I can’t help but notice how many people find this blog because they are searching for a recipe for winter squash, especially butternut or acorn squash. You’ll find both savory and sweet recipes at Ozarkhomesteader, because these squashes are incredibly versatile.
Tonight, for instance, I was working with green European cabbage, red onion, and turkey bratwurst. These ingredients scream German or Austrian food (at least to me), but I was also staring at a butternut squash with a little damage, one that I needed to fix soon rather than keeping through the winter. Ultimately, I boiled the brats in beer and then mixed just a touch of molasses in with a tiny bit of the beer to make a glaze, allowing me to get nice grill marks when I put the brats on a hot cast iron grill pan. I served the brats on cabbage sauteed with red onion, cider vinegar, prepared grainy mustard, a touch of honey, and some soy sauce. (Darn Alton Brown for mentioning umami right about the time I was reaching for the salt!) I decided that the squash could be seasoned to stand in for pumpernickle–or maybe gingerbread.
I began by peeling the butternut squash. Butternut is the only winter squash that peels easily when uncooked. Then I cut the squash into chunks, popped it in a casserole with a little water, and baked it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Then I mashed it with about 2 tablespoons dry ginger and two generous drizzles of molasses (maybe about a tablespoon).
I served the brats on top of the cabbage with the squash to the side, some green beans, and some tiny sliced radishes. Sure the squash looks like baby food this way, but it tastes rich! And our entire meal celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall. It’s hard to believe that was twenty years ago!
Regardless of whether winter squash with ginger is your idea of a good time, know that you can bring its warm, comforting flavor to all sorts of cuisines, including Indian (try it with curry and coconut milk!), Italian (think ravioli with nutmeg, a little garlic), or even New England colonial (acorn squash stuffed with apples and dried cranberries). Enjoy those squash you found at the farmer’s market, in your CSA basket, or even–like us–in your own garden.