To my table via Waltham, Massachusetts -- And where to next?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Waltham Butternut squash was first bred in Waltham, Massachusetts in the 1960s, though the plants from which it was derived were here long before then. By some estimates, Cucurbita moschata has been cultivated in the Americas for more than 5,000 years.

The butternut squash I grew in the community garden this summer ended its epoch journey recently. From Waltham, Mass., to Washington, D.C., from just one sprawling plant that I nearly killed at the beginning of the growing season, I achieved this plentiful harvest: seven humongous butternuts in all. We've used two of them in soups already, while the third we gave away to a friend. The rest await their fate, perhaps in a comforting risotto or, if I'm feeling ambitious, homemade raviolis or empanadas. Then again, I like it just plain baked too.

One of the great qualities of butternut squash is that it stores well, so I don't have to be in mad dash to find uses for these right away. Nevertheless, I am eager to try them in new recipes -- something besides soup. What's your favorite way to eat butternut squash? Actually, let's try something new here. Tell me what you think I should cook with one of these squashes. Leave your ideas in the comments. I'll make whatever turns out to be the most popular suggestion, either by using a recipe or by just making something up. I'll post the result, with photos of course. Tell me: How should one of these butternuts meet its end?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a squash-and-carmelized-onion galette: Or at least that's what I plan to do with one of mine, because it sounds divine.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Rowena said...

That's a tough question, as I also like them baked plain, served with butter, brown sugar and a sprinkling of finely minced sage leaves that have been sauteed til crisp.

I appreciate the photos of your bounty though...those are beautiful!

11:07 AM  
Blogger Priscilla George said...

I always wanted to make this butternut squash lasagna.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yum, one of my favorites is butternut pizza with pesto, canned tomatoes, and gouda cheese. It's a recipe I got from Cooking Light last year...
But I would suggest spreading the pesto over the dough (instead of dolloping it as they prescribe) and making sure your tomatoes are drained really well.
They also have a great butternut chili recipe. I substitute Morningstar crumbles for the ground beef to make it vegg...

12:47 PM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Philo and I love butternut squash simply peeled, cut in big chunks, brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with marjoram, and roasted until it carmelizes at 375º. The only bad part about doing it this way is that this reduces the volume so much that a big butternut is very small when served.

Those are seven beautiful squashes, Christa!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christa, I can't vouch for the recipe, because I haven't tried it myself, but Hungry Girl offered up a recipe awhile back for Butternut Squash Fries that sounded intriguing...

5:05 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

This isn't too different from a few suggestions you already have. My husband and I use a pizza recipe from Didi Emmons's Vegetarian Planet. We roast peeled, sliced squash with sliced onions in lots of olive oil and sage. Then we spread it over a whole wheat pizza crust, bake it, and sprinkle parmesan cheese before serving. Yum!

7:42 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

Mmmmmm. I'm getting hungry! All of these suggestions sound great to me.

Keep 'em coming!

7:48 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Great looking butternut squashes. One of our favorites. So far I've come across only one I like better the, kabocha. We don't do anything fancy with them, just peel, boil, mash with butter, a bit of brown sugar and pinch of salt to taste. Fast and delicious.

9:05 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh wow. I am dying to try growing winter squash next year, and this is further inspiration.

I just read this recipe on KCRW's Good Food emailing, and it sounds like something you may like:

Tahitian Squash, Orzo and Pomegranate Salad
Serves 6 - 8
(Courtesy of Schaner Farms)

Olive oil
2 tablespoons minced onions
1 cup chopped, divided onions
1 - 2 tablespoons minced garlic
Red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and pepper
3 - 4 cups cubed Tahitian squash, 1/2" cubes (or butternut squash)
3/4 - 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or double the amount if using fresh thyme leaves)
1 cup orzo
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 - 3/4 cup toasted pecan pieces
1/2 - 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Make seasoned oil by combining about 1/2 - 3/4 cup of olive oil with the minced onion, one tablespoon of minced garlic and a few red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Keep refrigerated up to a week. The longer it sits, the more flavorful the oil.

In a large mixing bowl place the Tahitian squash and onion. Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of the seasoned olive oil. Season with the thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Toss together. Place in one layer on a baking sheet. Roast covered for 1/2 hour. Uncover and continue cooking about 1/2 hour or until soft.

Meanwhile cook the orzo according to the package. Drain and rinse with cool water.

When all the ingredients are done, assemble the salad by combining the squash mixture and orzo in a large bowl. Add the parsley, pecans and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle a little more seasoned olive oil and about one tablespoon of minced fresh garlic, if desired. Toss. Taste and adjust any of the flavors. Best served at room temperature.

I can't wait to try it myself!

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A very simple suggestion, but... my absolute favorite way to eat butternut is baked with apples and maple syrup. Grease up a baking dish and mix up the apple / butternut chunks. Top with butter and drizzle with some maple syrup. It's absolutely to die for.

Actually, that reminds me... you could mix a few chunks of butternut with apples, onions and strips of chicken. Lay it all out in a baking dish and mix in some olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Then drizzle maple syrup over the top and bake it about 1 hour at 400 or until the chicken is cooked through

9:46 PM  
Blogger Ottawa Gardener said...

I absolutely love Waltham Butternut squash. I tend to bake it with brown sugar and paparika. But it also makes great pie, oh and it's good with apple. I can't stop. Mmmm butternut squash. Anyhow, it's storage properities are no exagerration around my garden. I've had them last for well over a year.

9:44 PM  
Blogger Entangled said...

I like squash in just about any form, but at least once a year I make this Indian recipe from one of Julie Sahni's books.

I substitute lemon juice for the mango powder, and sometimes brown sugar for the jaggery, and sometimes omit the hing (asafoetida).

10:19 AM  
Blogger Ed Bruske said...

wonderful looking squash, Christa

11:59 AM  
Blogger VP said...

Christa - it makes a lovely, gooey risotto as vouched for by my veggie brother in law and wife when they last visited! I got the recipe from:

I love your site BTW. I'm a very new blogger, jsut 3 days - check me out at:

I live just a few miles from MTP.

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have so many seeds! That'll save you a few quid!

2:08 PM  
Blogger kate smudges said...

I love squash muffins ... made just like pumpkin muffins with cardamon, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.

All of the above suggestions sound wonderful!!

3:16 AM  
Blogger Molly said...

Apart from baked, buttered, and drizzled with just a bit of maple syrup, I love this recipe Israeli couscous with roasted chunks of butternut squash:

It has the added benefit of being a good dish to take to potlucks or anywhere else that vegans might be encountered.

12:20 PM  
Blogger The Diva said...

The Gluten Free Goddess has a great bean and butternut squash chili that is on her website I made it last week, and it was fabulous.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

Two of my favorites are: herb-roasted sausages and butternut squash, found on epicurious here:

and squash enchiladas, recipe posted here on my blog:

10:24 PM  

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