Eating locally has never meant giving up global flavors for me. I just love food from everywhere else too much. Even back in the days of the Eat Local Challenges, spices got special dispensation under “Marco Polo” rules. Bringing local ingredients to the forefront of recipes from all over the world is especially satisfying in a food-nerdy way, confirming my conviction that eating locally and seasonally is good fun in its variety.
I picked up all but my Marco Polo ingredients at the last Winter Farmers’ market in Rollinsford (the next one is February 13th), and made batch after batch of this satisfying soup inspired by the Lonely Planet’s newish Thailand: From the Source cookbook. (Which I’ve had checked out from the public library for, ahem, awhile. It’s excellent.) It’s the lemongrass and ginger and chili combo that really sends this over the top on a dark winter night.
Are you struggling to figure out how to cook your new vegetables you bought at the Winter Farmer’s Market? There are a lot of foreign vegetables that can be very intimidating if you do not know how to cook them properly. For example, who knows how to cook a turnip? Because I certainly don’t! If I don’t know how to cook a vegetable, I won’t buy it, which is holding me back from trying new vegetables and expanding my palate.
Luckily for you and me, Seacoast Eat Local provides a link in the website to different recipes for winter vegetables. You can download and print recipe cards, or you can just copy them down. We have recipes for beef, beets, lamb, eggs, pumpkin, maple syrup, turips, etc. If you don’t find a recipe for a vegetable you have, or if you find one you don’t like, we also have a Pinterest page with a variety of recipes for almost every vegetable! The link to the recipes is here and I want to challenge everyone to go find a vegetable they have never tried before and test out one of these recipes!
Zucchini is abundant this time of year, and it is one of those vegetables that can seem tricky to use. Zucchini is extremely versatile due to its smooth texture and mild flavor. Whether you have too much lying around, or you want to try it for the first time, here are some tips to sneak more zucchini into your (or your kid’s!) day
Shredded Zucchini in Oatmeal
It sounds a little bizarre, but shredding about ¼ cup of zucchini and adding it to oatmeal adds nutrients, volume, and extra fiber, without affecting taste or texture. Just shred the zucchini while the oatmeal is cooking, and add ¼ cup to the hot oats during the last minute of cooking.
All it takes is a vegetable peeler or spiralizer, and a pot of boiling water to have a healthy alternative to pasta! Try this great recipe >
Zucchini muffins take on a similar texture to carrot cake, with a much milder taste. Since the taste of zucchini won’t overpower the muffin, these are very easy to customize and sneak in some veggies! Check out this recipe >
Zucchini Sauté Zucchini makes a great sauté as the perfect summer side dish for the whole family! Zucchini saute >
What Does Eating In Season Mean?
Eating in season is a way of celebrating the food products, especially produce available in your area at that time of year. This also means waiting to eat foods until they are available to you locally, which maybe a challenge at first. Eating only the freshest, local products will provide the richest flavors and highest nutritional value. Today this can be hard with all the commercial food options available, but you will find food coming into season exciting. And you will be ready for the new products to come in their bounty.
Spring is the time of new growth with products that are leafy and tender.
Summer provides light and cooling foods.
Fall provides the end of the light foods and the beginning of the warming food with its bountiful harvest.
Winter is a time of warming and hearty foods that keep us sustained.
Why Should I Eat in Season?
Fresher foods have more flavor and provide a higher nutrient content. Seasonal foods also have what the body need at that time of year. For example, in the summer produce has a high water content and natural sugars to help with hydration; in the winter foods tend to be heartier and more warming. At any time of year, without having to be harvested early and transported a long distance (which degrades nutrients), local foods will have more vitamins and phytonutrients.
You are supporting your neighbors and the local economy by shopping from farmers, markets or locally sourced restaurants. You are promoting a healthier environment by reducing the carbon footprint of the food from the field to your fork. Lastly, you are also reducing the packaging of your food exponentially, creating less waste overall.
How Do I Eat In Season?
Shop at a farm stand nearby or the farmer’s market regularly to purchase what is coming in and out of season. See the market schedule at: http://seacoastharvest.org/market/ . Through direct sales from the farm, you are able to ask many questions about flavor profiles, flavor combinations and recipe ideas. There are also seasonal cookbooks that offer great suggestions on recipes, and how to prepare vegetables that may be new to you.
