Savoring the Seasons: Butternut squash: simple or elaborate

For The Recorder
Published: 10/25/2016 9:49:26 AM

Last week, I mentioned the correct dates for the indoor Greenfield Winter Farmers Market in November (Nov. 5 and Nov. 19), but listed the wrong location. At the time I am writing this column, the location hasn’t been set. I’ll let you know as soon as I hear about where it will be. After November, the Winter Farmers Market will be held monthly on the first Saturday of each month through March (Dec. 3, Jan. 7, Feb. 4 and March 4).

I’m sure I’ll find butternut squash at those markets. It’s one of my winter staples. Along with simply cutting butternut squash in half, roasting it and mashing it, squash soup is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it.

So, when Ann Hamilton mentioned preparing butternut squash soup, my ears perked up. Of course, I asked for the recipe. Ann said it was a recipe prepared by a chef as part of a CiderDays event in 2007. She said, “It’s quick and easy and a perfect fall lunch or supper with a generous hunk of good bread.”

Delight comes in many forms. My sister, Martha, sent me a recipe for a much more elaborate way to serve squash: a tart that combines squash, rosemary and goat cheese. Just reading the recipe made me grin. What great flavor combinations! I hadn’t thought of combining squash and rosemary, although I adore any rosemary and cheese combo.

What squash recipes put a smile on your face?

This week we’re eating …

Squash Soup

By Chef Paul Correnty, CiderDays 2007

Peel one butternut squash and cut into 1- to 2-inch chunks. Saute one diced onion or leek in 2 T. butter. Add squash and cook until soft. Add 2 C. vegetable or chicken broth (more, if necessary, depending on size of squash). Mash or puree until smooth — add ½ C. sweet cider. Season with salt, pepper, and cinnamon or nutmeg. Stir in a dollop of heavy cream just before serving.

Butternut, Goat’s Cheese and Rosemary Tatin

Shared by Martha McClintock, Melbourne, Australia (by Yotam Ottolenghi http://bit.ly/2eqDEqs).

1 small butternut squash, peeled and ends trimmed

1 T. olive oil

1 tsp. finely chopped rosemary leaves plus 1 whole sprig

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.5 oz. (45g) caster/superfine sugar

5 oz. (150g) goat’s cheese log (with rind), cut into ¼ inch(1cm)-thick discs

12 oz. (350g) ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry

Heat oven to 180 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthways, scoop out/discard seeds, then cut flesh into ¼-inch half-moons and put these in a medium bowl; you should have about one pound — 17 ounces in total. Add oil, chopped rosemary, garlic, half tsp. of salt and plenty of pepper, and toss to coat. Heat a 9.5-inch nonstick, oven-proof frying pan on medium-high flame. Add sugar, cook for four to five minutes, until it melts and becomes semi-dark caramel, then take off heat (it will keep cooking, so don’t leave it too long). Leave caramel to cool a little, then lay sprig of rosemary in its center. Arrange squash slices around rosemary in circular pattern, working from outside in, overlapping as much as possible. Dot cheese here and there (you want some underneath squash, some in between and some on top), and spoon over any rosemary and garlic left in bowl. Cut pastry into a rough 10-inch circle and lay it on top of squash, making sure it covers everything (use off-cuts to patch up gaps). Prick all over with fork and bake for 50 minutes, until pastry is golden brown and caramel is bubbling up at edges. Put large plate upside down on top of frying pan, and invert so tart comes out on plate (make sure to protect your hands from scalding caramel). Squash will now be on top of tart. If any pieces of squash stick to pan, just lift them out and put them back in place on finished tart. Serve warm.

Local food advocate and community organizers Mary McClintock lives in Conway and works as a freelance writer for Greenfield Community College, brand promoter for Goshen-based local food company Appalachian Naturals and writer-editor for More Than Sound. Send column suggestions and recipes to: mmclinto@yahoo.com


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