Succulent squash recipes
By Peggy Judd
For the Salisbury Post
Welcome, Summer! It’s time to enjoy filling, flavorful foods. Summer squash is chock full of healthy carbs and easy to prepare. In this article you will find recipes for three different summer squash, with meat and vegetarian adaptations. What is wonderful about these recipes is that they double and triple easily, and hold over very well as leftovers.
Barbecued Chinese Lettuce Wraps
Prep time: 15 min
Cook Time: 10 min
1 1/2 C. fresh shiitake or crimini mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and chopped
2 1/2 C. butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 pound chicken breast or chicken tenders, chopped (optional)
1/2 red bell pepper, diced small
1 small tin, 6 to 8 ounces, sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
3 scallions, chopped
2 Tbs. light colored oil, such as vegetable oil or peanut oil
Coarse salt and coarse black pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp. powdered ginger
1 orange, zested
3 Tbs. hoisin, Chinese barbecue sauce, available on Oriental foods aisle of market
1/2 large head iceberg lettuce, core removed, head quartered
Wedges of navel orange
Begin by gathering and chopping your vegetables. This recipe comes together quickly so be sure to assemble all ingredients.
Preheat a large skillet or wok to high.
Add oil to hot pan. Add butternut squash and stir fry for 4 minutes. Add chicken to the pan and sear meat by stir frying a minute or 2. Add mushrooms and cook another minute or two. Add salt and pepper to season, then garlic and ginger. Cook a minute more. Grate zest into pan, add bell pepper bits, chopped water chestnuts and scallions. Cook another minute, continuing to stir fry mixture. Add hoisin Chinese barbecue sauce and toss to coat the mixture evenly. Transfer the hot mixture to serving platter and pile the quartered wedges of crisp iceberg lettuce along side. Add wedged oranges to platter to garnish. To eat, pile spoonfuls into lettuce leaves, wrapping lettuce around fillings and squeeze an orange wedge over.
Bulgur Wheat Stuffed Acorn Squash
(Note: Bulgur wheat is a super food. It is found at health food stores, and also as the main ingredient in Tabouli salad. Boxes of Tabouli are found in the rice aisle in supermarkets—set aside the flavor packet and you have the exact amount of bulgur wheat for this recipe.
Prep: 5 minutes
Bake: 45 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
3 small acorn squash, halved
3/4 C. bulgur wheat
2 hot Italian sausages, casings removed OR 1 cup vegetarian “sausage” crumbles.
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 small sweet red pepper, seeded and diced
2 Tbs. chili sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. maple syrup
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Place squash halves, cut-side down, on a 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan. Add 2 cups water, and transfer to oven. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, put bulgur wheat in a bowl. Pour 3/4 cup boiling water over bulgur; cover with plastic wrap. Let stand 30 minutes.
Once bulgur is softened, heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook 2 minutes. Stir in garlic powder and red pepper; cook 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Stir in bulgur, chili sauce and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt. Remove squash from oven; pour off water. Flip over squash; brush with maple syrup. Season with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Spoon filling in squash; return to oven. Bake 10 minutes.
Spaghetti squash with Jalapeno cream
Total cook time: 1 1/4 hours
1 spaghetti squash (about 3 lbs.), cut in half lengthwise and scraped clean
2 C. milk
2 to 3 jalapeńos, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
2 Tbs. butter, plus more for pans
3 Tbs. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 C. shredded jack cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Put squash, cut side down, on a lightly buttered baking sheet and bake until tender when flesh is pierced with a fork, 30 to 40 minutes. Or poke several holes in skin of squash with a fork and microwave it on high 10 minutes. Squash should be tender when pierced with a fork; if it isn’t, microwave on high in 1-minute intervals until tender. Let sit until cool.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm milk and jalapeńos until bubbles form along the edge of the pan. Remove mixture from heat and let sit 15 minutes. Strain and discard jalapeńos.
When squash is cool enough to handle, use a large spoon to scrape the strands out of the skin and into a large bowl.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tbsp. butter. Whisk in flour and salt and cook, whisking, until flour smells cooked (like piecrust), about 3 minutes. Slowly pour in jalapeńo-infused milk while whisking. Reduce heat to medium and continue whisking until mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Pour mixture over squash and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to a buttered 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with jack cheese and bake until bubbling and brown on top, about 30 minutes.