‘Tis the season for squash of all kinds. Pumpkins, Gourds, Acorn, Butternut, Buttercup, and on an and on. All these squash inspired me to make a delicious comforting fall dish using buttercup squash. Y’know the green one that sort of looks like a turban. Not the yellow one with the harder skin that’s shaped like….. um, well you know. The kind of sweet, kind of nutty flavor of the buttercup squash provides the comfort of the fall flavor. The sausage and veggies provide the deliciousness to bring it all together. It is very filling so make sure you save the left-overs, the flavors blending in the fridge will make it taste even better!
Okay, I have a slight confession… I have never cooked buttercup squash before. I have watched how to do it on cooking shows though … and I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night ~ Oh no wait, that’s a different commercial 😀 It looked enticing so I decided to try it. The first challenge was how to get into It. After trying a few things with my knife, I figure out that using the tip and pulling is the best way to get into it. Like so,
Okay, like every squash there are strings and seeds that need to be scooped out. You’ll also need to line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Once you have done that, put the clean halves on the foil – cup side up for now. Drizzle the halves with light extra virgin olive oil. You want light because you don’t want an olive-y taste taking over the flavor of the squash. In a small bowl mix together 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon of each of these spices; garlic powder, paprika, coriander, and cumin. Adjust each measurement to your liking. If you like lots of garlic, and not so much paprika then you want 1/4 teaspoon garlic and 1/8 teaspoon paprika. then sprinkle the spice mixture generously over both halves of the squash.
Now turn the halves over onto the foil lined baking sheet. Place in a cold oven set to 375 for 25 minutes. This is how I did it, mainly because I didn’t think to turn the oven on before cutting the squash. I would normally give you some sort of scientific info on why to start with a cold oven, but there isn’t any …. this is just how I did it and the squash turned out wonderfully.
While your squash is baking, rough chop 1 small zucchini and 1 small yellow (crook necked) squash (about a cup after chopped) into about 1/4 inch pieces. Chop 1/4 yellow onion (about 1/2 a cup chopped) into 1/4 inch pieces and then rough chop 1 cup of mushrooms. Put 1 pound of regular breakfast sausage into a large skillet and use a fork to crumble it while its cooking on medium high heat. After your sausage is brown add the zucchini, yellow squash, onion and mushrooms.
Allow the sausage and veggie mixture to cook on medium-high heat until the onions are opaque (they look almost see through). Then turn the heat to medium-low and add the chopped celery. You add the celery last, because you want to keep some of the crunch to add some good texture to the stuffing mixture. Simmer on medium-low heat for 10 minutes while the squash finishes baking. When the squash is done pull it out and carefully, with your oven mitts, flip each half over and spoon roughly half of the sausage mixture into each of the halves.
Put the stuffed halves back into the 375 oven for 10 minutes longer. When the timer goes off viola! your masterpiece awaits! As I said, I only ate about one half of my half, it was way to filling for me. Although my husband ate his whole half with out a problem.
Here’s the recipe without the picture interruption.
- 1 buttercup squash, halved and cleaned
- light extra virgin olive oil for sprinkling over the squash halves
- 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon each garlic powder, cumin, coriander, and paprika ( vary the measurement to your liking)
- 1 pound regular pork breakfast sausage
- 1 small zucchini, rough chopped to about 1/4 inch
- 1 small yellow squash, rough chopped to about 1/4 inch
- 1/4 yellow onion. rough chopped to about 1/4 inch
- 1 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms (I had pre-sliced in a package, then I chopped them to make them smaller) rough chopped
- 1 stalk celery, sliced to about 1/4 pieces
Drizzle light, extra virgin olive oil onto squash halves. Mix spices together and sprinkle onto squash halves. Put squash halves face down onto a foil lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into a cold oven set to 375. Bake for 25 minutes.
While the squash is baking, brown and crumble the sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once sausage is browned add the chopped zucchini, yellow squash, yellow onion, and mushroom. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are opaque. Turn the heat to medium-low . Add celery. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
When the squash is done baking carefully turn the squash halves over and fill each half with the sausage mixture. Bake for 10 more minutes at 375. Serves 2 – 4 people.