Squashes are in season and make my head spin when I am at the market. So many varieties, colours, shapes and sizes. Needless to say I love them all and pile my kitchen counter with a few of these gorgeous things. What can I do? Vegetables are my “thing”. I get so excited I almost forget the weather is changing and it’s getting cold outside.
There are the usual varieties of squashes, like butternut and acorn, both of which I love and use often, and there are the less known varieties that get overlooked. I would place the sweet dumpling squash into the latter category. Really, it should be on your menu often this fall. It is available at the market from September to December and when you buy it it will be okay sitting in a cool spot in your kitchen for a few days (not in the fridge), until you are ready to enjoy its flavours.
Sweet dumpling is a beautiful little guy (or gal, I haven’t looked), round and plump, with green little stripes over a stylish creamy skin. It lends itself beautifully to roasting, either whole, cut in half or in wedges. You can also stuff it with grains and dried fruits, like I did with the acorn squash here. I wouldn’t try to peel this one, it’s best to bake or roast with the skin on.
The recipe below is very simple. We are leaving for a few days and I wanted to cook a few things without fuss so they don’t linger on the counter too long and get lonely without me. I simply cut the top off at the stem end, removed the seeds using a spoon, placed a dab of butter inside and a little brown sugar and placed in the oven. I roasted it covered until a knife I inserted met no resistance. I then baked it uncovered for a few more minutes and that’s about it.
Well, not quite, I had oregano honey in the pantry and drizzled a little on top. If you don’t have oregano honey you can make it yourself by melting honey over low heat with a couple of fresh oregano sprigs and then strain to remove the leaves or if it looks nice leave the leaves in.
3 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup honey
A couple of sprigs of oregano
Cut off the top of each squash from the stem end.
With a spoon scrape out all the seeds and stringy parts until you have a nice clean bowl.
Place a tablespoon of butter inside each squash.
Cut the remaining tablespoon butter into small pieces and place them on the edge of the squash around the bowl.
Place a tablespoon of brown sugar inside each squash and sprinkle some additional sugar over the top.
Place on a foil lined baking dish or baking sheet (less to clean later), cover with another piece of foil.
Bake in a 375℉ until you can easily insert a knife into the flesh. Depending on the size. And freshness of the squash this mat take 40-60 minutes. Check it after 30 minutes and then every 15 minutes or so.
Uncover and continue baking about 10 more minutes to dry and caramelize the outside a little.
Remove from the oven and let settle a few minutes.
Drizzle with oregano honey and enjoy with a spoon on its own or alongside dinner entree.
Warm the honey in a small pot together with the oregano. let sit a few minutes.
While the honey is still warm strain it to remove the leaves or serve as is.
Drizzle honey over the squashes.