July 19, 2024
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Will Squash Replace the Potato?

While growing up in New York, my mother had very specific ideas of what vegetables should enter a Jewish household. Although she served us broccoli and cauliflower and other veggies, which I have heard from some never entered a Jewish home, we never, ever ate squash. It was equated with what was considered to be for “goyish” homes.

Not until we arrived in Montreal as a relatively young married couple did we have our first encounter with squash. It was our dear friend Temima (alias Louise Senez) who taught us the diversity of this vegetable. Temima, as you can probably tell, was a giyoret who spent much time with us until she became as Jewish as you and me. She taught me the deliciousness of the flavor. At that time I would just buy an acorn squash, cut it in half, take out the seeds, put in a drop of margarine and a bit of brown sugar, wrap it in foil and bake. YUM. We are now more sophisticated and know that margarine is not particularly healthy, so I just bake it without anything inside it and find it delicious as well. It must be baked for a long time in order for it to be soft enough to eat.

We then became more progressive and began to prepare the squash ala Susie Fishbein, with a coating of cranberries making the squash look much more festive (recipe below), and today we are all familiar with spaghetti squash (no one can convince me it is as good as real pasta), butternut squash and, newest on the market and my absolute favorite, delicata squash.

As one can deduce from its name, delicata squash has a much more delicate skin than its confreres in the squash family, and the skin is easily edible. Off the record, I noticed on my extremely infrequent visits to Whole Foods that delicata squash was 1.98 per squash there, and the next day in Trader Joe’s the same squash was.79 each. Quite a difference, especially for a company that boasts that they have been purchased by Amazon.

Enjoy the following recipes, some easier than others to prepare. I have never made the one that looks the most time-consuming, but I can tell you that both the acorn squash recipe with cranberries and the delicata recipe in particular take no time to prepare and is well worth the time. Use it as a side dish or a snack. We love it and I hope you will too.

Cut squash lengthwise and remove seeds. Then cut each half of the squash into semicircles. Put slices of squash on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spray with olive oil and sprinkle salt sparingly on them. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Try one. If you feel that it needs to be baked longer, put them back into the oven. I find that once I begin eating them it is hard to stop!

From Oprah Magazine

(good luck if you choose to make this)

Serves six

Ingredients:

Preparation: In small saucepan over medium heat combine coconut milk, cinnamon stick, clove, cranberries, dates, apricots and cherries. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let ingredients soak for about 10 minutes. Drain saucepan, setting fruit aside, and discard cinnamon stick.

Preheat oven to 350. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion, garlic and salt. Cook, stirring until tender, about 3 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts, mushrooms and thyme. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until sprouts are tender and mushrooms are lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

Cut squash in half lengthwise. Using a sturdy metal spoon, scrape out and discard seeds. Continue scraping flesh to hollow out center and neck until they are about 1-inch thick, to make room for stuffing. Use a knife to score the inside of the squash in a crosshatch pattern to help it cook more evenly.

Add dried fruit mixture, quinoa and nuts to Brussels sprouts mixture and stir to combine. Spoon stuffing into squash cavities, packing in as much as you can fit (leftover stuffing can be used as a quinoa salad). Place halves back together and tie tightly with twine to secure. Place squash on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Flip, cover with foil, and bake until soft, 30 to 45 minutes longer. Slice crosswise into rounds and serve hot.

(Inspired by Kosher By Design, Susie Fishbein)

Squash

Ingredients:

Frosted Cranberries

Squash:

Frosted Cranberries:

In a saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil over medium heat. When sugar dissolves, reduce heat and add the cranberries. Simmer for 15 minutes. Drain off liquid. Remove the berries to a sheet of waxed paper; use a fork to keep them separated. Set aside.

Remove squash from oven and pour off the water from the pan. Turn the squash cut-side up. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, honey, ginger, cinnamon, margarine, salt and pepper. Divide mixture evenly among each of the squash halves. Return to the oven for another 30-35 minutes, basting with sauce until squash is soft.

Toss the cranberries with a little sugar to coat them. Remove the squash to a platter and fill each cavity with frosted cranberries.

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