By ALISON LADMAN, AP
For simplicity, every recipe idea assumes you’ve peeled and seeded the squash.
- Patties: Cut squash into 2-inch pieces. Microwave until just tender. Allow to cool slightly, then arrange small mounds of cubes on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Use bottom of a bowl or mug to gently smash each mound into a patty about 1/2 inch thick. Brush top of each patty with olive oil & season with salt, pepper & smoked paprika. Bake at 450 F until browned and crispy, flipping after 10 mins.
- Hummus: Boil 2 cups squash cubes in water until tender. Drain well, then combine in a food processor with 1/4 cup tahini, 2 cloves garlic, zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, salt and pepper, to taste. Process until smooth, then spoon into a bowl. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and chopped peppers. Serve with pita chips.
- Salad: Boil 2 cups squash cubes in water until just tender. Drain thoroughly and set aside to cool. Toss the cooled squash with 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, 1 cup cooked shelled edamame, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar and 1 cup chopped roasted red peppers. Season with salt and pepper, then top with shredded manchego cheese and toasted pine nuts.
- •Hash: Cut squash into 2-inch chunks and add to food processor. Pulse until well chopped, but not pureed. Heat a splash of canola oil in a large skillet, then add squash and an equal amount of chopped corned beef. Sauté until squash is brown and tender. Top with poached or fried eggs.
- Grilled: Slice the squash into 1/2-inch-thick slabs. Drizzle each slab with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill over medium heat until tender when pierced with a fork. If the squash browns too quickly, turn one side of the grill off and leave the other side on medium-high. Move the squash slices to the cooler side and continue cooking, with the grill covered, until tender.
- Soup: Bring to a simmer 2 cups chicken broth, a 13 1/2-ounce can of coconut milk, 3 cloves garlic and 3 cups cubed squash. Cook until very tender. Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt, a squeeze of lemon juice and a splash of hot sauce. Stir in cooked shredded chicken or cooked shrimp, if desired. Top with shredded fresh basil.
- Ganache: Boil 1 cup squash cubes in water until tender. Drain, then add to the food processor and puree until very smooth. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup heavy cream with 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon ground dry ginger. When just hot, remove from the heat and stir in 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate bits. Stir in the squash puree until completely smooth. Serve warm over ice cream or toasted pound cake or gingerbread.
- Biscuits: Boil 1 cup squash cubes in water until tender. Drain and mash with a fork; you should have 1/2 cup of mashed squash. Cool and stir together with 2/3 cup buttermilk. Freeze 6 tablespoons butter until it’s very cold but not rock solid. Grate the butter with a cheese grater into a bowl with 2 cups selfrising flour. Stir together with a fork. Add the squash and stir just until it comes together. Scoop 1/4 cup at a time onto an oiled baking sheet and bake at 425 F for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Roasted: Toss squash cubes in a bowl with melted butter or olive oil, salt, pepper, and Italian or Cajun seasoning. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and roast at 425 F until tender and browned, stirring occasionally.