What to do with all this squash??
I love growing Tromboncino Squash! They are a rarely seen squash that grows to amazing sizes. I steam, puree them and use any recipes that call for pumpkin. Then my compost pile rooted sooooo many volunteer butternut and acorn squash!!!! My husband called the plants "the Crackin"! The plants grew and grew and grew ;). Friends and family run the other way when I carry squash toward them. How about some recipes?? I love to try new things....heck I even candied them.
I'm sure you know that if they are stored in a cool place they will last for many months. How about donating the excess to a food bank or a church/community feeding program? Call a local restaurant and ask if they'd barter a gift certificate for some of your bounty. If there are any petting zoos or farms that raise animals near you, they probably have animals that would eat the squash.
Donating the excess is a great idea. We have a community assistance program in the city and a senior center that may work too.....thanks! I already feed squash to my chickens and add it to my dog's morning feed. The added vitamin A makes the yolks bright yellow and extra nutrition for the dogs is good too.
I would NOT run the other way, it hurts me to shell out a couple bucks for a big beautiful squash when all I hear about is how they grow like weeds!
Also if someone you know has a pressure canner they could lend you, you could puree, spice, sweeten and can them and have "pie filling" on hand or to give away for Christmas!
for something different, try eating the squash raw...shred or grate, and toss with dried currants (or diced dried apricots), toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds, sliced scallions, and an acidic, curry-spiked vinaigrette. fold in a little sliced fennel or apple for crunch if you'd like.
and in addition to the terrific ideas you've gotten for sharing your bounty with others, here are some other things to make for yourself:
- a galette or tart with caramelized onions & gruyere
- ravioli filling
- stuff with a filling of grains, nuts and fruit (and even sausage!), and roast
- roast and toss with a chile vinaigrette
- puree and bake in muffins or quick bread
- rice casserole
- enchiladas or quesadillas
- and of course, soup!
Cooked squash freezes beautifully and will be less work than canning. I cut them in half, scoop out the seeds, and bake at 350 F with a bit of water in the bottom of the pan, until they're soft when I poke the skin. Then cook, scoop, and freeze. If you want, you could pre-season for pies and so on before freezing.
I also love squash seeds, if it's got ones big enough to roast. Bake in a low oven wtih a bit of salt.
Squash soup is great. This version gives you an incredibly rich, velvety soup that also happens to be insanely healthy. Try 3 cups baked squash, 1 medium onion (roast it at the same time as the squash). Simmer for a bit in 2 cups chicken stock and 1 1/2 cups water. Puree, and sieve (sieving is important for texture). Season with 1/2 t cinnamon, 1/4 t cloves, 1 t cumin and 1 t powdered ginger (not fresh), S&P to taste, and s squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Right before serving, mix in 1 T heavy cream.
My husband made a lovely rice pilaf with diced squash and cumin seeds. And cheese cake - follow a pumpkin cheesecake recipe.
This recipe is for Kabocha, but really I think would work well with any squash that's sweet and meaty. Really delicious -- it was Suzanne Goin but this is my version.
Kabocha Squash Risotto
2 cups Arborio rice
1 large yellow onion
2 cups cubed kabocha squash
2/3 cup grated parmesan
½ head radicchio, mandolin-thin
3 cups chicken stock
4 TB butter
Salt, pepper, olive oil, thyme
Ahead of time:
Preset the oven to 425. Cubing the kabocha is a huge pain. I did about half of it by actually using a paring knife to peel off the tough skin with great difficulty, cubing it with my chef’s knife, and tossing the little cubes with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme and then letting those little pieces roast for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Then I put those pretty little pieces in a bowl, and put the other half of the kabocha on the baking pan and baked it for 30 minutes. When it came out I scraped all the meat out and put that aside.
Ok, on to the risotto:
Using a very deep saucepan or a pot, melt butter over medium heat while you chop the onion finely; then salt the onion, toss it in the pot, and let them cook until translucent. Once the onions are ready, add half the squash (in my case I added the mushier part of the squash that I’d scooped out with a fork), the rice, thyme, salt and pepper, and give a good stir, letting everything toast a little before starting to add chicken stock. As the rice drinks in the stock, slowly keep adding stock until the stock is used up, then use water to finish it off. I think I used another 3 cups of water total, but little by little as I could see the liquid was getting low and the rice still needed more.
When the risotto is looking cooked to your liking, throw in the raddichio, cubes of squash, parmesan, and a good handful of chopped flatleaf parsely, give a few good stirs and serve.