One evening, at my university dining hall, in the gloomy dark of December, I came upon a gloppy orange mess of a food that I'd never eaten in my entire 18 years. Not being shy about trying new things, I had the server spoon me out some of this mush and sat down with my friends.
I thrust the first sweet forkful into my mouth and I thought, "Squash, where have you been all my life?"
Clearly no one in my family, or at least not my parents, appreciated winter squash. Zucchini was always plentiful in summer, eaten raw in salads. Winter squash was a totally different beast, best eaten roasted, and in this case, steamed.
My college dormitory put on a few communal dinners each year, and stuffed squash showed up on the menu, rich with cheese and sunflower seeds. I found this dish nutty, sweet, and delightful. Also, I like to make a dish I adapted from a vegetarian restaurant in New Hampshire which includes mashed sweet potatoes and squash along with ginger root, cream cheese, and maple syrup, baked in the squash “shell.”
Each fall, I look forward to red kuri, kabocha, butternut, buttercup, acorn, and exotic varieties from my CSA and local farmers market. Unfortunately, neither my husband nor my daughter appreciate winter squash and all its glorious variations.
I can only succeed in feeding my family one squash dish and one squash dish alone: my Dinner in a Hurry Curried Squash Soup. Mine is a family in love with Indian flavors and enamored with coconut milk, so my personally-concocted recipe is a well-calculated hit. Instead of roasting the squash, I split it and run it through the microwave for 12 minutes because, after all, I’m really in a hurry.
Not only is our soup sweet and slightly spicy, but it’s rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and fiber. We’re looking forward to hearing what you think!
PS: Just last week, my husband found a very similar recipe in the New York Times food section. Now I know I’ve been on to a really good thing. ;)