I grow many different kinds of Winter Squash in my garden that keep all year so it's fun to experiment with cooking them in different ways. I had some surprises come up this year, I don't know where they came from, but they weren't the seeds I planted. They were Carnival Squash, and Kabocha. Both are medium large and round and resemble small pumpkins. They turned out to be nice surprises! They climbed the trellis beautifully and produced lots of yummy squash! Most Winter Squash are interchangeable, so use whatever you have on hand for my squash recipes. They're all rich and delicious. And this one was a huge hit with my husband, who's not as enthusiastic about veggies as I am!!
I found a similar recipe from the UK, and changed some ingredients to better suit what was in my pantry. It turned out wonderful!
- 1 large, or 2 smaller Winter Squash, whatever variety you choose
- 3 TBSP butter
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- Fresh or dried rosemary, thyme, or italian blend. (about 1 tbsp)
- 1 med red onion, chopped
- Handful of walnuts, coarsly chopped
- 1/3 cup heavy cream, or half and half (both work fine)
- 1 cup cheese (whatever kind you like! I used mozzarella and parmesan blended)
Make sure the outside of the squash is scrubbed clean. Cut the squash in half length ways and scoop out the seeds and soft fibers. Put in a roasting dish, add the chopped garlic, a pat of butter and 1/2 the chopped herbs of your choice to each cavity, then brush with a little oil, salt and pepper. (I use my hand and squish all the ingredients around the cavity so the whole squash is coated.)
Place in an oven preheated to 375 F and bake for about 1 hour, checking after 45 minutes, until the flesh feels very tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.
While the squash are roasting heat the rest of the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, add onion and remaining herbs then gently cook for 10 -15 minutes until soft, add the cream and reduce by half until the whole mixture is thickened.
Scoop the soft flesh and all the buttery, garlicky juices out of the squash and put into a bowl, leaving a thin layer of flesh still attached to the skin, so the squash holds its shape.
Roughly mash the flesh with the creamy mixture and cheese, then stir in the walnuts, and season a little more with salt and pepper. Leave a little cheese to sprinkle on top!
Spoon the filling back into the empty squash halves and scatter on the reserved cheese. To finish return the squash to the oven and bake for about 7 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling.
Try these variations: I steamed and chopped broccoli and added that to the mixture. You can add kale, spinach, whatever you choose. Also, you can have a complete meal in a bowl if you want to add some chicken, sausage (sausage works excellent with this), or any meat. Get creative! It's hard to ruin such a tasty treat!