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The Squash Bowl
Right Food for the Season - Early Winter
Written by Jon Ross-Wiley   

Tis the season for butternut squash.  It's everywhere. Thankfully, there are many options for its preparation; each one signaling fall or winter comfort.  On this site alone, we have a number of options from risotto, to a simple roast, to a purée.  Markets big and small have realized that peeling and chopping butternut squash might be too daunting a task for some.  Vacuum-packed, prepared chunks of squash can be found at most stores these days. It's really quite a luxury. How often can you purchase ingredients as well as the services of a sous chef or a line cook for $3.29. Personally, I enjoy conquering the squash all on my own.


In my mind, effort makes things taste better, particularly to the chef. That said, the following preparation takes minimal effort for a big payoff.  At its core, this recipe calls for cutting open a butternut squash, removing the seeds, and filling it with goodies. This recipe came to me after perusing the cabinets and the refrigerator and feeling at first uninspired, but then invigorated by the challenge.  What to do with very little on hand?  I did have two butternut squash "bowls" in the freezer as they were the unused portions from the purée used in my pork confit recipe.  I also had some wild rice available, and there a match was made.  You can go sweet or savory with this dish.  I opted for sweet, adding a little nutmeg to the rice, brown sugar to the rim for a quick broil, and topping with fresh apple sauce and a drizzle of maple syrup.  A nice savory option is salt and pepper to taste, roasted garlic, and rosemary and sage accents.  Enjoy.


The Squash Bowl (serves 2)


2 butternut squash

2 cups prepared wild rice

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons apple sauce

2 teaspoons maple syrup

2 pats butter 



Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Follow instructions for the wild rice of your choice.  Cut butternut squash just above where they begin to narrow, creating two wide "bowls". Remove seeds and the stringy pulp.  Add 1 pat of butter to the bottom of each of the "bowls" and place in the oven in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet.  Roast until squash is tender, about 30 minutes.  Remove the squash, leaving it in the pan or on the baking sheet, and spoon in the prepared rice.  Sprinkle rice and the rim of the bowl with brown sugar, return to the oven, and set to broil. Broil for 3-4 minutes, making sure not to burn the sugar.  Remove from the oven, and top each bowl with a tablespoon of apple sauce, and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup.  Serve immediately.





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