Wednesday, October 25, 2017

October 26, 2017 - This Week's Box Contents, Featuring Sugar Dumpling Squash

Cooking With This Week's Box

Can you believe Thanksgiving is only about 4 weeks away!?  Have you started gathering your recipes and planning your menu for the big dinner?  Brussels Sprouts with Ginger & Cranberries, Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Apples,  Grandma Yoder’s Squash Pie . . perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself.  Well, you still have some time but I would encourage you to start planning for the big day! 

As the weather becomes more chilly, I’m more in the mood to eat some of these warm, nourishing foods like winter squash and sweet potatoes.  This week’s featured vegetable is the sweet little sugar dumpling squash.  Use this squash to prepare Andrea Bemis’s recipe adaptation for Autumn Spiced Pork Sausage & Kale Stuffed Squash (see below).  She used delicata squash in her recipe, but this will work with any squash that has a little cavity to put a filling into.  This recipe also makes good use of the tender kale in this week’s box.  The other squash in your box, either honeynut butternut or butterscotch butternut, is a great variety to bake or roast and both are naturally sweet & flavorful.  Melissa Clark has a tasty recipe for a Roasted Mushroom and Butternut Squash Tart featured at

Red Lentils with Winter Squash and Greens   
I’m excited to have so many different greens in this week’s box and I have a use for each one.  The tender bunched kale will go into the stuffed squash recipe, but I’m saving the spicy mustard greens to make a recipe we featured in our newsletter back in 2015.  It’s a recipe for Red Lentils with Winter Squash and Greens.  You’ll likely have enough butternut squash to make both the lentil recipe and the tart recipe mentioned previously.  I really enjoy this recipe prepared with the spicy mustard greens.  It makes a flavorful, nourishing meal and may be served with rice. 

Bok Choi Salad with Sesame Almond Crunch

The baby bok choi is going to be used to make the Baby Bok Choi Salad with Sesame-Almond Crunch featured in our June 2016 newsletter.  Trust me…it’s delicious! 

This recipe for Crushed Potatoes with Cream & Garlic is one of my simple go-to recipes for busy weeks. This recipe works well with the waxy potatoes like we have in this week’s box.  I usually just serve it with a seared steak or pork chop.  This week I think I’ll add roasted Broccoli and/or Cauliflower or Romanesco with Lemon and Garlic to this meal. If you’re going to eat garlic you might as well go big and put it in nearly everything!

I came across this recipe for Carrot Salad with Tahini and Crisped Chickpeas at Smitten Kitchen.  I think I’ll serve this salad with a roasted sweet potato for a simple vegetarian dinner.  Of course….there will be leftovers for lunch the next day! 

And once again we’ve reached the bottom of another delightful CSA box!  Next week we’re hoping to harvest Brussels sprouts and Tat soi for your boxes.  These are two of my favorite fall vegetables.  Even though we’re nearing the end of this year’s CSA Season, we still have a lot of interesting vegetables to include in your boxes!  Don’t forget that we change our delivery schedule a bit next week.  Please check your CSA calendar so you don’t miss any deliveries!

That’s a wrap for this week.  Have a good one!
-Chef Andrea

Vegetable Feature:  Sugar Dumpling Squash

Sugar Dumpling Squash
The world of vegetables is so diverse, and even within a category such as “winter squash” there are very different varieties.  This week we’re featuring the sugar dumpling squash, which has different qualities and characteristics in comparison to the two other squash we’ve featured this year.  Sugar dumpling squash is a variety that was developed out of collaboration between the University of New Hampshire and our friends at High Mowing Organic Seeds, an all-organic seed company in Vermont.  This variety is similar in shape to an acorn or festival squash, but is a bit more squatty and rounded.  It has yellow and green markings on the skin with a light yellow flesh.  The flesh is not as rich as a kabocha squash, but is very flavorful and sweet.  While they have been storing very well this year, they do have a higher sugar content which makes them less of a candidate for storing deep into the winter. 