Signing up for a CSA (community supported agriculture) share is a great way to ensure you are able to try what is available each week (or bi-weekly). By paying up front, your farmer is able to plan for seeds, labor, equipment costs and more. If this is too much, try signing up for a CSA share with a friend or neighbor and learn the ropes together for the first year.
Preserving, pickling, canning and freezing are great ways to ensure your fresh and local products are available to you with a longer shelf life. There are many possibilities and canning makes for great gifts too!
Spring has finally sprung! And so will a few crops that we’ve been missing throughout this long, snowy winter. As May and June are approaching, lets look at a few crops that will be available fresh at the markets!
One delicious ingredient that is very popular during the spring is rhubarb! Rhubarb is a vegetable, although it is commonly misidentified as a fruit due to its popular use in pies, jams and sauces. Rhubarb’s crisp stalks taste sweet/tart and serve as the perfect refreshing snack to munch on as the days get warmer. The stalks can range in color from reddish pink to green and the difference is in the taste – the redder the stalk, the sweeter the taste. However, you must remember that the stalk is the only part of the plant that should be consumed. Rhubarb leaves must be avoided because they are poisonous and contain oxalic acid. This can be very damaging to the body if consumed in large quantity, eventually causing kidney failure.
Rhubarb isn’t just tasty, but it also provides many health benefits. It is notably high in fiber and also contains potassium, vitamin A, calcium and more. In fact, one cup of cooked rhubarb has an equal amount of calcium than a glass of milk (although it is less bioavailable than calcium from dairy products)! Rhubarb is a perennial crop that is very low maintenance as it rarely suffers from disease or pests. It is typically harvested between April and June; so don’t miss your chance to pick up some fresh rhubarb at the market.
Another perennial vegetable that is available this time of the year is fresh asparagus. Many are probably familiar with green asparagus and its mild, earthy taste. However, some may be unaware of the different varieties of asparagus: purple and white. The purple varieties tend to be sweeter in flavor and less fibrous, however are more susceptible to disease. White asparagus is grown using the process of etiolation. Etiolation is the deprivation of light, and the absence of light disables the stalks from producing chlorophyll. Without the production of the pigment chlorophyll, the asparagus will not be given its green color, resulting in white asparagus. White asparagus is described to be more tender and subtle in flavor than green varieties. Something that all varieties have in common is their nutritional content. Asparagus is very high in fiber, vitamin K and folate, so be sure to keep a look out for this nutritious vegetable in the upcoming months!
Lastly, towards the end of June we can expect to see the return of fresh strawberries! This popular member of the rose family is one of the first fruits to ripen in the spring. Strawberries can be confusing because despite their name, they are not a berry.
By definition, a berry is a fleshy fruit produced from
a single plant ovary. Strawberries, on the other hand, are made up of several ovaries that were separate in a single flower. This is called an aggregate fruit, and another fruit that shares this characteristic are raspberries. Although they are not berries, strawberries are still exceptionally high in vitamin C and contain powerful antioxidants and phytonutrients. They are enjoyed in many ways including raw, cooked in desserts, jams, sauces, and more! Pair some fresh strawberries from Sugar Momma’s Maple farm with fresh rhubarb from Two Farmers Farm and make a pie, muffins, jams or even compote. See the recipe below for some ideas!
Servings: makes about 3.5 cups
1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered lengthwise
1 pound rhubarb, stalks only, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and serve warm over vanilla ice cream, angel food cake or waffles.
Asparagus and Strawberry Salad with Balsamic and Basil
Makes 2 appetizer sized or 1 sizable salad.
5 large stalks asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 cup halved or quartered fresh strawberries
6 cups fresh greens (mesclun, baby spinach, romaine, mache — all of these will be just fine)
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 tabelspoons balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp agave or maple syrup
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Instructions Bring a small pot of water to boil. Add the asparagus and blanch for 1-2 minutes till the stalks are still crunchy, but bright green and just tender enough to be palatable to you. Slice the basil into thin ribbons and, in a large bowl, combine the greens, asparagus, basil, and strawberries. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, syrup, and salt/pepper. Toss with the greens. Serve.
Here are some helpful and hopefully inspiring ways to enjoy local food, celebrate the seasons and eat local foods all year long.
