Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oh, the joys of fall.

One of the wonderful things that start to make an appearance in the fall are "winter squashes". These wonderful things are known by this somewhat misleading name because they are built to last through the winter, not because they grow during the cold months. In fact, these rather hardy squashes take a rather long time to grow during the summer months. What sets them apart from the summer squashes (like zucchini and yellow crookneck squash) is that they have a very hard, thick skin. This skin is cured a bit by letting the squash sit out in the sun once it is ripe. What you are left with is a fabulous vegetable that you can store at room temperature for months at a time....virtually all winter! So, if you have the storage space, buy them up as they reach rock bottom prices during the fall. They have diverse names, like Acorn, Delicata, Spaghetti, Butternut, Table Queen, Banana, and many many others. Cooking these basically involves the same process, no matter what you choose for your table. You cut the squash in half, remove the seeds and pulp, and then put them in a pan with 1/4 inch of water, flesh side down. Bake them at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Then, you can scoop out the flesh, or leave it in the shell to serve. An easy way to season them is to turn them flesh side up, sprinkle some brown sugar, salt, pepper and cinnamon in the hollow and put them back into the oven for 5 minutes. A little bit of butter can add to the richness.

Tonight, I filled a Delicata with a wonderful mixture of fresh sauteed collard greens, onions, garlic, Hot Silva Linguica, and cooked winter wheat berries. A bit of grated Swiss cheese topped it off. This was a wonderful way to represent the bounty of the fall harvest season

1 comment:

  1. Gracias for the info -- squash has always intimidated me, but I might have to give this a try... :) -L