Archive for Squash

Puréed Winter Squash Soup With Ginger

Puréed Winter Squash Soup With Ginger

One of the most comforting dishes you can make with winter squash is a puréed soup. I use rice to thicken this one, but you could also use a potato, or not add additional starch at all, as the squash itself has a lot of body. To enhance the flavor, this one calls for ginger, with a little lime juice and a swirl of yogurt added before serving.

1 tablespoon canola or rice bran oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 carrot, diced

2 pounds peeled winter squash, like butternut or kabocha

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon minced ginger

6 1/2 cups water, chicken stock or vegetable stock

1/3 cup rice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon ginger juice (made by grating a teaspoon of fresh ginger, wrapping in cheesecloth and squeezing the cheesecloth)

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 lime

4 to 6 tablespoons plain yogurt

1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven and add the onion and carrot. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the winter squash, garlic and minced ginger and cook, stirring, until the mixture smells fragrant, about 1 minute.

2. Add the water or stock, the rice and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the squash is very tender.

3. Using a hand blender, or in batches in a regular blender, purée the soup. If using a regular blender, cover the top with a towel pulled down tight, rather than airtight with the lid. Return to the pot and heat through. Stir in the ginger juice, taste and season with salt and pepper. If desired, thin out with a little more water or stock.

4. Ladle the soup into bowls and add a tablespoon of yogurt (more to taste), then slowly swirl the yogurt into the soup with a spoon. Squeeze a few drops of lime juice onto each serving and sprinkle with whisper of nutmeg.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Advance preparation: The soup will hold for several hours, in or out of the refrigerator. Proceed with Step 4 just before serving.

Nutritional information per serving (4 servings): 192 calories; 4 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 milligram cholesterol; 38 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams dietary fiber; 44 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 5 grams protein

Nutritional information per serving (6 servings): 131 calories; 3 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 milligram cholesterol; 26 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 33 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 3 grams protein


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Balsamic Roasted Winter Squash and Wild Rice Salad

1 cup wild rice
3 1/2 cups water or stock (chicken or vegetable)
Salt to taste
2 pounds kabocha or butternut squash, peeled and cut in small dice (about 3 cups peeled and diced, weighing 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds)
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (more to taste)
1 garlic clove, minced or puréed
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons walnut oil, or substitute extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, like parsley, chives, tarragon
1/2 cup diced celery
1 5- or 6-ounce bag baby arugula or spinach

1. Rinse the wild rice. Bring the water or stock to a boil in a medium saucepan, add salt to taste and the rice. Bring back to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes, until the rice is tender and has begun to splay (Make sure to cook the wild rice until it begins to splay or you won’t get the full nutty flavor of the grains). Drain through a strainer, return to the pot and cover the pot with a clean dishtowel. Return the lid to the pot and let sit for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the squash in a bowl or directly on the baking sheet and toss with salt to taste, the balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Spread on the baking sheet in an even layer and make sure to tip all of the liquid remaining in the bowl over the squash. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes so that the squash browns evenly. The squash should be tender all the way through. Remove from the heat.

3. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, salt to taste and mustard. Whisk in the remaining olive oil and the walnut oil.

4. Combine the wild rice, squash, herbs and celery in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Line a platter, individual plates or a wide salad bowl with the baby spinach or arugula. Top with the salad and serve.

Yield: 6 servings.

Advance preparation: This salad holds well for a couple of days in the refrigerator, without the arugula or spinach.

Nutritional information per serving (6 servings): 268 calories; 14 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 5 grams polyunsaturated fat; 7 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 32 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 44 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 6 grams protein


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Brown Rice Risotto With Winter Squash

The meat or fish is totally optional; the chew and flavor are of course welcome, but this could be a fine vegan risotto. And as with any risotto, the leftovers have insane potential. Since a cup of brown rice produces around four cups of cooked rice, with all these substantial add-ins this recipe really serves four people, even as a main course.

The night I made it, there were two of us. The next night, I crisped maybe two ounces of chopped bacon in a little more olive oil, then scooped that out and sautéed a little more onion and a cup of peas (actually, frozen), cranked the heat and browned the leftover rice in there: instant fried rice, and never better.

Which brings me to the Parmesan. I consider it optional largely because I’ve come to prefer leaner, simpler risottos. Traditionally (I suppose), butter was the fat of choice, and Parmesan used whenever it was available and appropriate — that is, a good pairing. In restaurants at least, a big hunk of butter is often stirred in at the end of cooking to enrich the dish and take it over the top. (If you’ve ever wondered why your risotto is not as velvety and filling as that in restaurants, it’s because you have more of a conscience than most chefs.)