January (Nov-April) : Winter Farmers Markets
Winter markets are a fun and warm retreat from the harsh weather. In addition to many farmers and edible products, some markets have live music, instructional demos, and tastings in addition to the shopping. They are a great way to stay connected to your local food source and try a variety of root, storage crops and greens through the colder months. Some are weekly and some are bi-weekly, so be sure to check the schedule before attending.
Saturdays Seacoast Eat Local (Rollinsford and Exeter) NewmarketFarmer’s Market, Newmarket NH Rolling Green Nursery, Greenland NH
Raymond Farmers Market, Raymond NH
Saco River Farmer’s Market, Saco, ME
York Gateway Farmer’s Market, York, ME
Sunday Berwick Farmer’s Market, Berwick, ME
Kittery Farmer’s Market, Kittery, ME
Salem Farmer’s Market, Salem, NH
February – CSA Fairs & Sign Ups
Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) creates a partnership between farmers and their customers. CSA members become shareholders, sharing the risks and benefits of the growing season. In return for making a investment early in the season, CSA members receive their “share” of the crops (typically given in weekly allotments) and are able to have a taste of what is in season. By paying ahead, the members are able to help the farmers pay for seeds and up front labor costs.To see more information on specific CSAs check out https://seacoasteatlocal.org/find-local-food/csas/
February is also the month of football celebrations and snacks. Make sure to include local wings in your football festivities!
Also, don’t forget to support your local greenhouse if you choose to purchase flowers to celebrate Valentine’s Day this month.
March – NH Maple Month/ Weekend
New Hampshire maple month is a great time to get to tour some local farms featuring their maple products. Every weekend this month different farms throughout the state host open houses including demos, tastings and a tree tapping ceremony. Be sure to check of the site for dates and times. This is a sweet event that’s perfect for the whole family to enjoy!
April –Local Easter Dinner Including local Hams and Home Garden Planning
Talk to the farmers at the winter markets to reserve your local food to share with your family for the big holiday meal. Local hams are a great addition to your big meal, especially with a local, homemade maple glaze. See recipe below for an easy example.
Maple glaze for ham:
¾ cup local maple syrup 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover ham with glaze during the last half hour of cooking. Baste frequently.
This is an in-between time in the New England growing season, so it is a great time to try new cooking techniques and recipes to prepare for the upcoming peak growing season. There are cooking and preserving classes happening all year round. By preparing with knowledge and equipment now, you’ll be more prepared for the peak harvest of fruits and vegetables at the high point of the season. See the links for more info:
It is also a great time to start planning out your home gardens or consider being a part of a community garden near you. This allows you to get to know others in your community with similar interests who can help with any agricultural/growing questions.
There are 30 summer farmer’s markets in the area of York, Rockingham, and Strafford counties. These are a great way to stay connected to your local food source and get to know your farmers, as most are held weekly, and some bi-weekly. The summer is a busy time of year for growers and others at the market. Be sure to support their hard work. These are fun to bring the kids and allow them to be a part of the local food shopping.Check out which one is near you for the dates and times at Seacoastharvest.org
June –PYO strawberries
Picking your own produce is fun for everyone!
By picking your own you usually end up paying a better price per pound. It is a way to feel more connected to your food source, especially since you had a hand in the harvest. Strawberries are usually quite quick to pick because of their size and are a great treat. They last for less than a week if stored in the refrigerator, so preserving through cooking, canning or freezing are a few suggested options. Rhubarb is also in season at this time, which pairs well with the strawberries. If preserving is something new for you, check out this easy strawberry freezer jam. It is fun to make with friends or family after a day of picking.
Freezer Strawberry Jam 1quart fully ripe strawberries 4cups sugar 3⁄4cupwater 1box fruit pectin (like Sure Jell)
You will need clean plastic containers and lids; rinse them thoroughly with boiling water and make sure they are completely dry.
Rinse strawberries gently with clean water, pat dry, then stem and crush them thoroughly, one layer at a time.
Measure exactly 2 cups crushed berries into a large bowl; stir in sugar.
Let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Mix water and pectin in small saucepan; bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly.
Continue boiling and stirring 1 minute.
Remove from heat and add to fruit mixture; stir constantly for three minutes or until sugar is dissolved and no longer grainy; a few sugar crystals may remain and that’s okay.
Fill prepared containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops.
Wipe off top edges and immediately cover with lids.
Let stand at room temperature 24 hours.
