Can you believe that for three years now food bloggers have been posting their favourite herb/vegetable/fruit recipes and Kalyn has been organizing a weekly round up? I first got involved in year two. It has been a great way to explore herbs more and expand my horizons as a cook. WHBing is undergoing a change on its third anniversary and you can read more about that on Kalyn's blog.
This year I discovered that all my years of fighting my mother tooth and nail over eating squash was wasted energy. I waited 44 years to discover that I liked it! GASP This has been the most earth shattering thing around here this year, well vegetable-wise anyway. *smile*
This recipe is from Jamie Oliver's jamie's italy cookbook. It is a delicious way to cook squash. So delicious that I have made it a few times in the past month. It is my kind of recipe - easy to prepare but LONG on taste!
Jamie Oliver's Zucca al Forno
1 large ambercup squash (you can substitute acorn or hubbard)
1 dried red chili
a handful of fresh sage leaves
1 stick cinnamon, broken into pieces
freshly ground pepper
Preheat over to 350 degrees.
Halve the squash, remove and reserve the seeds, then cut the squash into slices or chunks with the skin left on.
Using a mortar and pestle, crush the chili pepper with a generous pinch of salt. Tear the sage leaves. Add the torn leaves and the pieces of cinnamon to the chili/salt mixture. Add enough olive oil to bind the mixture.
Mix the herb mixture with the squash until the pieces of squash are well covered.
Place the squash in one layer on a sturdy roasting pan. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the seeds over. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until the skin of the squash is soft.
Remove the foil and cook for another 10 minutes, until the squash is golden and crisp.
Remove the pieces of cinnamon and serve.
Winter squash, also known as hard squash, are available in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes. Choose winter squash that are firm, heavy for their size, and that have hard, tough skin with no cuts, punctures, sunken spots or mold. A tender rind indicates immaturity, which is undesirable in winter squash.
Winter squash can be stored at room temperature in a cool, dry place for a month or more. After cutting, wrap it tightly in plastic and refrigerate.
A 1 ½-pound trimmed squash provides about four servings. Similar cooking methods can be employed for most types of winter squash. To bake, cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and place each half cut side down in ½ inch of water. Roast it by peeling and cutting it into chunks. Purée winter squash and use it to thicken soups and sauces. Winter squashes generally pair well with cardamom, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, fruit juice, toasted nuts, raisins, apples, onions and parmesan cheese.
Most winter squash are a good source of vitamin A (beta carotene), vitamin C, niacin, phosphorus and potassium.