Risotto with Squash and Leeks
Bon Appétit | December 1999
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (4–5 cups)
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups (about) chicken stock or canned low-salt chickenbroth
3 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
2 cups arborio rice or medium-grain rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place squash on large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Roast until tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes.
Bring stock to simmer in heavy large saucepan. Reduce heat to very low; cover and keep stock warm.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in another heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leeks and sauté until soft but not brown, about 10 minutes. Add rice; stir 1 minute. Add wine and simmer until absorbed, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup hot stock; simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently. Add remaining stock 1/2 cup at a time, allowing stock to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently, until rice is tender and mixture is creamy, about 25 minutes longer. Add roasted squash, cream, Parmesan cheese and sage; stir until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.
Spicy Roasted Squash
Preheat your oven to 400°F
1 butternut squash (about 1–1.5kg)
1 heaped tablespoon coriander seeds
2 small dried red chillies (or to taste)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves of garlic, squashed
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
6 rashers of good-quality smoked back bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil
Wash the squash, then cut it in half with a large, sharp knife (cut off one side and roll the squash on to the cut edge to make it safer and easier). With a large spoon, remove the seeds from the squash. Cut the squash lengthwise into quarters and then cut the quarters in half lengthwise to give boat-shaped wedges of squash. (Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter if you hack it up as long as the pieces are roughly the same shape.) Place the pieces into a roasting tray.
Put the spices into a pestle and mortar and pound them up with a pinch of salt. Scrape them into the tray over the squash, add the garlic, rosemary, bacon and olive oil.
Toss the squash, making sure that all the pieces are well coated with the flavours, and arrange the bacon over some of the wedges. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until tender. The spicy flavour will cook into the squash, which will crisp lightly, the skin becoming caramelized and chewy.
Sunshine Squash With Sage and Leeks
1 sunshine squash (2.5-3 lbs)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
4-8 leaves fresh sage, chopped into ribbons
1 leek, julienned white only
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare squash by washing, poking 2-4 holes into center with sharp knife. Bake whole squash in oven for 60-90 minutes, until soft. When squash is done, cut in half, remove seeds and fibers, and scrape flesh from skin into a bowl, mash but do not puree squash.
Melt butter in a large skillet. Add sage leaves and fry until crisp 1-2 minutes. Add leek and salt and continue heating 2-5 minutes until leeks are soft and translucent, add squash to skillet and mix until all butter is incorporated.
Squash-a-roni and Cheese
This is a recipe I made up that I make all of the time, but I don’t really measure anything for it. I started out making this to sneak some squash by my daughter, but it’s really become a staple in our household. Don’t let the ‘from scratch’ aspect of this scare you, if I have the squash already made I can make this in less than half- an-hour.
1-2 cups pureed squash
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour, wheat flour or white spelt flour work best, although barley works too
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
16 ounces cooked, drained rigatoni or elbow pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
Bake, scoop out and puree the squash in a food processor. Set aside. Start the water for the pasta.
In a medium sauce pan melt the butter and whisk in the flour over medium-high heat. The consistency should be a little runnier than paste, if it’s not correct it by adding more butter or flour. Whisk for a couple of minutes and then slowly whisk in the milk. When all the milk is in you can take the time to shred the cheese, but keep stirring the milk occasionally so that it doesn’t scald. The milk will slowly thicken over the next few minutes, try not to let it boil. When thickened, reduce the heat to med-low and whisk in the squash, if your sauce stayed fairly thin then adding more squash helps to thicken it. Lastly, whisk in the cheese and reduce the heat to low and keep stirring every minute or so until your pasta is ready.
When your pasta is ready, toss it with the squash/ cheese sauce and serve. I don’t bake mine, but you probably could. This time of year I like to serve mine with a bunch of diced fresh tomatoes on top.
For the uninitiated the easiest way to cook squash is to slice it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and place cut side down on an oiled tray in a 350° oven. Bake until you can easily push a fork through the skin and flesh. For delicata this may only take 30 minutes, but for a larger butternut it may take at least an hour. If the butternut is a large one I may cut it into quarters to speed it up a bit. Adding a quarter inch of water to the pan can also speed it up by steaming it a bit as it bakes.
Delicata Squash Rings
One of the unique things about delicata squash is it’s versatility. This is a fun way to cook it and takes less time than sticking it in the oven.
1 Delicata squash
Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler, slice off the ends, and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Cut the squash into rings about 1/3 inch thick. Heat the oil in a wide skillet, add the squash, and fry over medium heat until richly colored on the bottom, about 6 minutes. Turn and cook on the second side until tender. Remove to a plate, season with salt and pepper and maybe a bit of good butter. Enjoy.
Crispy Delicata Squash Rings
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Slice one delicata squash into 3/8-inch rings. With a spoon scoop out the seeds. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and roast in a single layer on a heavy baking sheet for 10-15 minutes. Flip and cook for a few more minutes, until the rings are tender and slightly brown. Soy sauce or balsamic vinegar can be a nice addition to this. Eat them straight from the oven, skin and all.