Your jam is now ready to use, and can be stored in the fridge for up to three weeks or
Picking your own blueberries and raspberries will take longer than strawberries because of their smaller size, but will also be more cost effective and fresher than buying already picked. With these, it is fun to make picking a game with the family or friends. Some options include seeing who can pick the most and guess the weight – whoever is closest when the berries are weighed, wins! These are great to have all year round for baking and smoothies. When freezing, be sure they are fully dried, place a single layer on a cookie sheet and place flat in the freezer so they can freeze individually, then bag and date.
August – NH Eat Local Month! (special events, farm days and open houses)
National & New Hampshire Farmers Market Week
August is a busy month for local food. This is month features special events throughout the area on farms and at the market including tours, potlucks, preserving information, picnics, BBQs and much more. Be sure to look at https://seacoasteatlocal.org/nheatlocal/events/ so you don’t miss these fun happenings.
There will also be special events at the markets for all ages at the beginning of the month to celebrate all the hard work so far. This is a week of markets not to be missed!
Pick your own peaches and peach festivals are also happening. They are a quick pick and a sweet and juicy snack and great to add to your preserved fruit collection.
September – Apple Picking, PYO Raspberries, Fish and Farm Festival
Apple picking is always fun for all ages and there are many delicious cooking options to follow. There are sometimes hayrides and animals to enrich the family fun experience. Homemade apple sauce is a healthy treat and also can be used for an oil substitute in baking to reduce fat intake. Raspberries are also back in season for another fall treat. An apple raspberry crisp would be a great way to combine the two seasonal specialties.
October – Pumpkin Picking, Cider Festivals, Hayrides/Corn Mazes
Pumpkin carving and corn mazes are a New England tradition for this time of year. You cannot forget the hayrides, cider and cider donuts while you are there! Roasting the pumpkin seeds make for a healthy snack on-the-go and allow you the freedom to flavor them your way.
November – Winter Farmers Markets Open, Thanksgiving – Local Chicken, Turkey & Ham
The winter markets are back! Make sure to reserve your Thanksgiving turkey ahead of time from your famer at the market. There are also all the sides and fixings you will need to go along with your turkey including fresh cranberries for an easy homemade cranberry sauce.
Cranberry Sauce 4-6 servings 1(12 ounce) bag 1cup sugar 1cup orange juice or 1 cup water
Mix all ingredients in a med sauce pan.
Bring to boil; simmer until berries pop.
Chill until ready to serve.
December – Holiday Winter Markets
Winter is beginning to be underway, and it is time to celebrate the holidays and the coming of the new year! You will find all the fixings for your special holiday meal. Keep in mind, you may have to sign up to reserve your specialty products ahead of time to help the farmers plan accordingly for everyone. You can also find a large variety of great gifts from mushroom powders, to oils, dried herbs and seasonings, wool scarves and mittens, gift cards and market tokens!
What is that funky, knobby looking vegetable at the market? It’s celeriac! Celeriac is a root vegetable, a cousin of your traditional celery. It’s leaves are not eaten, but have the delicious celery smell; a tease when weeding. Like its cousin, they both have a long growing season; celeriac takes about 112 days from seed to harvest. Its inner beauty has the starchiness of a potato with a delicate flavor of celery and parsley topped with a slight nuttiness. It is not watery like celery and is a great addition to other roasted or mashed root vegetables with some garlic. It is a great complement to many meats, makes a great stew for these cold winter days, can be fried (see recipe below) or can be eaten raw as snack sticks or in a salad or slaw. When cooked it is silky and smooth, and when raw its flesh is crispy.
Feeling adventurous and ready to try one next market? You can always find celeriac at Heron Pond Farm and sometimes other farms at the winter markets. You can pick the best one by ensuring there are no soft spots and keep in mind about one-quarter of the weight will be peeled off during preparation. You can store it in your refrigerator for two to three weeks in an unsealed produce bag. When ready to prepare it, take a thin slice off of the bottom and cut the knobbiness off of the top down to the flesh. It is best to peel the edges off using a chef or paring knife, whichever you are more comfortable with as opposed to a peeler because the skin is so thick.
So why celeriac?
Low calories and fat with only 42 calories per cup cooked.
It is a good source of fiber, vital for digestion.
Celeriac is highest in vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and phosphorus.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which helps immunity and prevents scurvy.
