All posts tagged “squash

Roast Squash Salad_Katherine Sacks
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Roast Squash Salad with Savory Seeded Brittle

I’m a lady who likes routine—I’m totally okay eating the same breakfast every morning and I’m happy to make a big pot of soup and have it for dinner all week long. With a routine, you become more efficient, leaving time for the other things in life (like digging into complicated recipes that take all day!) Some of my preference for pattern probably stems from my time spent in professional kitchens, where you live and breath by the routine that gets you through busy service, but it’s also just a lot easier to repeat the same steps over and over again.

Since I obviously like to cook, however, I try and make my routines as flexible and fun as possible. Lately I’ve been all about the salad prep, making a batch of mix-ins on the weekend that I can toss together for my weekly lunches. The elements change constantly based on my whims and pantry items, but the idea is still the same. Prepare several ingredients on Sunday—roast or shredded veggies, diced fruit, chopped nuts—and you’ll have a bonafide salad bar at home to mix up weekly lunches.

Last week it was this combination of roast squash, chopped mushrooms, and seed brittle—a recipe that is so easy and so genius. Just lightly whip an egg white, toss in any seeds and nuts you have lying around along with some spices and a dash of honey. Spread onto a baking mat and cook until lightly toasted, then cool and crumble. It’s the perfect way to incorporate fun texture into the salad bowl. For an Asian flavor punch, I tossed the squash in Korean chili paste for some nice heat and whipped together a dressing of chili oil, rice wine vinegar, and ginger.

For even more efficient salad prep, pre-chop a few days worth of veggies and lettuce and make a big batch of dressing for the week. That way all you have to do is toss together your lunch each day. What are you going to do with all that time saved?

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Weekend Inspiration: Squash

Squash varieties

It’s that time of year, when the markets are bright with orange gourds. And while some suggest we’re all a little pumpkin crazed by the time November comes around, I think squash is really where it’s at. The creamy, slightly sweet vegetable can be cooked in so many different ways—roasted, steamed, pan-fried, boiled, and purèed. From spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and acorn squash chips to brown sugar-roasted delicata, there are a slew of interesting types to choose from. (And they all have seeds that toast up wonderfully, adding texture to your meal). Here are four varieties I recently picked up at the market and am greedily eating my way through this week.

The generic word for squash in Japanese, Kabocha usually refers to a thick-skinned variety that’s incredibly sweet, nutty, and similar in texture to sweet potatoes or chestnuts. Also known as the Japanese pumpkin, it has knobby-textured, bright orange or deep green skin. It’s often used for tempera preparations and in Asian soups, but the versatile vegetable can also be steamed or roasted as a side dish.

This bell-shaped squash is the most multipurpose of the bunch; it’s a standard for purèes and soups. Peel off it’s thick beige skin with a sharp peeler or pairing knife, and inside you’ll find bright orange flesh, the deeper the color, the sweeter the taste. Its thick orange, fleshy pulp is similar to pumpkin, and is most often roasted or steamed and mashed into a purèe.

Because of its smaller size, this heart or “acorn” shaped squash is often halved and stuffed, making the perfect meal for two. It’s most commonly found in the green variety, but you can also find orange and white versions. This squash keeps for a long time, so you can buy ahead and keep a back stock in the pantry.

I don’t have a favorite squash, but this variety is certainly my go-to choice lately. The long tubular yellow and green stripped squash has tons of flavor. And it’s easy to cook—a thiner skinned variety, the sweet orange flesh roasts quickly and the skin is edible and crisps up quite deliciously. It’s perfect roasted in salads or sautéed into a winter stir-fry.