Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Red Kuri Squash stuffed with Shiitakes and Almonds






This is a red Kuri Squash. It is a native of Japan and has bright orange skin and flesh. It is not as watery as other squashes I have eaten, so I deemed it perfect to stuff and bake.
They have been coming in our farm box, but I have been buying extra at the co-op too. I think it tastes the closest to a sweet potato of any squashes I have had.
I decided to stuff it because it would look pretty! The first was a failed attempt due to the onions not cooking properly. The second time I caramelized the onions and that did the trick. To me, this dish tasted like the candied yam dish you make at Thanksgiving with marshmallows on top. It is a show stopper and would be wonderful for any holiday event. If you don't like the taste of ginger however, omit it.
Also, you could just bake this beautiful squash and mash it up like a sweet potato if you wanted an easy dinner dish. Use the extra to make soup, pie or put in pumpkin bread recipes.

Stuffed Red Kuri Squash
bake at 350 on a cookie sheet for 1 1/2hrs our until a sharp knife pierces the flesh easily.

1 med. red kuri squash
1 large onion
3/4 cup almonds chopped (substitute hazelnuts too! I would have but did not have any!)
zest of one lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
two pinches salt
1 tlbs olive oil
1 tbls. molasses
2 cups shiitake mushrooms chopped
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp fresh grated ginger

Sautee the onions in the olive oil until almost caramelized (about 15 minutes). Add shiitakes for last 5 minutes of cooking (put lid on pan for those last 5 minutes)

In a mixing bowl, add onions and mushrooms and the other ingredients. Mix well and put inside the squash that has been hollowed out with a spoon. Cover with the squash top and bake on a cookie sheet for about 90 minutes. It may take longer depending on how big your squash is.
It is sure to give you oohs and ahhs at any table you set it down on! M was not super into the ginger flavor (I loved it) so next time I would leave it out to be more appealing to her. Other than that, it was a fabulous dish.

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