Sunshine, BonBon and Butternut
What with the holidays next week it seemed like a good time to offer up some recipes, which use Twin Springs fine produce - Of course! the above picture shows some of the squash harvested this fall, a Kabocha squash named Sunshine, which is perfect for pumpkin pie recipes, being sweeter and smoother textured than most pie pumpkins. We also offer the funny looking green BonBon squash, a Buttercup variety, which is comparable to Sunshine; each variety has its following at market. Of course we grow the old standard Butternut, which is just fine, but though many recipes call for this squash, any of the three may be used interchangeably; and I suggest trying one of the first two. All three are, of course, deep orange inside, and are considered to be super-foods, due to the presence of anti-oxidants, fiber, minerals and vitamins. Here is a link to an article on just how nutritious it is.
All three are superbly suited to Thanksgiving recipes, not just pies. It may be served on its own as a side dish, used in soup or in any number of recipes found at this time of year. Wednesday's Washington Post Food Section, this week's issue (1/18/15), has a number of Thanksgiving oriented recipes. I'm going to repeat my advice for actually getting the sweet pulp ready for use in recipes which call for cooked pumpkin or winter squash. The food section has a recipe for
"Holiday Kuri Squash and Apple Soup" which sounds wonderful and certainly could be adapted to one of our squash varieties. I suggest that you use the below directions to get the 15 ounces or so of cooked squash to put in the soup, as it is easier than peeling and cubing; it is all pureed any way.
Cut the squash "pole to pole" with a large chef's knife, taking care to leave your fingers intact. Leaving the seeds in place put the halves cut side down on a cookie sheet that has been covered by a sheet of parchment paper. The squash, towards the end of baking, will be oozing quite a bit of caramelized juice, and is much easier to clean up. Turn the oven to 400F and bake the squash until it has reached the stage described above, just short of burning the caramelized juices. Depending on the size of the squash this may take from 30 to 45 minutes. Don't worry, you'll smell the wonderful caramelization of the sugars.
Remove the squash from the oven and allow it to cool, at which point you can scoop out the seeds and fibers in which they are nestled; the seeds will now rinse out from the fibers, allowing you to use them if you like them roasted, pretty fibrous but good. Scoop out the actual pulp, and if desired it can be processed for a pretty long time to make it even smoother. Prepared this way it will be ready for any recipe that calls for pumpkin pulp, but I also suggest simply serving it "as is" for a side dish; it will be good enough to stand on its own. As I tell customers at market "It doesn't need any help"; meaning butter, sugar and spice added to it really isn't necessary, try it alone to get the full unadulterated flavor (disclaimer - I do add butter!).