Winter squashes are really rewarding to grow. And they just keep growing, and growing and growing, and pretty soon everyone in the neighborhood is bringing them over is baskets and buckets to share them with you. Now I really love squash, so I wouldn’t want them to stop offering to share the bounty, but I’m running out of room. I mean there’s squash everywhere in the kitchen, a few in the garage, and I just can’t stand the idea of any of it going to waste. So when there’s too much of anything I bag it and put it in the freezer. Fortunately, squash freezes beautifully, and I just peel it, cut it into bite size chunks and freeze a few bags for roasting later in the winter. I also cook some in the microwave until tender, puree it and freeze flat in bags for using in pie, breads, and even souffles.
Still, my favorite way to enjoy squash is stuffed and baked in the oven. This delicious, flexible recipe is one I got from my sister-in-law, Skye Morgan O’Malley. You can use any kind of winter squash including pumpkin, and make either sweet or savory variations. Below is the sweet recipe which is a good choice for those of us who grew up eating sweet potatoes and squash with butter and brown sugar, but you can give it a savory twist by cutting back on the sugar and adding a some browned sausage.
Baked Curried Squash
The recipe below is for 4 servings.
- 2 butternut or acorn squash, or small pumpkins
- 4 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 1 tsp curry powder (you can adjust this to taste)
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/4 cup each dried fruit like cherries, cranberries and golden raisins
- 3/4 cup diced apple
- ½ cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans (strictly optional)
- 1/8 tsp each of cinnamon, nutmet, ginger, allspice and cardamon, or (2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
- 1 cup of browned crumbled sausage (vegetarian option – Leave it out or substitute curmbled up Morningstar breakfast patties)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a baking pan and set aside.
- In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoon olive oil or melted butter with all of the stuffing ingredients. (You can substitute a tablespoon of vegetable broth for the oil). Set aside.
- With a sharp knife or other suitable instrument, split the squash or pumpkin in half, or cut the top off and remove all of the seeds and fibers. Scrap clean.
- Fill the hollowed out squash or pumpkin with the stuffing ingredients and place in the baking pan.
- Lightly spray the squash with cooking spray or oil, place in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the flesh is fork tender.
Helpful Tip:Slice just enough of the rind off the bottom of the squash so it will sit flat in the pan.