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Diane Rossen Worthington
Squash Half Moons
Whatever you're planning on cooking this holiday season, add one of these Festive Squash Recipes to your menu for a colorful and tasty touch.
I am a squash lover -- in the summer nothing tastes better to me than grilled yellow and green summer squash. In the fall I can't get enough of the colorful squashes that line the outsides of markets and farm stands. It's excellent in soups, salads, side dishes and even desserts.
The Squash Half Moons with Butter, Sesame and Salt recipe -- an amazing recipe from "The Lee Brothers Simple Fresh Southern" -- is a tasty tangle of wintery spices like curry powder or cinnamon dusted on the sweet squash half moons. For this recipe, select medium sized acorn or velvet textured kabocha squash. Make sure there are no bruises and that they are firm. To serve these, place them on a white platter and stack them in a pretty pattern.
If you prefer a simple saute, try the Home Ranch Butternut Squash recipe below. Little cubes of sauteed bright orange butternut squash are accented with garlic and cumin with a surprisingly savory and slightly sweet result. You'll find this makes an interesting substitute to your traditional sweet potato dish this holiday season. Whichever you decide, you can't go wrong with these intensely flavored winter squash recipes.
(Squash recipes from "The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern")
Squash Half Moons Recipe with Butter, Sesame and Salt
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Yield: Serves 6
Squash Half Moons Recipe Ingredients
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, garam masala, curry powder, or your own blend of wintery spices
Two 1 1/2-pound acorn or kabocha squash
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
Squash Half Moons Recipe Instructions
1. Heat the oven to 425 F, with a rack positioned in the middle of the oven.
2. Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. When the froth on the butter begins to subside, thoroughly whisk in the cinnamon or other spices. Remove from the heat.
3. Cut each squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Then slice each half lengthwise into 3 half-moon-shaped slices of roughly equal size. You should have 12 wedges total.
4. Place the squash half-moons, flesh side up, on a roasting pan or baking sheet, baste them with the spiced butter and season them with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the squash begins to brown at the upper corners and yields easily to a knife.
5. While the squash bakes, heat a dry skillet over high heat. Add the sesame seeds and toast them, stirring them occasionally, until you just notice their color beginning to darken, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the sesame seeds to a small bowl and set aside.
6. When the squash is ready, reheat the butter until it's hot. Baste each squash slice with the spiced butter, and then sprinkle them generously with the toasted sesame seeds and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Serve immediately.
Home Ranch Butternut Squash Recipe with Cumin and Garlic
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Yield: Serves 6
Home Ranch Butternut Squash Recipe Ingredients
One 2-pound butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 cup chicken stock
Salt and white pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Home Ranch Butternut Squash Recipe Instructions
1. Carefully cut the peel from the squash, cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and cut the flesh into 1/4-inch dice.
2. In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat the oil, add the squash, and saute for about 3 to 5 minutes, until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cumin and toss to coat, sauteing for a minute. Add the stock, turn up the heat to medium-high, cover, and cook covered for 5 to 7 more minutes or until the squash is fork-tender. Remove the squash from the heat and add salt, pepper and parsley, mixing to combine.
3. Taste for seasoning. Heat further if any excess moisture remains. Spoon into a serving bowl and serve immediately.
Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks (click here), including "Seriously Simple Holidays: Recipes and Ideas to Celebrate the Season," and also a James Beard award-winning radio show host.
Available at Amazon.com:
Festive Squash Recipes for the Holidays
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