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Nov 3, 2011 12:08 AM

Spices to use with winter squash?

I went a little crazy at the farmers market and now have what seems like every variety of winter squash. I have over a dozen. All different types.

I'm also starting from scratch restocking my spice cabinet after having lived out of the US for a while. So it seems like a good reason to go out and buy spices.

The chow ingredients link lists these spices as having an affinity for winter squash: rosemary, sage, savory, thyme.

I'd add cinnamon to that. Probably ginger.

I also have lots of fresh basil, so this recipe is made in heaven for me ... have lots of beans as well and some tomatoes going south. All I need is the sweet paprika

What else?

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  1. I usually roast with either cinnamon/nutmeg/orange peel, or curry/garam masala/tumeric/smoked paprika. And whatever else I have around that might fit the profile.

    The one exception is spaghetti squash, and this might be good for your basil overload. I half cook it in simmering water, then scoop out the seeds and fill each center with a can of Rotel and 2 or 3 Tbsp of pesto, then sprinkle parmesan over all. Finish baking and scrape all into a bowl then serve like pasta. Just made that the other day, and I think my husband doesn't realize it's squash because he's been pigging out on it. Don't think I'll tell him the truth just yet.

    I always binge on squash this time of year too, I was wondering if different produce at different times of the year have certain nutrients that make you crave it? Because your body needs it? Wonder if any studies have been done.

    2 Replies
    1. re: coll

      Orange peel ... good one. Also given the time of year I need to pick up some nutmeg. Thanks.

      Don't know about the craving, but for me it had more to do with seasonality and the fact I like trying a variety of everything.

      But there might be something in craving. Asparagus has been inexpensive and I'm just not craving it like in the spring.

      1. re: rworange

        Just thought of this: Maybe it's partly because the price is always less than half when something is in season too. Cheaper always tastes better to me!

    2. Thai flavors including coconut pair well with winter squashes.
      All the sweet spices, Cloves, Nutmeg, Allspice, Cardamom etc.
      Chiles especially Chipotle but fresh greens as well(especially south Indian preparations)
      The Afghan preparation with Cardamom flavored beef sauce and Yogurt with Garlic and dry Mint is one of my favorites.

      3 Replies
      1. re: chefj

        Another good one ... cardamom ... which I love. Yeah, I saw one recipe with mint and was undecided if that would work.

        1. re: rworange

          This recipe looks similar to how I do it with the addition of ground cardamom to the meat sauce.
          It is great dish and worth a try..

        2. re: chefj

          I'm going to second the chipotle. I love to sprinkle with chipotle chile powder before roasting. With black beans and pickled red onions, it makes a great taco.

        3. I like to roast mine with a really dark, strong-tasting honey, a bit of nutmeg and hot pepper flakes. It can be a bit tricky to not burn the honey though.

          1. I roast mine with coriander and chili flakes.