Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Sunday, November 8, 2009

More veggie cookin'

If you do all but the most minimal vegetable gardening, you will have to figure out what to do with all that you produce. One easy vegetable (actually a fruit, like many food we call vegetables) to process is winter squash (pumpkins, hubbards, crook neck, turban, delicata, etc). I used to follow the instructions from an old cookbook to process winter squash and make it into puree- cut the squash in half, remove the seeds, cut off the skin and simmer in water or steam, then puree it. Then I found out about roasting-cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, rub with olive oil, place cut side down on a cookie sheet and roast at 375-400 until soft. These methods are a bit difficult with a large and heavy shelled winter squash, however. Recently I heard about the easiest method of all, and the one that produces the best cooked squash. Wash the squash, take off the stem, poke a few holes in it near the top and roast it whole at 400 degrees in a roasting pan until soft. Remove it from the oven, let it cool, cut in half and easily scoop out the flesh and seeds. You can mash it by hand or puree it in a food mill, food processor or blender. This does take a longer than roasting a cut up squash, but is easier and results in a dense flesh that has cooked in its own juices, producing the most flavorful squash I have ever had. I was able roast whole a pretty large cheese wheel pumpkin (about 3 times the size of the largest one in the photo, maybe 20 lbs- in the photo are two small "fairy tale"-type pumpkins I grew, that are also now cooked and frozen...and some pumpkin pecan pancakes.). Now I have a lot of puree for pie, bread, soup, and eating as a side veggie. And I might even make a bit of pumpkin butter.
Happy gardening! And eating!

1 comment:

Anita said...

Consider labeling this with "recipe" too. When I begin to cook vegetables (big dream of mine), I can search your blog for all your great recipes. :) I know I've read other recipes in your blog...haven't I?