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5 min read

This week’s Vegetable Box Feature: Honeynut Squash

Did you know?

  • It is a type of winter squash and cultivar bred from butternut and buttercup
  • It is significantly sweeter than a butternut squash
  • Its tender skin is thin and edible, so no need to peel before cooking
  • Since they are so small their flavor and nutrients are highly concentrated compared to a regular butternut squash
  • They have 2 to 3 times the amount of betacarotene as a butternut squash. They provide a good amount of fiber, vitamin A, B vitamins, calcium and iron

Fun Fact:
In 2009, Chef Dan Barber of Blue Hill challenged vegetable breeder Michael Mazourek to "breed a butternut squash to actually taste good" so that cooks wouldn't have to add so much added sugar (like maple and honey) to get a delicious-tasting butternut. Mazourek's response was this tiny squash: the honeynut squash, which does indeed taste like a sweeter butternut squash.

How to Store It:
Due to its thin skin, it will not last as long as other thicker-skinned squash. It should be stored in a cool, dark spot where it will last for 2 to 3 months. Once cooked, the cubes or puree can be left in the refrigerator for a week.

How to Use It:
You can cook honeynut squash in much the same way you cook other winter squash varieties, but the honeynut has some advantages. Its small size lends itself well to simply halving it before you cook it and its tender skin is thin and edible so it does not need to be peeled. You can steam, roast, mash and stuff honeynut squash.

How to Prepare It:
Steady the squash as best you can on a cutting board. Insert the tip of a large heavy chef's knife into the center of the squash in a lengthwise direction. Place a folded kitchen towel between your hand and the spine of the knife and apply pressure to work your knife through one half of the squash. Spin the squash 180 degrees and repeat the process on the other side. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and the first shallow layer of flesh for a smoother surface. You can clean the seeds and roast them like you would pumpkin seeds, or discard them.

Seasoning It:
Recommend about 1 teaspoon of butter or oil and a sprinkling of seasoning (about 1/4 teaspoon) per squash half.







Recipes:

Savory Stuffed Honeynut Squash
Created By:
Lisa Lotts

An easy and delicious recipe!

Ingredients:
For the squash
3 honey nut squash (or divide the recipe by 3 if you only have one)
1 TBSP olive oil
1 pinch salt

For the Stuffing
1 cup quinoa farro or a blend, cooked at room temperature
1 medium onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
8 ounces mushrooms fresh, finely diced
1 tsp thyme fresh
1/2 tsp sage dried, crumbled
2 cups kale leaves only, tough stems removed, finely chopped
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg freshly grated
3/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano freshly grated

For topping
1 tsp butter
1 slice bread, I used potato bread but sourdough or plain white bread work fine too

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  1. Cut the squash in half vertically and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle the cut side with olive oil and rub it into the flesh. Sprinkle with salt and place the squash cut-side-down onto the baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile in a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onions and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes then stir in the chopped mushrooms, thyme, sage and salt, cook until the mushrooms release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped kale and vegetable broth, cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 3-4 minutes until kale softens. Stir in the pepper, nutmeg and the cooked grains. Add the parmigiano reggiano and stir until just combined.
  3. Tear the bread into large pieces and transfer to a mini prep food processor. Add the butter and pulse several times until it forms bread crumbs.
  4. When the squash is done, fill the cavities with the stuffing and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake for an additional 10 minutes. If the breadcrumbs need additional browning, turn on the broiler and cook just until the breadcrumbs start to brown, (about a minute or two).


Roasted Honeynut Squash
Created by:
Eating Well

A delicious side dish!

Ingredients:
2 medium honeynut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
4 tsp butter
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground pepper
¼ tsp ground cinnamon|
4 tsp pure maple syrup (Optional)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

  1. Arrange squash halves cut-side up on a baking sheet. Place 1 teaspoon butter in each cavity. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cinnamon. Roast until tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Drizzle with maple syrup, if desired.

 

Ginger, Bourbon Honeynut Squash Soup
Created By: Sarah Gold

A warm, cozy, and perfectly comforting soup for fall or winter.

Ingredients:
4 honeynut squash (or 2 medium butternut squash)
2 TBSP olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch knob of ginger, finely diced
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 tsp salt
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Cut off stems of squash and slice in half. Remove seeds (you can save for roasting if you’d like). Brush squash with olive oil (you’ll use about 2 tsp of the oil for this). Place on baking sheet flesh side down and roast in oven for 25-30 minutes, until very soft. Remove from oven to let cool.
2.  Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in large soup pot or dutch oven. Sauté onion over medium heat until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Turn down heat to low, add garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.

  1. Scoop out the flesh from the squash (it should easily come away from the skin with a spoon) and add to pan. If squash is still too hot to handle, turn heat off and wait until you can add it. When you’ve added the squash, turn heat back to medium and mix it with the onion, stirring around for about a minute.
  2. Add broth and bourbon and stir until mixed. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until squash and onion are well blended with the broth and you have a smooth soup. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer to a stand blender in batches and blend until smooth then return to pot. Once blended, cover soup, bring to a boil and then turn down heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes to let flavors meld. Stir in coconut milk and let simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Serve with warm crusty bread and a salad.

 


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