For a long time I've been a fan of acorn squash. In fact, I made some a few weeks ago for the husband and myself. I took the uber-easy way out and microwaved it. Ain't nothin' wrong with taking the easy way if it means your getting a good vegetable into your gullet.
Earlier in September, the girls and I whipped up some bowl-licking-good butternut squash soup to kick off fall. I had to make sure I shared that recipe because my friend, Jill, wants to make it for part of her Thanksgiving dinner. In case you're planning your Turkey Day menu, it would be a delectable choice for your buffet table, too. It's perfectly autumnal, and you can make it ahead of time.
Then I read an article in Real Simple magazine the other day about all the different varieties of squash. I was, of course, completely intrigued. There were several varieties of squash I hadn't yet gotten my hands on. Buttercup squash caught my eye because it was described as sweet. I maaaay have a bit of a sweet tooth, so I got my hands on a buttercup squash as soon as possible.
When you make buttercup squash (because you really should), there is one thing I'll warn you about. It looks and tastes a bit drier than acorn squash. I stirred in a bit of water and, I'll be honest, lots of butter to remedy this situation. The husband was pretty skeptical when he saw the slightly flaky-looking orange flesh, but he was completely sold after one bite. Yes, folks, this squash is delicious.
So, next time your at the market, grab the squash that interests you the most. If there's not a recipe here on Hot Dinner Happy Home for the variety you choose, shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I'll take on the challenge. I'll test it out and tell you what I think. And I'll share the results right here. Get ready for gourd bonanza, folks!
P.S. Since I've been mentioning Real Simple a lot lately, I think my mother-in-law deserves a shout-out for giving me the magazine subscription as a gift last Christmas. The gift that keeps on giving. Thanks, Mom!!
Roasted Buttercup Squash
1 (3.5 pound) butternut squash
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Butter (to your preference)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, use a sharp knife to pierce the skin of the squash in several places. Place squash in a glass baking dish lined with parchment paper (for easy clean up.) Microwave on high for 10 minutes to speed up the cooking process. (If you're not in a hurry, feel free to skip this step. Just cook the squash longer in the oven.) Once the oven is preheated, place baking dish with the squash on the center rack and bake for 45 minutes, until a knife can slide into the squash easily.
Let the squash rest for a few minutes until it's easy enough to handle. Cut the squash in half, scoop out and discard the strings and seeds. Scoop the flesh out of the squash and place it in a bowl. Add brown sugar, salt and pepper to taste, and as much butter as you'd like, then mash it all together. Serve warm with a hearty pat of butter dripping down the sides.