Vitamin K is needed for blood coagulation and calcification of bones.
Potassium is a mineral and electrolyte assisting in essential body functions.
Phosphorus is a necessary mineral for bone health.
You may not be too familiar with this unique and fun vegetable because it is not very commonly used outside of Europe and West Asia. It was commonly used in ancient European times and is most popular in France and Italy. In France, the most popular recipe is Celery Remoulade, a side dish of shredded celeriac with a mustardy mayonnaise and lemon dressing (see recipe below). Give Celeriac a try the next time you are shopping at the market!
Juice 1/2 lemon into a big pot of water and put it on to boil.
Julienne the peeled roots by using a mandoline (a device with adjustable blades) on the French-fry setting. If you don’t have a mandoline, peel the roots, cut them into 1/4-inch slices, then into 1/4-inch sticks, and put them in a bowl of acidulated water.
Add celeriac to the pot of boiling water and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain and dry well.
In the same pot or a deep-fryer, heat the vegetable oil until smoking (about 350 degrees) and start deep frying in batches until golden. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Reheat in the oven before serving.
Now Introducing: Kohlrabi Emily Whitmore, Seacoast Eat Local Intern
Pictures from Emily Whitemore, and http://www.reneesgarden.com/
Kohlrabi. What is that? Some sort of spice? A car? Wrong, it’s a vegetable! For those of you who have never heard of kohlrabi before, it’s a native to Germany and means “cabbage turnip.” As a member of the Brassica family, kohlrabi is a cabbage that looks like a root vegetable but actually grows above ground. There are purple, white, and light green varieties, all with white flesh. It is a cool-weather crop, so now is the best time to pick up fresh kohlrabi from the winter farmers’ markets!
I know you’re probably wondering what kohlrabi even tastes like. Typically the bulbs are the part that is eaten, but the stem and leaves are also edible. Kohlrabi bulbs are described as a mildly sweeter version of broccoli stems while the leaves have a similar taste profile to kale or collards. When raw, kohlrabi has a pleasantly crisp texture. For those who have never cooked with kohlrabi, the good news is that kohlrabi is a very versatile vegetable and can be eaten raw or cooked. Enjoy your kohlrabi roasted, pickled, steamed, or even slaw-style!
Want to hear the best part? Not only can kohlrabi be prepared just about any way you would like, but is also a guilt free food as it comes along with an abundance of nutrients and health benefits! It is also naturally low in calories and has no fat or cholesterol. Here are a few of the many benefits:
Very rich in Vitamin C – eat kohlrabi to help prevent those pesky winter colds!
Health promoting phytochemicals that are believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects
Rich in Vitamin B6 which is important for digestive, immune, and cardiovascular function
Fiber which is beneficial in digestive health and lowering cholesterol levels
Potassium which plays a role in maintaining blood pressure and bone and muscle maintenance
Delicious AND healthy, you can’t go wrong with kohlrabi! So next time you’re snowed in (and knowing New Hampshire it won’t be long) take a break from shoveling and treat yourself to a nice warm bowl of creamy kohlrabi soup. See the recipe to this tasty dish below. Enjoy!
Creamy Kohlrabi Soup.
Picture and Recipe from
I love beets and all you can do with them! They are great sliced raw, shredded onto a salad, pickled, roasted, in a soup, and believe it or not sometimes in dessert. The three most common beets seen at local farmers’ markets are golden beets, Chioggia beets, and the dark red beets. The golden beets are generally quite sweet. The Chioggia or candy cane beets are mild, with less of the typical earthy flavor. While the dark red beets have the traditional earthy flavor and deep red juices. Be cautious, as these can stain easily, so gloves are preferable when preparing them.
February is traditionally a time when most think of red, love, hearts and sweet things. Beets are a great way to incorporate all of these plus are heart healthy! Their red color is very prominent, aside from the golden beets, in all beet dishes. This comes from a phytonutrient known as betaine, which gives beets anti-inflammatory benefits. As a result, beets are known to help against heart disease, preventing unwanted inflammation and helping to decrease the risk of atherosclerosis, heart disease and Type II Diabetes. Preparation of this root vegetable is a great way to show love for your body and those you are sharing your meal with as they provide many beneficial nutrients. Beets are a great source of folate, manganese, potassium, copper, and A, C, and B Complex vitamins. This powerful combination of vitamins and minerals can decrease the risk of certain birth defects, high blood pressure, and anemia, while also aiding in eye and nerve tissue health. They provide a great source of energy due to natural sugars but are naturally low in fat and calories. They are in fact one of the top sugar containing vegetables, which is why there is an entire industry built around sugar beets. Despite all this natural sugar, beets are a very healthy addition to a balanced diet due to being an excellent source of dietary fiber (3.8 gm in 1 cup of beets), and their high dose of vitamins and minerals.
