What’s not to love about this incredible edible? And who knew it could be so much fun? Goofy fun in the kitchen and name that tune as well. Although I’m not as old as all of these lyric choices would indicate!
I am not a summer squash fan. I don’t like to malign any vegetable, but they just don’t work for me. Truthfully when I sneak zucchini into a dish, I benefit just as much as my kids do. But WINTER squash? Whole different ball of wax, well, so to speak as I obviously don’t enjoy eating balls of wax, at least not since those wax lips in the 70s…. moving right along. Winter squash is glorious. It’s sweet and flavorful, mild enough to influence, and versatile enough to produce approximately 8 million pumpkin recipes on the blogosphere. This is not a pumpkin post. Look at all these amazing winter squashes. Such variety!
Today I want to introduce you to the Sweet Dumpling Squash. Isn’t it adorable? I’m not going to lie, I bought it because it’s cute. I’ve noticed lately that my picky one’s defenses tend to be lower when the item that I’m currently pushing is smaller, and cuter, than average. It makes sense if you think about it. She’s small – what does she need a big honkin’ squash for? I suspected she would enjoy squash more than most veggies because of the sweetness, so the mission was to get her to give it a go.
I decided to “stuff” the squash. You can do this with just about any squash, but the smaller rounder winter squashes (carnival, acorn, etc.) lend themselves particularly well to being stuffed. I cut mine cross wise with a big ol’ knife and pulled the stem off so it would “sit” once cut. I then used a metal scoop we just happen to have to get the seeds out (set them aside to roast, and then be sure to tell those that help you clean up that you’re setting them aside to roast…. ). At any rate, I scooped out the seeds and the stringy bits, brushed the whole thing with olive oil and then turned to making a “stuffing.”
While my picky eater is wild about bread, I hoped to entice her without using it as I was also baking some bread to go with dinner. I decided to turn to the pantry for help in creating a “stuffing” that would enhance the sweetness of the squash and would give us a fair shot at a taste test by my little varmint. The amounts listed below are for these cute little squash, if you choose a larger variety, you will need to make more. And so, I give you…
Stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash (Clever, right?)
- 2 sweet dumpling squash (or other small round winter squash)
- large handful dried apricots
- handful of pepitas (or nut of your choosing)
- much smaller handful of dried cranberries
- 1.5 t olive oil
- sprinkle salt and dried sage
- Drizzle honey (optional)
- little slip of butter (optional)
Preheat oven to 375. Oil a baking pan. Cut and prepare squash as described above. Chop dried fruit. Mix fruit, nuts, olive oil and spices in bowl. Spoon into squash halves. Bake (stuffed side up please) for approximately 30-35 minutes. Test your squash for doneness – it should be VERY easy to stick a fork in and pull some flesh away from the skin of the squash. Cooking times will vary according to the size of your squash. I did not add butter or honey to my own squash. Two of our tribe enjoyed their with a little melted butter. The honey drizzle I’m saving for next time. Delish! And yes, she tried it. She even ate a little more than was required. AND she said it was awfully cute.
If you haven’t had butternut squash soup before, then this is the time and the place my friends. Fall brings somewhat reasonable prices to the glorious elongated globules of goodness and this is a very easy way to make something that your family and friends will think took a very long time. Don’t you love that?
First off, I hate peeling squash. Too many corners… peels too tough, and many of you already know that I have an aversion to peeling. So I roasted, let it cool and scooped instead. Here’s the squash before roasting….
Simply cut 2 butternut squashes in half, scoop out the seeds. Peel and then cut 2 onions in half and brush them all lightly with your favorite oil. I brushed the bottoms of the onion and the tops of both.
Place on a baking sheet and in a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes. I confess this is an estimate. You want the squash to be soft.
This can be done ahead of time. Let the squash cool to the point where you can pick it up – or if you’re like me, until the point where patience is no longer functioning and the asbestos fingers inherited from Grandmother Lillian come into play, along with just a little swearing under the breath… which was not inherited from Grandmother Lillian… and scoop out that gorgeous flesh and into a bowl for later use, or right into the high speed blender, or a pot where you can use an immersion blender. I do not have an immersion blender and have not tested this recipe, so user beware! I am blessed with a 12 year old Vita Mix.
I placed one whole squash and one whole onion
2 cups of vegetable stock
1/2 a cored but unpeeled apple (I used Gala)
1/4 – 1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
in the Vita Mix. I poured out one blender full into a pot on the stove and then repeated.
Oh man is this stuff good. My 11 year old who is a devoted hater-of-squash ate it. It wasn’t his favorite, but hey, we can’t have our favorite all the time, can we? It builds character to suffer through Mom’s favorite once in a while, don’t you think?
Please share your favorite butternut squash recipe, cause I’m on the lookout for more of those glorious globules 🙂