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6 min read

This Week’s Vegetable Box Feature: Squash Season is in full effect and this week we are talking all about Pepper Squash (aka Acorn Squash).

 

Did you know?

  • It is one of the most well-liked of the winter squash varieties & gets its name from its shape
  • It is an edible gourd that grows on a vine
  • It is an excellent source of dietary fiber and contains vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium and manganese plus a substantial amount of potassium
  • It was a favorite of early civilizations, dating back to 4000 B.C., as it could be baked whole in their outdoor clay and brick ovens
  • It varies in colour from dark green to white. However, the most commonly grown varieties are dark green and often have a patch of bright orange towards the top

 

Fun Fact: Mark your calendars, National Pepper Squash Day is September 7, 2024.

 

How to Store It?

At room temperature, uncut, pepper squash will keep for many weeks.

 

How to Use it?

The flavor of pepper squash has been described as mild, subtly sweet, and nutty. It is a hard-skinned, Winter variety squash. It may be peeled, but are more often cooked with their skin-on. Peel and dice, or cut into slices along the natural ribs; toss with oils, spices or herbs and bake or roast. Serve with or without the skin. Cooked squash may be pureed and added to soups, stews, risotto, cakes or other baked goods. Stuff and bake halves with meats, cheese, grains or other vegetables. The seeds of the squash can also be eaten, usually after being toasted first.

 

Recipes:

 

Roasted Pepper Squash

Created by: Spoon Fork Bacon

A delicious and easy side dish… the hardest part is cutting the squash!

 

Ingredients:

1 pepper squash, seeded and sliced

3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

3 TBSP light brown sugar

¼ cup maple syrup, warmed

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Place squash on baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil.

3. Season with salt and pepper, and gently toss together to coat.

4. Sprinkle tops of squash with brown sugar.

5. Roast squash for 35-40 minutes, occasionally tossing around gently to prevent sticking.

6. 7-10 minutes before roasting is complete, brush maple syrup over each piece of squash, and finish roasting.

 

Sausage Stuffed Pepper Squash

Created by: Laura Lawless

A nourishing meal that's quick enough for weeknights!

 

Ingredients:

2 medium pepper squash

1 TBSP olive oil, plus more for brushing onto the squash

1 yellow onion, small dice

1 red bell pepper, small dice

2 stalks celery, small dice

salt and pepper

1-2 tsp chopped fresh thyme (or half a tsp dried)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb mild or hot Italian sausage, casings removed

2 cups torn curly kale

¾ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Slice a small piece off the top and bottom of the squash so it can sit upright, then slice the acorn squash in half width-wise (not through the stem). This will result in a pretty scalloped edge. Scrape out the seeds.

3. Place the squash halves on the baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Turn upside down (seed side down) and roast for 25 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.

4. Meanwhile, make the filling. Over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery and sauté until onion is softened and turning translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Stir in the chopped fresh thyme, then add the minced garlic and sausage. Continue to sauté for another 8 minutes, or until the sausage is fully cooked.

6. Place the torn kale on top of the sausage mixture and cover the skillet to steam for 1-2 minutes. Stir and re-cover to continue steaming the kale, if necessary. Once the kale is wilted, stir in half the parmesan cheese and remove the pan from heat.

7. Once the squash is done roasting, remove them from the oven and turn the heat up to broil. Flip the squash bowl side up and divide the filling evenly among them (pile it high, they'll be overfull), then sprinkle on the remaining the parmesan cheese.

8. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted, making sure not to over-brown the squash. Serve immediately and store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Eat within 4 days.

 

Roasted Pepper Squash with Rosemary

Created by: Alea Milham

A flavorful side dish.

 

Ingredients:

6 cups cubed pepper squash (2 large or 3 small acorn squash)

2 TBSP olive oil

2 tsp rosemary

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp coarse ground pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

2. Place acorn squash cubes on a large cookie sheet with raised edges.

3. Drizzle olive oil over the acorn squash. Toss to coat.

4. Sprinkle the rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper over the acorn squash. Toss to coat.

5. Spread the acorn squash pieces out evenly over the cookie sheet. Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, flip the squash pieces over and cook for another 5 - 10 minutes or until the squash is fork-tender.

 

Brown Butter Pepper Squash Pasta with Toasted Hazelnuts + Sage

Created by: Ambitious Kitchen

This wonderful pasta dish has a sweet & savory acorn squash sauce and is the perfect comfort food for fall and winter!

 

Ingredients:

1 medium pepper squash

½ cup milk (I use unsweetened almond milk), plus more if necessary to thin

1 TBSP brown sugar or pure maple syrup

¼ tsp cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)

Pinch of nutmeg

1/2 cup raw hazelnuts, chopped

¼ cup salted butter (yes, salted!)

12 ounces spaghetti (or sub pasta of choice, even GF!)

½ tsp garlic powder

Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste

To garnish: 4 sage leaves, cut into chiffonade Shaved or grated parmesan

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Use a sharp knife to cut off the stem end of the acorn squash, you’ll cut about ¼-½ inch off the end. Place the acorn squash cut side down vertically on a wooden cutting board so that it is very secured to your counter. We don’t want the cutting board or squash to wobble as you cut it. Next cut the acorn squash in half vertically. Use your knife to cut the acorn squash vertically down the middle. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and discard. Place the squash halves flesh side down on your prepared baking sheet. Roast for 50 minutes-1 hour or until squash is very fork tender. Set aside to cool for a little bit before scooping out the flesh.

3. While the squash is cooking: you can toast the hazelnuts: place a large skillet over medium low heat. Add in hazelnuts and toast for 2-3 minutes until nice and golden and fragrant. Remove from the pan and set aside.

4. Add flesh to a high-powered blender or food processor and add in milk, pure maple syrup, cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg. Blend until smooth, adding more milk if necessary to smooth out the sauce. Set aside.

5. In the same pan that you toasted the hazelnuts, you can brown your butter: add butter and place over medium heat. The butter will begin to melt, crackle, and then eventually foam. Make sure you stir constantly during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown and turn a nice golden amber color on the bottom of the saucepan, this usually happens right when it foams. Continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Set aside to cool a bit (keeping butter in the pan but removing pan from heat) while you cook your pasta.

6. Cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the brown butter, give it a nice stir to coat all the pasta with the brown butter, then immediately add in the acorn squash sauce and garlic powder; stir again until nice and creamy. Generously season with salt and pepper to taste (I like a lot of black pepper!). Garnish with sage and your toasted hazelnuts, and fresh shaved parmesan; stirring into the pasta if desired.

 

Autumn Roasted Veggies

Created by: Layla

Not only does this recipe feature pepper squash it also has some other vegetable box items from this week!

 

Ingredients:

2 cups sweet potatoes, cut into 1½-inch thick pieces

2 cups cauliflower florets

2 cups bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cups zucchini, sliced or cubed into 1-inch pieces

1 medium pepper squash, seeded, cut into 1-inch slice or cubes

1 cup brussels sprouts

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Place chopped veggies in an extra-large bowl. Pour oil and spices onto veggies. Toss with hands to combine.

3. Spread vegetables in an even layer on baking sheet (s) and bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time.

 

 

Recipes are curated by Lauren


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