Tag Archives: butternut squash

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SHAKSHUKA

With winter here, squash and root vegetables are at their zenith in the kitchen. Butternut squash is one of the favorites, and it’s a favorite of mine, too. At the same time, preparations can get a little bit boring. Butternut squash soup is on many menus, roasted squash cubes appear on the internet, and mashed squash, sautéed squash, and candied squash are all in abundance. We had a squash consigned to the vegetable drawer while we were out of town. Even though squash seems to keep forever, this one really needed to be eaten.  I tried to think of something a little novel. The hollow in the base of the butternut just seems to beg to be stuffed with something, but what? I thought of tomatoes and then baked eggs. Why not combine them all? That sounded like shakshuka, although what I finally came up with is definitely not shakshuka even though it uses similar flavorings and food combinations. My final dish turned out to be tasty, and it used up that butternut squash.

RECIPE

Butternut Squash Shakshuka

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • ¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 large eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • Greek yogurt

Method

  1. Wash, dry, and split the squash lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and membranes from the cavities. Place 1 tablespoon of butter in each of the cavities. Arrange the squash halves on a baking sheet and place in the middle of an oven preheated to 375°F. When the butter has melted, about 5 minutes, brush some of it on the squash flesh. Continue to bake for 30-40 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the tomato, bell pepper, tomato paste, garlic, and cumin. Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables are wilted and the juices have been released. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Test the squash for doneness with a kitchen fork. When the flesh is soft and easily pierced, remove from the oven. Partly fill each of the squash cavities with the tomato mixture, leaving enough room for the eggs.
  4. Top each of the cavities with an egg and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the egg whites have set and the yolk is still runny. Watch carefully at this point to make sure the egg does not overcook.
  5. Remove from the oven, season with salt and pepper, and transfer to individual serving dishes.
  6. Spoon on 1 or 2 tablespoons of yogurt and serve immediately while still hot.

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SPAGHETTI SQUASH WITH PARMESAN AND POACHED EGGS

Snow is on our local mountains, so winter is not far away. The farmers market has all but closed except for apples and a bounty of winter squashes – pumpkins, acorn, and butternut squashes. That means lots of soup, pies, and acorn squash roasted with maple syrup or brown sugar. My favorite squash is spaghetti squash, because it is so versatile, and the strands hold their crispness even with cooking.  We usually eat it with just butter, salt, and pepper. Of course, you can substitute it for spaghetti with marinara. I decided to do a riff on a pasta dish that Jacques Pépin demonstrated years ago on his television show. That recipe has become a favorite, especially when we are in a hurry for lunch or a light dinner. This time I just substituted spaghetti squash.

RECIPE

Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan and Poached Eggs

Ingredients

  • medium spaghetti squash
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup finely minced parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • poached eggs

Method

  1. Pierce the squash several times with a metal skewer, going all the way to the center. This is important. Otherwise you will have an explosion and mess in your oven
  2. Bake the squash in the middle of the oven pre-heated to 350°F (190°C) for 1 hour. Test for doneness by piercing with a sharp fork. The squash should be tender.
  3. Remove the squash from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes until you can handle it comfortably. With a large, sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise.
  4. Scrape out the seeds. Then, with a fork, scrap out the flesh into a bowl. The squash will form spaghetti-like strands.
  5. Stir in the butter, olive oil, Parmesan, and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Place individual servings in pasta bowls and top each with two poached eggs.
  7. You should be able to make four servings.

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