During the week, I got tweeting about squash, and what a versatile ingredient it is. I was making stew, and whilst cooking I away I totted up the number of different things I’ve made using squash this Winter.
There’s been soup, mash, curries, and risottos to name just a few. My Twitter buddy Neil tweeted about needing some good recipes, so I said I’d send him some. ‘Hang on’, I thought, ‘there’s a blog post here’.
So, if you’re new to this awesome vegetable and are looking for some interesting recipes, here are 5 of my favourites.
Squash and Sage Risotto
I absolutely love this recipe. It was the first meal I cooked with squash and has remained as a winter staple in my house ever since.
The result is a luxurious, herby, and rich treat that is easy and quick to knock up. In fact, this is my go-to meal when I’m home alone.
Although HFW used pumpkin, I’d definitely recommend using squash instead. For me, a good butternut or Crown Prince is a far tastier ingredient that pumpkin.
I’d also stuff a few more sage leaves in for maximum taste too, as well as replacing half the stock with white wine.
Jamie Oliver Squash Muffins
When I was stumbled across this recipe, originally from Jamie Oliver at Home, I was dubious but intrigued. I’ve always loved how resourceful GYOers are, using veg in different ways, and as luck had it, I had a 200g-ish lump of squash that needed using up.
These muffins are perfect for doing just that. The squash essentially acts in the same way carrot does in carrot cake, adding texture and sweetness. These are fun to make with kids and contain no butter so are nowhere near as naughty as other cakes.
That said, they’re no less delicious…
Ailsa’s Squash and Orange Pasta
In the kitchen, there are a few differences between me and my lovely wife. For example, whilst she is an efficient and tidy cook, I can make the kitchen look like a bomb has hit it making cheese on toast.
Furthermore, Ails can invent things. I follow recipes, with no real understanding of what is going on, whereas she’ll make recipes up and add killer ingredients to existing ones.
Ailsa’s squash and orange pasta (pictured above) is one of those excellent inventions. The idea is simple, but the taste great: roast the squash, and then simply mix with your boiled pasta, pine nuts, feta, sultanas, olive oil, and the juice and zest of an orange.
Stuffed Butternut Squash
There are lots of different variations of this in cookbooks and on the web, which is kind of the beauty of the recipe. Essentially you can stuff the squash with whatever takes your fancy.
Cut the squash in half, dig out the seedy bit and fill in the hole with some butter and garlic. Brush the flesh with olive oil and then bake until soft. Once this is done, the best bit begins…
Dig out the flesh, and combine with some other ingredients (leeks, cheese, and walnuts are my favourite) and then put the mixture back into squash, baking for another ten minutes.
Delia’s Winter Vegetable Pie
I really enjoy using squash as an alternative to meat too. Being a chunky veg, it is a great way of bulking up recipes such as lasagnes and curries.
Squash works well in pies as well, and none more so than this Delia Winter Veg Pie. You can’t beat a pie for a big family occasion, and we first made this for a Solstice celebratory meal a few years back.
We substituted the swede and sweet potato for extra squash and the pie was ace. If you’ve got a few mouths to feed on a cold, winter Sunday, this recipe is spot on.