Sugar dumpling squash is delicious when simply cut in half and baked until tender.  You can serve it with nothing more than a pat of butter and a little salt and pepper.  It also is a good squash for serving with a filling.  In late fall and winter I actually enjoy eating this squash for breakfast.  I cut it in half and bake it with apples, cranberries, and/or raisins in the middle and sprinkle it with a little cinnamon, a drizzle of maple syrup and sometimes I eat it with the toasted squash seeds on top.  You can fill it with any variety of fillings ranging from fruit to all vegetables, rice, meat, cheese, etc.  As I was thinking about the recipe I wanted to feature in this week’s newsletter, Andrea Bemis of Dishing Up the Dirt blog popped one right into my inbox!  Check out her recipe for stuffed squash featured in this week’s newsletter.  It was a perfect recipe that utilizes not only the sugar dumpling squash in this week’s box but also some of the onions and the tender kale. 

This squash variety also has tender seeds that toast up nice and crispy.  Last week Heidi Swanson did a very nice feature on her blog,, about toasting pumpkin seeds.  The process is the same whether the seeds come from a pumpkin or a squash.  She has step-by-step pictures and several variations for how to flavor and season them, one of which is included in this week’s newsletter.  If you’ve never saved the seeds from your squash, or don’t have a good process for doing so, I’d encourage you to give it a try this week.  You might as well take advantage of using as much of the squash as you can!  

Autumn Spiced Pork Sausage & Kale Stuffed Squash

Photo from Dishing Up The Dirt blog

Yield:  4 servings

2 medium or 4 smaller sugar dumpling squash
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pound ground pork sausage
¾ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 small bunch of kale, leaves torn into bite sized pieces
½ cup dried cranberries, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and then drained
¼ cup pecans, finely chopped
Drizzle of pure maple syrup (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.  Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  Set them aside so you can clean and prepare them to toast (an optional step, but highly recommended).  Drizzle the cut side of each squash half with a little olive oil and place each squash cut side down on a baking sheet.  Roast them in the oven until the squash is tender, about 25-30 minutes.  Cooking times will vary depending on the size of the squash.
  2. Heat a little olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until they are translucent.  About 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and continue to cook for about 2 minutes longer.  Add the pork, spices, salt and pepper and use a wooden spoon to help break up the meat.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink.  Add the kale leaves and continue to cook until the kale turns bright green and becomes tender, about 5-8 minutes longer.  Stir in the drained cranberries. 
  3. Once the pork and the kale are fully cooked, remove from the heat.  
  4. Divide the sausage mixture between the squash halves and sprinkle with the toasted pecans and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.  Put the squash halves back on the sheet tray and put them back in the oven just long enough to wam up all the ingredients.  Drizzle them with a little maple syrup just before serving. 

Andrea & Author’s Note:  If you have extra filling left over, put it in the freezer. You can use this filling for a future delivery of sugar dumpling squash or with the festival squash coming before the end of the season. This recipe was adapted from Dishing Up the Dirt.

Sweet Curry Squash Seeds

Yield:  1 ½ cups seeds (or however many seeds you get out of your squash!)

1 ½ cups winter squash or pumpkin seeds, well-cleaned, well-dried
2 tsps olive oil
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp brown sugar
Fine grain sea salt

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the squash/pumpkin seeds with the olive oil and sea salt. Transfer the seeds to the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the seeds are deeply golden. A zap under a broiler is a nice finishing touch, but not necessary.
  3. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for a minute or two, and then stir in the curry powder and brown sugar.  Sprinkle with additional salt if necessary.
This recipe was adapted from Heidi Swanson’s blog, 101cookbooks. com.  Just last week she did a great blog post all about how to save and toast pumpkin seeds, but she does mention that all the techniques also may be applied to seeds saved from a variety of winter squash.  Her post includes step-by-step pictures and instructions as well as a few other tasty seasoning variations.  You may need to scale this recipe to whatever quantity of seeds you have available from your squash.  

1 comment:

Smith said...

Wow is just the simple word that may explain that how much I liked it. It was nicely stuffed with the material I was looking for. It’s great to be here though by chance.