But I start with good olive oil and often omit the Parmesan, finishing the dish instead with a lot of chopped herb. The results not only showcase the rice and add-ins, they are also cleaner. If you want an even sharper flavor, you could add a bit of lemon juice at the last second.

About 45 minutes

1 cup short- or medium-grain brown rice
3 tablespoons olive oil or butter
1 medium onion or large shallot, chopped
Black pepper
About 2 cups winter squash in roughly 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup dry white wine or water
About 4 cups any stock (shrimp, chicken, lobster, vegetable, pork) or water
About 1 cup bite-size pieces of meat or shellfish (precooked is O.K.): sausage, pork, lobster, shrimp, chicken, etc.
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, optional
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley

Bring medium pot of water to a boil and salt it. Stir in brown rice, adjust heat so that water bubbles steadily, and cook without stirring, until rice is swollen and half-tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain. (If you want to wait a bit before proceeding, spread the rice on a platter or sheet tray so it cools.)
Put oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add onion or shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens, 3 to 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is glossy and coated with oil, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then stir in the squash; add the wine. Stir and let liquid bubble away.
Begin to add the stock, about ½ cup at a time, stirring after each addition and every minute or so. When the stock is just about evaporated, add more. Keep the heat medium to medium-high and stir frequently.
When rice is just about tender and mixture is creamy, stir in shellfish or meat and continue to cook, adding more liquid if necessary, until rice is tender. The final dish should be quite moist but not soupy. Add Parmesan if you’re using it, then taste and add more salt or pepper (or both) if necessary. Garnish with basil or parsley and serve.

4 servings

Originally published with A Different Shade of Risotto

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Summer squash, basil, and goat cheese

Even right off their prolific vines, summer squash can be watery and sometimes bitter. Cook them slowly in plenty of olive oil and they turn sweet but stay moist and summery, so you can take advantage of the beautiful golden color. As you cook the sliced squash, mash the rounds against the sides of the skillet to break them up. Then toss the squash wit leaves of fresh basil, and crumbled goat cheese.

3 tablespoons olive oil
7 small summer squash, thinly sliced
About 20 fresh basil leaves, torn in half
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh goat cheese, crumbled

In a large skillet over low heat, heat the olive oil. Add the squash and cook, stirring often, for 30 minutes or until the squash soaks up the oil and is not at all watery. As the squash cooks, use a wooden spoon to mash it against the side of the pan. Stir in half of the basil leaves. Top with the goat cheese and remaining basil leaves.

Boston Globe

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The New York Times’ Marinated Raw Zucchini Salad

Raw zucchini very thinly sliced it marinates beautifully, especially in lemon juice. I like to use a mixture of green and yellow squash here. Assemble this dish at least four hours before you wish to serve it, so that the squash has time to soften and soak up the lemony marinade.

1 pound medium or small zucchini, preferably a mix of green and yellow
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, mint, chives, dill or a combination

1. Slice the squash as thinly as you can. Sprinkle with salt, preferably kosher salt, and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse and drain on paper towels.
2. Mix together the lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Toss with the zucchini. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for four to six hours.
3. Remove from the refrigerator, and remove the garlic clove. Add the fresh herbs, and toss together. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve. Yield: Serves four.

Advance preparation: This dish will keep for a day or two, but it is best served just after the herbs are added. The lemony zucchini will lose its flavor over time.

Nutritional information per serving: 113 calories; 2 grams saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 7 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 5 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 11 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste), 2 grams protein

New York Times:

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Harvest Pasta Bake

1 butternut squash (2 lb.), peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 red onion, cut lengthwise in half, then sliced crosswise
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. (1/2 of 1 lb. pkg.) rigatoni pasta, uncooked
1/2 cup cream cheese
1 pkg. (8 oz.) shredded cheese, divided
1/4 cup croutons, crushed

Heat oven to 400ºF. Combine first 4 ingredients in 13×9-inch baking dish. Bake 30 to 40 min. or until squash is tender. Meanwhile, cook pasta as directed on package, omitting salt.

Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Add to squash mixture with cream cheese and 1 cup of shredded cheese; mix lightly. Top with crouton crumbs and remaining shredded cheese. Bake 20 min. or until heated through.

Kraft: Harvest Pasta Bake

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Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Copy of IMG_0065

I was in the grocery store, holding a butternut squash, when a stranger told me that I should try making it into Ina Garten’s squash salad. “It’s wonderful,” he said. “Just look it up on the Food Network Web site.” And so I did. Ina, who calls herself the Barefoot Contessa, serves this salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette.

1 (1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch) diced
Good olive oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
4 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, prepare the Warm Cider Vinaigrette. Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Food Network

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