Here is a basic recipe and method that will have you and your family enjoying more healthy squashes, all year.
As a child growing up in North West England, the only squash I knew was the vegetable Marrow (an overgrown zucchini) that was peeled and stuffed with ground beef and onions and then steamed) ..the result was always the same, very over cooked vegetables and runny meat sauce.
It has taken me over 50 years to re-discover Squash, maybe as America seems to be the land of.
I would always avoid purchasing them in the markets as I had no idea how to make them tasty and yummy.
Here is one way that will change your mind, as it did mine.
These are tasty recipes and can be served as a side dish with cooked meat or fish (and shellfish), or can have the meats added in final stages of cooking.
They are also good enough to stand alone and be a welcome change on "Meatless Mondays" with some steamed brown rice and or salads.
The BASIC recipe serves 4 as a main course or side dish
2 pounds squash flesh cut into bite sized cubes/chunks ( 4 pounds of fresh pumpkin will result in 2 pounds once it has been peeled and seeded..the seeds are edible, if allowed to dry out for 24 hours, then crack open like sunflower seeds.)
3tbsp grape seed or olive oil
1 large onion grated/chopped fine
1/2 tsp sea salt
2-3 tsp herbs of choice* (see following recipe ideas below)
2-3 tsp spices of choice* either whole or crushed/ground ( see following recipe ideas below)
1tbsp sugar (optional)
1/2 cup water, apple juice or stock
In a wide heavy bottomed skillet heat the oil on med high.
Add the squash and onion and saute, *( adding here the herbs and spices of choice) allowing both the onions and squash to become golden, reddish brown on the outsides, this takes about 20-30 mins..cook on med high heat.
Add the salt and sugar and continue to cook, allowing the vegetables to caramelize.
Add the water, bring to boil and then cover and, simmer gently on low heat for 15-25 mins or until the squash is just tender.
Serve on warm place/bowls.
You may also mash the squash before serving.
RECIPE IDEAS AND VARIATIONS:
FOR INDIAN STYLE:
add curry powder, garam masala, cardamon, cumin, fenugreek leaves (crushed) crushed chilies, whole mustard seeds, bay laurel, chopped fresh tomatoes
FOR ITALIAN/FRENCH STYLE
add basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, marjoram, fennel seeds, grape tomatoes or chopped fresh.
FOR JAMAICA STYLE
add jerk spice, green chili, thyme, cilantro, all spice berries,cinnamon sticks
FOR ASIAN STYLE
add 5 spice, cilantro, lemongrass, ginger, scallions
FOR SOUTH AMERICAN STYLE
oregano, cumin, chipotle and adobe, cilantro, mint.
maple syrup, all spice or cinnamon, hot sauce, brown sugar
The list is endless...and the results are terrific and not an overcooked sloppy mess.
Very high in flavors and very, very healthy..another SUPERFOOD Being used in it's best season too.
To peel a squash,
Cut into 1/4 pieces with a HEAVY, SHARP KNIFE/CLEAVER
Remove the seeds and pith..the seeds can be dried for snacks.
Then cut between the peel and outer layer of flesh like with a melon or pineapple, with a heavy sharp knife, laying the squash on one of the cut sides for support.