I used to fear these gourds. I didn’t have nightmares about them or anything, but I had no Idea where to start. When I got one in my farm box I knew the time had come to face my fear. Luckily they keep for a good long time because I stared at it on the counter for a couple of weeks. I knew I liked butternut squash in soup and ravioli. But I’d always had it at restaurants or from the chef at work.
I didn’t know how to get to the orange-y cubes of goodness.
So I finally just took the thing into work and asked the chef. She started with: “Well, first you cut it in half, and then…”
I had to stop her there. That was the problem: “how do I cut it in half?” To get equal halves I would need to cut it lengthwise, right? But that seemed scary. I could just see myself slipping with the knife and cutting my fingers in half along with the squash. Or having it slip out from under the knife and fly across the room while I land face first into the blade. You see why I was scared of the thing. It was trying to maim me!
But Chef Susan said “No.” She said that she would cut it right at its waist, before it starts to bulb out. After I did that, she told me it would be easier to peel.
And she was right!
After I peeled it, then I halved it again. This time lengthwise and scooped the seeds and gunk.
After that it easily cut in the pretty cubes like in the above picture. And there was no slipping or maiming or blood. Bonus!
Cut up it was put into the crock pot with some tomatoes, onions, carrots, garbanzo beans and curry spices. I left it to cook for 7 hours on low, stirred, then spooned it over couscous. It turned out to be a hearty meatless meal.
Here’s the full recipe:
4 cups cubed butternut squash
26 oz chopped tomatoes with juice (I used Pomi)
2 carrots cut into chunks
1 white onion halved and sliced.
2 Tbs curry powder
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 (15 oz) cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained.
3 garlic cloves minced.
Hot cooked couscous
Place butternut squash in a 4-quart electric slow cooker. Mix remaining ingredients (through garlic) in a bowl and spoon over squash. Cover with lid and cook on low setting for 7 hours. You could stir in cilantro at the end or top with plain yogurt if you have it. Serve over hot cooked couscous.
If you’d like it with more kick (depending on how hot your curry powder) you can add 1/4 tsp or more of cayenne pepper.