Thursday, January 16, 2020

january garden candy

My blog-pal Tipper recently wrote about her favorite way of cooking butternut squash: cutting the squash into pieces, tossing with a little oil, and baking. It looked so good, of course I wondered if Candy Roasters - the only Winter squash I've grown for the past several years - would be good the same way. Usually I cut a whole squash in half lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and membrane from the core, then roast the whole squash and puree it. So good!

The Candy Roaster Arbor of 2019

But why not try something different? The worse thing that could happen would be the Candy Roasters - which are not as dense as butternuts, I think - might just melt into blobs if cut into small pieces before baking. Only one way to find out.

I chose the smallest squash from my windowsill larder, peeled it and cut it into pieces, removing the core. I spread the pieces out on a piece of parchment paper, drizzled a little olive oil and then gathered up the corners of the parchment paper and gave it a few shakes to distribute the oil. Put the parchment paper on a baking sheet, sprinkled salt over, and into a hot oven for a half hour.


Slightly crispy on the outside, smooth and creamy on the inside.

The word LUSCIOUS is not an exaggeration.

Next time I will add more oil and be sure all the pieces are coated, so there will be even more browning. And I may give the pieces a flip after 20 minutes, if I think of it.

Adding herbs or spices before baking might be an enhancement, but honestly, the simple oil and salt method is so good it may take me awhile to experiment with anything else.

Unlike most of the things I cook, I suspect this is something best eaten immediately, not made in huge quantities and eaten for several days in a row, or frozen for later reheating. But I may try freezing some next time, just to see. Or, since the peeling and cutting is the only time-consuming part of the process, I may try cutting up one of the larger Candy Roasters and freezing the uncooked pieces in baking-sheet-size portions. Whoa. That would be a really good idea! I could probably put a baking sheet full of squash in the oven before going out for chores, and come in to a delicious meal.

What a treat!

Thanks for the idea, Tipper :)