Comforting, Delicious, and Versatile
Winter squash, a staple in our kitchen, is the key to savory and sweet dishes
My old recipe for squash or pumpkin, tangerine, and marmalade bread can be shaped and finished in various ways. The bread pictured is stuffed with myzithra, the fresh, ricotta-like cheese.
This bread is delicious on its own, and the plain one accompanies all kinds of cheeses –the sharper the better. It is also ideal to serve with charcuterie. You can slice the leftovers and bake in a low oven to dry, and enjoy as snack or use as bruschetta with sweet or savory toppings.
Before butternut squash was introduced to our gardens and tables a few years ago, the various huge gourds similar to American pumpkins but way more flavorful were the norm in our part of the world.
I tasted this incredibly delicious boiled squash salad on Kéa a few years back: it was simply drizzled with fruity olive oil and sprinkled with chopped onion.
Kolokytha (winter squash), easily cultivated even in small gardens, sustained a whole generation of Greeks during the WW2 German occupation and the terrible famine that took the lives of many city people. Consequently my grandmother’s and mother’s generations refused to even taste squash later once they had a choice of other foods.
A few more squash dishes we love and cook often.
Click on the links or on the photos to get the recipes.
This Potato and Squash Boureki was created by Ana Sortun, the renowned Boston chef and was inspired by the traditional Haniotiko Boureki (boureki from Chanea) during our glorious Oldways trip to Crete a few years back. We often make it in small individual clay pans, ready to go from oven to table, and our friends enjoy it enormously.
The crustless squash pie is extremely easy to make.
A variation of the summer zucchini one, it makes a great warm or room-temperature appetizer. Using a similar mix, you can make Zucchini or Squash Fritters like the ones served at Greek taverns.
Roasted squash topped with yogurt-tahini sauce is simply irresistible!
And finally the old-fashioned, traditional squash or pumpkin preserves.
Long before molecular cuisine’s spherification process, cooks in Greece got some slaked lime from the yards that sell construction material(!) to make this, as well as a few other preserves that require the fruit to remain firm and crunchy as it cooks in the syrup.
I read about this intriguing wine byproduct in Atlas Obscura: when you press grapes for their juice, you’re left with the skins, seeds, and other solid bits of the fruit. Dried, these can become grapeseed flour that is “easy to incorporate into everyday recipes. Add 1 tablespoon per 1 cup of flour, or substitute 10-30% in your favorite recipe,” the company advises. I wish I could find some to try…
Tom Nealon’s Condiment Abecedarium is amusing, opinionated, and informative; a great read!