Zapallo/Butternut Squash/Cucurbita M.

Butternut me up, eat me!!

The Butternut is a squash variety, grown throughout Central and South America as well in the Caribbean – separate from pumpkins or “winter squash”, which originate in Mexico. A vegetable that is a very good source of vitamin B; shoots and flowers contain calcium, phosphorus and iron. The fruit is prepared by removing the skin, stalk and seeds, which are not usually eaten or cooked. However, the seeds are edible, either raw or roasted and the skin is also edible and softens when roasted. One of the most common ways to prepare butternut squash is roasting. To do this, the squash is cut in half lengthwise, lightly brushed with cooking oil, and placed cut side down on a baking sheet. Butternut squash and Acorn squash have been known to cause an allergic reaction called Contact dermatitis in many individuals, especially in food preparation where the squash skin is cut and exposed to the epidermis.

These vining, tendril-producing plants can grow quickly to a very large size, and are covered with huge, lobed green leaves that are coarse, hairy and can irritate the skin. Like most cucurbits, separate male and female flowers appear on the same plant. These blossoms are large, golden yellow, trumpet-shaped and pollinated by bees. The male flowers open first on the vine, followed by the female flowers, distinguished by bulbous ovaries at their bases which develop into mature fruits following pollination. A typical butternut squash plant will produce 6-8 squash that can reach 2-4 pounds each.

I got this recipe from my friend Monsoon. Click here  http://akamonsoon.wordpress.com to see it on her blog and to check out some of her other recipes. This is a great autumn vegetable. It takes a while to prepare, but it’s so yummy, it’s worth the effort. Butternut Squash and Pecans are a combination destined to go together. Hold on one minute while I try to gather words to describe how delectable this is. Ooooh my God, what a great flavor! It is so sweet, so creamy and highly nutritious. The taste of this smooth, beautifully mild Casserole will make your eyes roll back in your head. But you know what? Even if you’re not a devotee of butternut squash, I wholeheartedly encourage you to spend some time in the kitchen getting acquainted with this vegetable, because it’s worth it. So here’s the final product.

Butternut Squash Casserole
-recipe by akamonsoon-
*Zoom*

Ingredients
4 butternut squash, whole small ones (to garnish)
3 cups mashed butternut squash
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp. of vanilla
2 beaten eggs

Topping
1 cup of sweetened flake coconut
1 cup of chopped pecans
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of flour
1/3 cup of butter

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all the ingredients above with an electric mixer and then place in a casserole dish (mixture will be somewhat soupy). In a separate bowl, mix together the topping ingredients. A dough blender works best. Once thoroughly mixed, add topping to the casserole and bake for 35 minutes until set. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut and Ginger
*halehealthyrecipes*

Ingredients
2 large butternut squash (5 pounds total)—halved lengthwise, peeled and seeded
Salt and freshly ground pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tsp curry powder
2 TBS fresh ginger (or 2 tsp dry)
6 cups water
1 c. unsweetened coconut milk
1 c. half and half

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350°. Set the squash, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Fill each cavity with 1/2 tablespoon of the butter; season with salt and pepper. Roast the squash for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, until tender; cut into large pieces.

Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, caramelize onions in a little olive oil (5-7 minutes). Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder and cook another minute until fragrant.When squash is done, blend squash with the 3 cups of water and onion/spice mixture until smooth (may need to be done in 2-3 batches). Return puree to soup pan and add coconut milk and half and half. Simmer over moderately low heat for 5 minutes to combine all of the flavors. Add salt/pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls, top with a garnish of toasted coconut and enjoy!

About zoom50

“It’s amazing how people can get so excited about a rocket to the moon and not give a damn about smog, oil leaks, the devastation of the environment with pesticides, hunger, disease”
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26 Responses to Zapallo/Butternut Squash/Cucurbita M.

  1. kimkiminy says:

    I just got into using butternut squash recently. I’ve got a soup recipe that I’ve already done once, but I want to make it again and tweak the recipe before posting it.
    Those big, hard winter squashes are certainly intimidating. It’s great to walk folks through the process of what the heck to do with these things! Last year, I experimented with pie pumpkins.

    • zoom50 says:

      The pumpkin’s intimidation factor is the problem. 🙂 Pumpkin is a versatile vegetable which can be cooked in many ways. It’s not the easiest vegetable to peel or cook. But you can use canned pumpkin too. However, if you have the time, make it from scratch, you won’t be disappointed. Please post your results if you make again your recipe. Thanks for reading.

      • kimkiminy says:

        My main problem with the fresh pumpkin is the cleaning part. What a drag! Would a grapefruit spoon help?

      • zoom50 says:

        Have you ever heard of the Scooper and Scraper Pumpkin? Use this to scrape out the pulp from the inside of the pumpkin. It’s amazing; your hands will never touch the inside of the pumpkin. It’s easy and cheap, like $3. I use it for all kind of gourds.

  2. akamonsoon says:

    Oh yay! YOu made it! What did you think? I made the pumpkin pie bites yesterday and they were absolutely delicious. I’m going to try to post about it today if I don’t run out of time.

  3. zoom50 says:

    OMG what a delicious recipe!!! The recipe was very easy to follow, and it was an absolutely yummy dessert. Thank you so much for sharing your Butternut Squash Casserole recipe, Monsoon. I love your recipe, and I am planning on making goblins with this recipe for Halloween. I’ll let you know how the goblins turn out.🙂

    • akamonsoon says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Zoom. 🙂 I brought that to a camping trip dinner last year and I got a lot of requests for the recipe. Let me know how the goblins turn out. That sounds so interesting.

  4. zoom50 says:

    I will let you know …Yes, I will.

  5. kimkiminy says:

    Okay, I posted that recipe. It’s for butternut apple ginger soup.
    http://kimkiminy.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/rainy-day-cooking-fest-part-one/

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