Squash your hunger with acorn, butternut, or calabaza. Any way you slice it, squash season has come to Pearl Market. Humans have been growing domesticated squash, or cucurbita (Latin for gourd) for around 8,000 years from parts of Canada down to Chile. Significantly, it was a staple in the diet of many Native American tribes, especially the Hopi. As a matter of fact, Hopi women and girls even styled their hair with large, elaborate Princess Leia-like bunches resembling squash blossoms. Also, this vegetable was so important to the Hopi and other tribes, such as the Iroquois, that it was part of what they called the Three Sisters: maize, squash and climbing beans.
While it may be true that peeling certain varieties of squash can be challenging, with practice and the right tools it's easier than you might think to squash your hunger. Fortunately, you don’t need to know the history and cultural significance of this delicious vegetable to enjoy it. Here are eight common types of squash:
Acorn: Perfect for roasting. Given that this variety is difficult to peel, cut it in half or slice (the skin is edible).
Butternut: Great for roasting and soups.
Calabaza: Well-suited for baking.
Delicata: Roasting and stuffing.
Hubbard: A winter variety that makes great pie filling, purees, and mashes.
Pumpkin: Best used in pies, quick breads, pancakes, risottos. Roast or steam, puree, then add to recipe.
Spaghetti: The stringy flesh lends itself well to roasting. Scrape out the strands and dress with butter or pasta sauce.
Visit Pearl Market vendors Shady Grove Farms and Fornof Farm Market and you’ll find several varieties of summer and fall squash, including acorn, butternut, spaghetti and butter cup as well as green and gold zucchini.
Now that you know more about squash than you ever thought possible, head over to Pearl Market and pick up some fresh squash and make this tasty recipe to squash your hunger:
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
2 medium onions, chopped
1½ pounds butternut squash (about half a medium squash)—peeled, seeded, and cut into ½-inch pieces
kosher salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
6 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
¾ pound soft French or Italian bread, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 7 ½ cups)
½ pound Gruyère grated (2 cups)
Step 1: Heat oven to 375° F. Oil a 2 ½- to 3-quart baking dish.
Step 2: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Then, add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the squash, season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and cook, tossing frequently, until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes more. Stir in the sage. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the bread, cheese and squash mixture and toss to coat.
Step 4: Finally, transfer to the prepared baking dish and bake until golden brown and set, 55 to 60 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of RealSimple.com
Recipe sponsored by Heartland Bank