Friday, November 13, 2009

Banana Squash

It resembles a banana, a big banana, except when it's green:

I'd been wanting to try one but most I'd seen, if I saw any, were 2 feet or longer. Too unwieldy. And since I bake it whole, not oven-friendly. When I spotted this one, a little under 2ft., I snatched it.

Into a 310ºF oven for about 1.5 hours, or until soft.

The slightly warm and moist squash was heavy and handled, with all due respect to aquatic animals, like a dead fish. (I bake it whole to avoid the life-in-your-hands task of cutting raw squash rind. You could use a butter knife to slice this open and a teaspoon to scoop seeds.)

All that work ... for around 1.13 cups of squash meat.

The taste and texture? More on the savory side, that is, not very sweet. And very wet. It's unlike the drier and sweeter kabocha or buttercup (not butternut) squashes. I'll probably make a soup with this, something like:

Apple Squash Soup

1 or 2 cups cooked squash (Butternut squash makes a good substitute.)
1 or 2 cups sautéed apples (Here's a very old post on making sautéed apples.)
1 cup apple cider or juice
Dash cinnamon
Dash nutmeg
Dash salt
Few squeezes lemon juice

Purée squash and apples in a food processor or blender. If necessary, add some apple cider to help purée. Reserve a few nicely browned apples for garnish.

Transfer purée to a soup pot. Thin with cider to desired consistency. Season with spices, salt, lemon juice or as desired. Heat.

Garnish with dried cranberries or dried cherries, toasted almond slivers or walnut pieces, and reserved apples slices. A swirl of cranberry sauce looks nice too.
Photos: Bix

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