Shall I not have intelligence with the Earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself.
– Henry David Thoreau
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.
Butternut squash is delicious when roasted with any green vegetable.
According to the American Heritage dictionary, squash is:
- Any of various tendril-bearing plants of the genus Cucurbita, having fleshy edible fruit with a leathery rind and unisexual flowers.
- The fruit of any of these plants, eaten as a vegetable.
The pumpkin squash, Cucurbita pepo, and Brussel sprouts go into the oven.
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.
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!
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.
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.
GRÃO VASCO DÃO 2010 and salads of white peaches, tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach and a basic French vinaigrette.
Roasted spaghetti squash with peppers, scallions, garlic and herbs
A flavorful and healthy alternative to traditional pasta.
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
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.
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.
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
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!
©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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