Amy Roby: Seasonal squash is fit for a feast | RecordCourier.com

Amy Roby: Seasonal squash is fit for a feast

Amy Roby

I'm a fan of winter squashes. Whether roasted, steamed, pureed, stuffed, sautéed, or blended into a soup, these versatile seasonal treats provide variety, texture, and great taste all while packing a nutritional wallop.

Along with being rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, winter squashes are excellent sources of iron, magnesium, and A, C, and B-complex vitamins. They are high in fiber, low in fat, and leave very little waste; their seeds can be separated from the pulp and roasted for a tasty snack.

My culinary experimenting has mainly been limited to acorn and butternut squash as I am most familiar with these varieties. This year, however, I discovered kabocha squash and am now a devoted fan.

Also known as a Japanese pumpkin, kabocha squash has a rounded, hard, dark green exterior that is sometimes lightly variegated or striped. The sweet flesh inside ranges from yellow to orange and can be prepared in numerous delicious ways.

I found a fantastic recipe for Pureed Kabocha Squash with Balsamic and Sage on the Food & Wine website (www.foodandwine.com). This sweet and slightly savory dish would make a lovely addition to a holiday table. The recipe serves 10, but can be easily halved or multiplied to suit your needs.

2 kabocha squash halved and seeded

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1 stick unsalted butter, softened

8 fresh sage leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Aged balsamic vinegar, for drizzling

STEP 1: Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a roasting pan with parchment paper. Rub the inside of each squash half with 1 tablespoon butter and press a sage leaf onto each one. Season squash with salt and pepper and place cut side down on roasting pan. Cover with foil and roast 1 hour or until tender. Let cool. Discard sage and scoop flesh into a bowl.

STEP 2: Melt remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet. Add remaining 4 sage leaves and cook over moderate heat until butter is slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer fried sage to a plate and reserve.

STEP 3: Add browned butter and lemon juice to the squash and mash to a puree (I completed this step in a blender as I like a velvety smooth consistency). Season with salt and pepper. Transfer squash to a bowl, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and garnish with the fried sage leaves.

2 Cups Tournament at Carson Valley Golf Course

CVGC hosts a 2 Cups Golf Tournament tomorrow morning, December 16, with at shotgun start at 10 a.m.

Format is Pick Your Cup-Stroke Play. The $40 entry fee covers the game, cart, soup and a $10 prize fund. Season pass holders pay $15 plus regular fee.

Call 775-265-3181 to register. CVGC is located at 1027 Riverview Drive in the Gardnerville Ranchos.

Amy Roby can be reached at ranchosroundup@hotmail.com.