Squashed.

Shall I not have intelligence with the Earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself.

– Henry David Thoreau

DSC_1208A beautiful delicata squash. Every bite of squash – any squash- is delectable. 

It was a weekend filled with squash. I dare not guess how much squash was consumed by me (Ima Goose), my hubbie (Abba Goose) or the kids (Littlest Guy and Snoo Magoo). We are a family of winter squash lovers and have repeat flings with the vegetable each Autumn. On Saturday night, I ate an entire tray of roasted delicata squash. I. am just. that. good. And so is this squash! It’s exterior has a beautiful green and yellow camouflage-like pattern. It’s flesh is light yellow and  incredibly creamy when roasted. The flavor is similar to that of a sweet potato.

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Butternut squash is delicious when roasted with any green vegetable.

According to the American Heritage dictionary, squash is:

  1. Any of various tendril-bearing plants of the genus Cucurbita, having fleshy edible fruit with a leathery rind and unisexual flowers.
  2. The fruit of any of these plants, eaten as a vegetable.

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The pumpkin squash, Cucurbita pepo, and Brussel sprouts go into the oven.

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Roasted pumpkin and Brussels sprouts, beautifully caramelized and delicious.

There are so many varieties of squash. This week at the grocery store, I bought the prettiest ones I saw – there are myriad colors, shapes and sizes of squash. To determine the types of squash purchased, I referred to my old friend, the internet. I am a very talented “Googler.” I knew that I had not purchased summer squash (very discerning – haha) but that was all. Check out this winter squash reference from Real Simple magazine to determine what “Cucurbita” plant you purchased.

DSC_1214Recipe below: Roasted delicata squash with sweet onions, red pepper and rosemary is delicious tossed with pasta. Alternatively, grab a fork and eat the entire bowl with reckless abandon.

After purchasing a few too many squash (they were all so pretty – it’s hard to pick just one!), I came home and read up on their health benefits. As it would turn out, squash is a “healthy” carbohydrate with lots of fiber to promote good (ahh-hem) digestion and regularity.  It is also “excellent” source of vitamins A and C, a “very good source of Manganese and vitamin B6. It’s “good” source of too many vitamins to list, including folate, which is important for pregnant and nursing moms. Another fun tidbit – squash seeds are loaded with anti-inflammatory omega-three acids – and omega-six (Linoleic) acids, which are crucial for brain function and overall development in children and adults. So, roast up those squash seeds!

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Recipe below: Roasted spaghetti squash with peppers, scallions, garlic and herbs.

 I looked up (once again, thank you internet!) how to cook spaghetti squash in the oven. It turns out that it takes a couple of hours! No way, José. I only intended to steam the inside of the squash enough to cook and separate the spaghetti-like strands, so I opted for a speedy microwave cooking method detailed in this article. Roasted spaghetti squash with peppers, scallions, garlic and herbs was topped with grilled salmon marinated in lemon-pecan basil pesto for Sunday night dinner.

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Creamy, pungent Taleggio and sharp, flavorful, aged Manchego cheeses are served alongside a local favorite: Heidi’s Organic Red Chile Jam

Obviously, man cannot live on squash alone (though one can try!). Over the weekend, we enjoyed our squash bounty with big salads and lots of delicious fromage. The beauty of enjoying light, flavorful squash recipes is that they pair nicely with creamy, decadent cheeses; crunchy, fresh multi-grain farm bread; and crisp, green salads. Oh, and a glass (or three) of my favorite Portuguese white of the moment: GRÃO VASCO DÃO 2010. It has earthy mineral notes, plenty of body and well-balanced acidity. The light floral notes in the finish make a lovely pairing with salad, cheese – or squash, of course.

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GRÃO VASCO DÃO 2010 and salads of white peaches, tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach and a basic French vinaigrette.

DSC_1219 The colors of green salad juxtapose bright yellow squash recipes, below. Enjoy!

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Click Here to Print Recipe

Roasted spaghetti squash with peppers, scallions, garlic and herbs

A flavorful and healthy alternative to traditional pasta.

Ingredients:

1 large spaghetti squash, cooked in the oven or microwave, seeded and halved

1 large red pepper, diced

4 scallions, sliced

4 large garlic cloves, finely minced

1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped

1/4 cup each: fresh parsley and basil, chopped

salt and pepper, to taste

optional: extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle over squash

Preparation:

1.) With two forks, remove and separate the spaghetti-like strands from the squash and place in a large bowl.

2.) While the squash is still warm, gently toss it with all the remaining ingredients, through the fresh parsley and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3.) Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, if desired. Serve as a side dish or as a main dish, topped with grilled chicken or fish.

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Click Here to Print Recipe

Roasted delicata squash with sweet onions, red pepper and rosemary

A seasonal, brightly colored vegetable dish – toss with pasta or serve as a side dish.

