October 25, 2004 11:38 AM   Subscribe

What should I do with (acorn, butternut, other hard) squash?

Also, does anyone think that a ricer would suffice for soups? I don't have a blender (I don't have a ricer either but imagine they're cheaper), and I used to have an awesome butternut squash soup recipe.
posted by kenko to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Acorn squash are the ones I am familiar with. Generally the main thing to know about them is that they take much longer to cook than you think they might. I make two things with them: stuffed squash and regular old squash + syrup/butter.

To make stuffed squash, you cut them lengthwise, scrape out seeds & junk and and bake them cut side down in a pan in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or so [you can add a little bit of water to the pan to keep them from drying out] then add whatever stuffing you want [apple mixtures are good, wild rice is good look here for suggestions] and bake cut/filled side UP for 20 more minutes. Sometimes you have to put tin foil over the stuffing to make sure it doesn't burn. Youy can also broil some cheese over the top in the last few minutes.

Otherwise, you can cut/clean them the same way, and drop a tablespoon or so of butter and a few tablespoons of syrup into the hole in the squash and put it in a baking pan. Bake 60 minutes at 350 degrees, covered until the last five or ten minutes.

A ricer would be fine for soups although blenders that can do soupish level blending are really pretty inexpensive. Some soups require a real puree while a lot of them just require mashing/ricing.
posted by jessamyn at 11:55 AM on October 25, 2004

My blender is tiny and easily irritable, so when soups call for blending, I usually employ the "smoosh everything together with a big spoon" technique to decent effect. I prefer homemade soup to be all chunky and rustic anyway. I think a ricer would do fine with the squash part, but I think it would possibly choke on other blendable ingredients, like onions, if they're in there.

This is my favorite butternut squash soup recipe. It's impossible to screw up. I've made it without the carrots and celery and it's still utterly heavenly. This is labor-intensive compared to the soup, but insanely beautifully delicious.
posted by kittyb at 12:02 PM on October 25, 2004 [1 favorite]

I like to make squash soup, as you've mentioned. The Good Eats recipe (or the "official" version) is really, really good (if you kick up the spices a bit). It calls for, and I use, a stick blender, which you should be able to pick up pretty much anywhere for $20 or so. Although really, if it's cooked long enough, I'm sure you could squish the squash enough with a potato masher or even the back of a fork.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:02 PM on October 25, 2004

I usually chop butternut squash into 2cm cubes and roast until golden.

Roasted butternut squash goes very well with feta cheese. You could add both to a plain risotto, or make a salad with some rocket (arugula) or baby spinach. You won't be dissapointed.
posted by arha at 6:13 PM on October 25, 2004

Adapted from last month's Organic Style magazine, I've made this twice in the last month:

Cut your butternut squash into 1" cubes, mix with a chopped onion, a few slices of bacon cut into 1" squares, some chopped fresh rosemary and a couple glubs of EVOO. Roast at 450 for 25 minutes.

Cook a pound of penne.

Meanwhile, put a few handfuls of chopped chard or spinach in a bowl. When the pasta is cooked, drain it over the bowl. Let the greens sit in the hot pasta water for one minute, then toss the pasta, wilted greens, and squash mixture. Serve with fresh parm.
posted by padraigin at 6:17 PM on October 25, 2004

Here's what I do (taken from Alice Waters) with butternut squash;

1. peel the squash
2. cut into 1" cubes
3. toss with olive oil, salt, pepper
4. roast in oven for 40 minutes or until golden and sweet
5. toss with copious amounts of fresh parsley

The fresh parsley is the key--it is an AMAZING combination! Mmm.
posted by josh at 7:13 PM on October 25, 2004

From my recipe site:

Surprise Pie

This is one I got from Little House on the Prairie.(the books, not the tv show) The mother wants to make a pie, but has no apples, so she uses a squash or pumpkin instead.

The results are much better than you would expect, for those of you who have only ever used the canned pumpkin.

1 recipe pie crust
6 cups raw pumpkin (or a winter squash such as blue hubbard) peeled and sliced like you would apples
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup plain flour
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves or allspice
1 egg beaten

Make the bottom crust and set aside.
Put the sliced pumpkin in a large bowl and pour the egg over it, stir to get egg on all the pieces.
Mix together the dry ingredients and stir into the pumpkin.
Pour into the pie crust, make the top crust and cut slits to allow the steam to escape.
Brush the top with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar.
Bake at 400° degrees for 15 minutes then lower temperature to 350° and continue to bake for another 30 minutes or until crust is nicely browned.

Excellent served warm with ice cream or cold with whipped cream.

Yum factor: 62
posted by kamylyon at 7:29 PM on October 25, 2004

Butternut squash risotto is good, too.
posted by stonerose at 7:44 PM on October 25, 2004

Why not just buy a blender? You'll need one eventually, and they last forever. OTOH, if you want to come down to HP and use mine you're more than welcome.

Oh, and one of the best risottos I've ever eaten contained butternut squash, maple syrup, and sherry vinegar. :::drools:::
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:22 PM on October 25, 2004

posted by Utilitaritron at 9:29 PM on October 25, 2004

Yeah, I made a butternut squash and leek risotto with walnuts & sausages a month or two ago. It was, you could fairly say, totally awesome.
posted by kenko at 10:36 PM on October 25, 2004

Yeah - another vote for risotto. It's good made with a roasted squash, mashed up and added with the first ladle of stock, along with some sauteed wild mushrooms. It wants plenty of parmesan and butter at the end, and garnish with some finely sliced shallots, fried until caramelised and crispy. You could also garnish with a few crispy lardons if you want.

I've also had good results from doing the same thing, leaving out the mushrooms and adding not so much butter and parmesan, and serving with treviso, endive or something similar braised in stock and a little vermouth.

I find butternuts a little bit too sweet and rich personally, and prefer other pumpkin varieties like onion squash, or even things like harlequin squash can be good for a change.
posted by bifter at 2:07 AM on October 26, 2004

Vegetable chili. I'll see about diggin out a recipe.
posted by biffa at 2:24 AM on October 26, 2004

Oh man, I'm SO going to the store and making a few things from this thread. My favorites are simply squash roasted and mashed with butter and brown sugar, and curried squash soup. I don't really have a recipe, I just roast a mixture of butternut and acorn squash until it's tender, put it in a pot with enough stock (chicken or vegetable) to cover, add a tablespoon or two of curry powder, and blend with an immersion blender. I then adjust the amount of stock, simmer for a while, let it cool, and stir in yogurt to make it creamy.

I can't recommend the immersion blender enough, it's a million times more convenient than using a regular blender and there's no chance of scalding yourself.
posted by TungstenChef at 2:53 AM on October 26, 2004

Everyone over to bifter's for tea! Fess up... you're Jamie Oliver, aren't you? ;-)
posted by stonerose at 5:48 AM on October 26, 2004

I have a great Roasted Butternut Squash recipe I got from one of Jaime Oliver's books. Make a rub with all sorts of yummy spices, garlic and olive oil and then roast to yummy goodness. I am making this recipe this year for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately our butternut squash inthe garden won't be ready then though ;)
posted by terrapin at 12:32 PM on October 26, 2004

My favorite way to do acorn squash:

Halve squash. Remove seeds. Coat cavity in olive oil. Pack cavity with fresh basil leaves. Cover in tinfoil. Roast for 30-45 minutes at 375 degrees.

Simple but very delicious.
posted by ikkyu2 at 4:27 PM on October 26, 2004 [1 favorite]

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