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Fun fact: There are over 100 types of squash and they’re divided into two categories—summer and winter.

Summer squash have thin, edible skins and soft seeds. They’re high in vitamins A and C and their tender flesh has a high water content, sweet and mild flavour, and requires little cooking.

Winter squash have hard, thick skins and seeds and are high in vitamins A and C, and iron. The flesh is firmer than summer squash and requires longer cooking.

The more you know!

We recently kicked off our Ingredient Challenge series with the one and only Mary Berg, where she showed us how to create three amazing dishes using the same—yet different—type of ingredient. You guessed it: squash.

squash-salad-feat.jpg

Summer Squash Salad with Mint and Goat Cheese

Serves 4

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1–2 green zucchini
  • 2 yellow zucchini or yellow squash
  • 4–6 small radishes
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 100–130g goat cheese
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1–2 teaspoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon dried herb blend (I like Herbs de Provence)
  • 3¬–4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

 

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Wash and trim the ends of your squash.  Using a V-slicer or vegetable peeler, thinly slice the squash lengthwise to create long ribbons.  Toss the sliced squash onto a serving dish and set aside.
  2. Wash and trim your radishes and, using a V-slicer or a sharp knife, slice them into very thin rounds.  If it makes it easier, feel free to halve the radishes before slicing.  Either way, scatter them on top of the squash followed by the chopped walnuts.  Dot the goat cheese over top and set aside.
  3. Whip up the dressing by whisking the lemon juice, Dijon, honey, herbs, and olive oil together.  Season with salt and pepper and drizzle over the salad.  Allow it to sit without tossing* for a few minutes to allow the squash to soak up some of that lovely dressing then serve!
  4. Tossing this salad will bruise the delicate squash so don’t be tempted!  Just try to evenly drizzle the dressing over top.

 

squash-pasta-feat.jpg
Fettuccini Pumpkin Alfredo

Serves 4

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 350–400g dry fettuccini
  • 4 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted
  • 3–4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ cup half & half cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1¬–1 ¼ cups grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley, optional
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped sage, optional
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

 

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the fettuccini according to the package directions until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Stir in the garlic and cook for 2–3 minutes or until it is softened and just starting to turn a little golden.  Turn the heat down to medium-low and carefully whisk in the pumpkin puree, nutmeg, cream, and milk.  Allow the sauce to bubble away for a few minutes while the pasta finishes cooking.
  3. When the pasta is done, scoop about 1 cup of the cooking liquid out of the pot to reserve for finishing the sauce.  Drain the pasta and set aside.
  4. Whisk the Parmesan cheese and parsley, if using, into the sauce and season to taste with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper.  Toss in the noodles and stir to coat.  If the sauce is a little thick, just add a few splashes of the reserved cooking liquid until it is perfect and creamy!
  5. Serve your fettuccini pumpkin alfredo with an extra sprinkling of parm if you’re feeling extra cheesy!

squash-pie-feat.jpg

Acorn Squash Pecan Pie

Makes 1 pie

WHAT YOU NEED:

For the pastry:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pats
  • 3 tablespoons cold shortening, cut into pats
  • ¼ cup ice water
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

For the filling:

  • 2 small acorn squashes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

For the topping:

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

 

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. For the pastry, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.  Cut the butter and shortening into small pats and quickly rub and snap it into the flour mixture until it resembles very coarse sand with some hunks of butter and shortening that are about the size of a pea.  In a small bowl, combine the ice water and vinegar and pour it over the flour and fat mixture.  Using a wooden spoon, gently mix until a shaggy dough forms.  Dump the dough onto a work surface and give it two or three kneads to bring the dough together.   Transfer the dough to a piece of cling film and wrap and press the dough into a 1”-thick disk.  Pop this in the fridge for 45 minutes or so to allow the flour to hydrate and re-chill the fat.  
  2. Meanwhile, cook the acorn squash in the microwave by giving each a few good pokes with a fork or knife, setting them in a microwave safe dish, and cooking on high for 15–20 minutes or until nice and tender, flipping halfway through.  Allow the squash to cool slightly then cut them open and scoop out the seeds.  Allow the squash to cool to room temperature then scoop out the flesh and puree in a blender until very smooth.
  3. For the filling, whisk together 2 cups of the pureed squash (reserve any remaining squash for another use), eggs, milk, brandy, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.  Set aside and preheat the oven to 400F.
  4. Meanwhile, make the topping by mixing together the pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Set aside.  Roll out the dough to about ¼-inch thick and transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate.  Crimp the edges however you see fit and pop it in the fridge to chill while your oven comes up to temperature.  
  5. When the oven is preheated, carefully pour the filling into the crust and pop it in the oven for 10 minutes.  Open the oven door and gently scatter the topping mixture over the pie.  Reduce the heat to 350F and continue to bake for 45–50 minutes or until the middle is set.  Allow the pie to cool completely before serving.