Ingredients:

1 whole delicata squash, seeded and cut into small cubes

1 whole sweet yellow onion, cut into small cubes

1 whole red pepper, diced

3 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped

2 Tbsp. Extra virgin garlic-infused olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

1.) Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the squash, yellow onion, red pepper and rosemary on a large sheet tray. Toss with the olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

2.) Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until the squash is tender and the onions are slightly caramelized. Allow to cool and serve. Enjoy!

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©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, shannaward.com (2013), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.

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26 thoughts on “Squashed.

  1. Ima Goose (HA!). Shanna, your opening shot is fantastic.

    Squash is always a particular favorite of mine, but the winter ones are always so big. Hard for one person to consume.

    If you split spaghetti squash in half, rake out the seeds, turn cut-side down in roasting pan, they should be baked in about 30 minutes in a hot oven. (400 F.) Please send me the link to those directions. I’d like to take a look.

    Happy Monday!

    1. A fellow squash lover – excellent! I have found that acorn squashes and some pumpkins are teeny-tiny, so they might be a nice size for one person.

      Thanks for the oven tip on the spaghetti squash – I will use it next time – the oven always give the best flavor to veggies.

      As for the link, just click on the word “article” in the text above. I followed the directions but also pierced the spaghetti squash with a knife turned it occasionally when it cooked.

      Thanks for reading! And for your positive comments! You are a favorite visitor at Casa Curls and Carrots, for sure.

      1. To me caramelized onions are up there with garlic, basil and rosemary – they somehow end up in everything! 😉 I am so impressed that you have a grocery list! Somehow mine always get colored on by the kids or deleted off my phone if it’s electronic. Hehe.

  2. Like you, Shanna, I’m a squash lover, though I’ve not tried as many as you have and rarely bring home more than 2 of them. Living alone, there’s only so much squash that I can eat. I do enjoy them, though. I’ve prepared spaghetti squash in the oven and I don’t recall it taking hours. As the previous commenter said, I cut it in half, put it cut-side down, and baked it until done. It worked fine. 🙂

    1. Hi, John! Thank you for the tip. It sounds like you and Chef Janet have a great method in cutting the spaghetti squash in half and baking – roasting gives great flavor. 🙂 I must admit, microwaving a spaghetti squash is extremely easy and also works shockingly well in terms of even cooking – and flavor if one intends to add a lot of “ummmph” and ingredients to the dish.

      I hope that you are not afraid to buy squash… it does freeze quite well after it is roasted. I purchased two more local squash today at our Co-Op- they were little and cute, I couldn’t say no to them – they are just the right size. Thank you so much for stopping by, fellow Cucurbita lover! I appreciate your comments!

    1. Sheryl Aronow, so we have a mutual adoration for Heidi’s jams; the red chile variety is just divine. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a nice note. It in encouraging and pretty much fantastic to hear kind words from food writers, chefs and bloggers alike. I can’t get enough of mamasgottabake.com ! !

    1. To borrow the quote on your website: “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.” -Julia Child Squash is just so easy to prepare and always taste divine. I am embarrassed to admit that I have not one, but two, varieties in the oven at this moment! I suppose part of the food budget is now designated to squash alone. I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed the post and happy that you stopped by. Thank you! I will be stalking (haha) cottagegrovehouse.com in anticipation of your upcoming squash recipes. Your blog is pretty fabulous.

  3. i love how do you use the ingredients to make healthy and really colorful plates! me too i really love any kind of vegetables and mix them help me to create tasteful recipes 🙂
    I want to cook right now after reading!

  4. Credina, thank you for your warm comments – I see now that we are both lovers of all things veggies. I hope that you get to cooking soon so that I can read about your culinary adventures on your blog. I am so impressed by your extensive travel, knowledge of architecture and great, European pastry recipes… The blog Around the Corner is a fun read! Thanks for stopping by!

    1. This is the first year I have tried it and I am in LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! It is so buttery and tender, with the most gorgeous, pale yellow flesh. I hope that you try it. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a nice comment!

  5. I enjoyed reading your narration about squash. I love butternut and all the rest really and I love roasted veggies, too. They are always such a delight to eat. I shall try tossing my pasta with the roasted veggies next time. Thanks so much for sharing lots of information. Have a great week!

    1. Hi, Liz! Thank you so much for your lovely comments! How wonderful that you stopped by and left a nice note, too. Yes, I adore tossing pasta with any roasted vegetables – from zucchini to pumpkin. And pesto, of course. 😉 Have a lovely week and a happy Halloween!

      1. Ha ha I’m busy packing candy in bags for trick and treat tomorrow. The kids really love going out for candy…enjoy your halloween, too!

    1. Hi, Martine. I just stopped by to visit your blog – and completely adore it. Your recipes, photos and mantra are just exquisite. Thank you for sharing with all of us! I look forward to trying your delicious culinary creations. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a warm note. Have a lovely day. – Shanna

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