables.

Serves 4-6.

Adapted from Fooday.

Butternut Squash and Yukon Gold Gratin

  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 4 c. thinly sliced onions
  • 1 ¼ lb. butternut squash
  • 1 ¼ lb. Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 c. half-and-half
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 c. fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
  • 2c. grated gruyere cheese
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. fresh sage

Peel seed and slice squash into ¼-inch thick slices. Peel and cut potatoes into ¼-inch thick slices. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Melt butter in a large, heavy skillet and add onions. Cook over medium-high heat until deeply caramelized, 20 to 30 minutes. Lay alternate layers of squash and potatoes in baking dish. Layer onions on top. Mix half-and-half, salt and pepper and pour over onions. Cover tightly with foil and bake 90 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Mix breadcrumbs, cheese and sage in medium bowl. Sprinkle over gratin. Bake uncovered until top is golden brown and crisp, about 30 minutes.

Serves 8.

Butternut Squash and Kale Strata

A terrific make-ahead breakfast strata from baker and pastry chef Zoe Nathan, who uses multigrain bread to add a distinct flavor to this satisfying casserole.

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 2 pounds butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced, plus 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 pound kale, ribs discarded and leaves chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 8 large eggs
  • One 3/4-pound multigrain baguette, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat the oven to 425° and butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 25 minutes, tossing once, until the squash is just tender. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the sliced onions, season with salt and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 25 minutes. Scrape the onions into a bowl. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Add the kale, garlic, crushed red pepper and 1 teaspoon of the thyme and season with salt. Cook over moderately high heat, tossing, until the kale is wilted and just tender, about 5 minutes. Scrape the kale into the bowl with the cooked onions. In a medium saucepan, melt the 2 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Add the chopped onion and the remaining 1 teaspoon of thyme and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until a light golden paste forms, 3 minutes. Whisk in 1 cup of the milk and cook, whisking, until very thick and no floury taste remains, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream, crème fraîche, sugar, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and the remaining 1 1/2 cups of milk. Let the béchamel cool.

Beat the eggs into the cooled béchamel in the saucepan. Pour into a bowl, add the bread and the vegetables and mix well. Pour the strata mixture into the prepared baking dish and let stand for 30 minutes, pressing down the bread occasionally. Bake the strata for 55 minutes to 1 hour, until almost set. Increase the oven temperature to 475°. Sprinkle the Parmigiano on the strata and bake for about 10 minutes more, until the top is lightly browned. Let the strata stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead The recipe can be prepared through the making of the bechamel and refrigerated overnight.
From Food and Wine Feb.2013