A great way to incorporate these vegetables into your Valentine’s Day celebration is to try them in cupcakes. Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes that is! They incorporate the traditional chocolate while featuring the beet color without an over powering flavor. I was able to make my own with some local ingredients from the winter market. They are delicately spongy and moist while satisfyingly sweet. These sweet endings can be made vegan and are great just the way they are or topped off with cream cheese frosting. See the recipe below.
Picture: Kelsey MacDonald
Natural Red Velvet Cupcakes
Serves: 24 mini cupcakes + 3 regular sized cupcakes, or 12-14 regular sized cupcakes.
For the cupcakes
– ¾ cup freshly puréed beets (boiled until tender, then puréed)
– ⅓ cup oil (I used Sunflower Oil from Coppal House Farm)
In a bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk until incorporated into the batter.
Divide among cupcake liners, filling them ¾ full, and bake for 15-20 minutes (for mini cupcakes) and 20-25 minutes (for regular sized cupcakes) until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when poked in the middle.
To make the cream cheese icing, whip together all ingredients (add the icing sugar ½ cup at a time until it reaches your desired consistency)
Pipe onto cupcakes as desired. The beetroot may discolor the frosting if left for too long, so if you are piping this ahead of time, do not do so more than 24 hours ahead of time.
Keep the cupcakes in the fridge and let sit at room temp at least 30 minutes before serving.
Butternut Squash Done 6 Different Ways!
I absolutely love winter squash! It’s warm, filling, and nutrient packed. My favorite variety lately has been delicata, because of its edible skin and ease of preparation. Yet, there are many other varieties, such as butternut that simply cannot be replaced! I find that for me it is best to cook in batches. This cuts down on cooking time, cleaning, and gives me lots of leftovers to use throughout the week or to freeze for later.
Butternut is a classic winter squash that most people are familiar with. You will find them in abundance at fall and winter farmers’ markets. The bright yellow-orange skin is an indication that this squash is high in beta-carotene which is converted to Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is important for eye health and promotes healthy skin. Butternut is also an excellent source of vitamin C, which is used by the body for wound healing, gum health and also aids the body in the absorption of iron. While naturally low in calories, squash is also a dietary source of fiber, keeping your feeling full longer after eating. It is a perfect healthy addition to any meal – Try it roasted and cubed on a salad with cranberries and feta, add to your favorite stir fry rice bowl, or try it in a healthy breakfast hash!
Like most winter squash they have a thick tough outer skin. This is helpful when storing them over many months during the winter, but it can also be a task to cut through when cooking. Instead of spending time cubing and peeling, I simply cut my squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and bake them in their skins. Once cooked the flesh can be scooped out easily and either mashed as a side, or pureed to go in other dishes or soups. Check out the Seacoast Eat Local Pinterest page for Butternut for even more ideas!
Below I have some photos of squash I roasted using very different spices and flavors. This was a fun way to cook the squash because I ultimately ended up with 6 different dishes, all of which were cooked at the same time and on the same pan! Talk about easy! All of the squash was cut in half, cleaned out, and drizzled with a bit of olive oil. We baked them at 375 degrees until tender. For the squash that we wanted to put “sauce” on we scored the flesh with a fork – this helped keep the toppings in place so they could seep in as it cooked. If your squash is rolling away on your pan you can simply make a shallow, flat cut on the back side to create a flat surface.
The six varieties of seasonings are as follows (clock wise):
Sriracha & Brown Sugar
Minced Garlic, salt & pepper
Chinese 5 Spice
Ginger & Honey
Olive oil, salt & pepper
Maple Syrup, Cinnamon, Nutmeg & vanilla
Our favorite was the maple syrup with cinnamon and nutmeg. Next time I plan to use fresh grated ginger instead of dried and just a tad bit more honey. Feel free to experiment! Squash lends itself well to spicy and savory seasonings as well as sweet.