Wednesday, 29 October 2008

What to do with a butternut squash

As my husband's been away this week I've been exceptionally frugal, living largely off the contents of the storecupboard. (I eat a lot less meat when he's not around!)

The starting point for several meals was a butternut squash I'd forgotten about. Fortunately they last an age. I'd planned to explain on my student website Beyond Baked Beans how to cut up and cook one (now done) but have managed to stretch it into several days eating for one.

First I cut it up (the bit that puts so many people off, I think) and roasted it, half as a whole piece and half cut up with some wedges of red onion and a sweet potato I also found lurking in the veg rack. (I seasoned these with ground coriander seeds and some chilli flakes - butternut squash needs spice IMO.)

I made some soup with the whole half (that sounds wrong but you know what I mean) and put half the cut up roasted squash and other veggies in a small oven proof dish mixed with some steamed sprout tops I had left over. Then I laid over some slices of Maroilles I was checking out for the cheese book and flashed it under the grill. That was REALLY good! Those slightly stinky washed-rind cheeses are great with squash - and greens - but you could easily use Cheddar or even Brie.

The next day I chopped up the rest of the roast veggies and mixed them with a bit of cooled couscous I'd made up with some light vegetable stock and chucked in some toasted seeds and chopped coriander (I could have used parsley). Nice too and quite different from the previous night's meal.

I could also have made a butternut squash risotto if I'd felt so inclined but that didn't seem worth doing for one.

Anyway I got four meals out of it and it probably would have stretched a bit further if I hadn't been quite so greedy . . .

7 comments:

Greenlady said...

Very timely post and lovely ideas ;) as those recipes are also great for using up the insides of pumpkins bought in a fit of Halloween carving enthusiasm. Chunks of roast squash/pumpkin are always a good thing to have around - so versatile ! And pumpkin/squash soup is one of my favourites - again, very adaptable, and a good one to freeze too. I do agree about them needing a touch of spice ( variations on a mildly curried theme are tasty too )

Of course, if one is being REALLY frugal, its best to wait until after Halloween for the shops to reduce their overstocks of pumpkins to daftly cheap prices and then dissect, cook and/or freeze and enjoy with glee !

notSupermum said...

Thanks for the ideas Fiona, as I'm never quite sure what to do with squashes.

Btw, I'm just making a big pan of leek, onion and potato soup with some of my cheap veggies from Aldi. Yum,

Fiona Beckett said...

Very good point about pumpkin reductions greenlady. Suspect best thing to do is to cook it up, puree and freeze it.Having a high water content it probably wouldn't freeze that well raw. You could use your leftovers from the Hallowe'en pumpkin to make a base for a Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. Now that would be seriously thrifty!

Big fan of leek, onion and potato soup NSM. And so cheap! That should make you feel virtuous . . .

Greenlady said...

Oh heck yes. I've never tried freezing raw pumpkin. I am not sure what would happen but I suspect it would blacken a bit and go manky !

Definitely cook and freeze. One of my exes used to put up tubs and tubs of pumpkin puree in his deep freeze, unseasoned, then it could be taken out and used for sweet or savoury dishes.

Fiona Beckett said...

possibly why he's your ex? ;-)

Charlie said...

This might be a silly question, but will a potato peeler work on a butternut squash?

Fiona Beckett said...

Possibly, Charlie but it would have to be quite a robust one. The flimsy ones would be quite dangerous because they'd skid off the skin which is really rock hard. Easier to use a sharp knife to be honest.

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