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Recipe: Coconut Roasted Buttercup Squash

Rural Intelligence FoodBerkshire native Alana Chernila, local politician, mother of two, and author of the new cookbook, The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying & Start Making (Clarkson Potter), dispenses change and cooking ideas at the Great Barrington Farmers’ Market. She shares her peak-of-the-season recipes with Rural Intelligence to help us make the most of what’s growing in our region. Her first cookbook has achieved top-seller status, and Chernila has just announced that she has a new one in the works: Meals from the Homemade Pantry (Clarkson Potter), due out in 2014.

I’ve had limited success growing winter squash in the past (but then, I’ve had limited success growing a number of things). But I think what I love most about the garden is that it forgives me. Every year, some crops work and some don’t. I may have voracious tomatoes next to sad, spindly broccoli. And every year, looking at the weedy mess that it is the October garden, I think, ‘thank you for this.’ Next year, I’ll do even better. Next year.

Well, next year? Here I am. It’s nice to meet you.

I’m going to give winter squash another try, because it seems that I have fallen in love with the buttercup squash. Not butternut, mind you, but buttercup, the fat green globe with thick orange flesh. I also seem to blush at the mention of its slightly larger, wetter fleshed cousin, the kabocha squash. This method of roasting wedges in coconut milk makes magic with either of them, and I’d guess it would be pretty lovely with a delicata squash as well. All of these three squashed have edible skins, and the coconut milk soaked into the skin is especially wonderful.

I hope the autumn is filled with what you love, whether it’s matzo, ham, or dirty knees from the garden.

Coconut Roasted Buttercup Squash

Rural Intelligence Food2 medium buttercup squash (or 1 large)
1 can full-fat coconut milk (or make your own!)
1/2 teaspoon chile powder, or more, to taste
juice of 1 lime
salt, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half (this is the hardest part of the recipe), and scoop out the seeds. Compost the seeds, or save to roast later.

2. Cut the squash into wedges. The size can vary based on your preference, but I’d go between 1 and 3 inches.  Leave the skins on.

3. In a large bowl, combine the coconut milk, chile powder, lime juice, and a touch of salt. Stir, and taste. Adjust salt and spice to your preference.

4. Toss the squash wedges in the coconut mixture. Lay them out on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake until soft when pricked with a fork, and just barely starting to brown. The timing for this will vary depending on the size of your wedges, but start to check the squash after 20 minutes. — Reprinted with permission from [1]. All text and photos copyright 2008-13 by Alana Chernila.

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Posted by Nichole on 09/27/12 at 11:45 AM • Permalink