With the onslaught of autumn vegetables showing no sign of abating, I'm still happily buying up the squashes and cruciferous veg that come my way. With each passing week and each additional bagful of vegetables, though, I'm trying to find more and creative ways of serving them in order to keep myself from feeling vegetable-based boredom. This week's item for the creative treatment was the buttercup squash.
Buttercup squash sounds like butternut squash but is actually quite different; while butternut squash is on the watery, pumpkin-y side of the spectrum, buttercup squash is much more creamy in texture, something like a sweet potato (though more solid). With visions of pumpkins and sweet potatoes floating through my head, nutmeg danced into my thoughts as well.
And so I give you buttercup squash bake, with a nutmeg flavored bechamel sauce - very easy to tie together once you have peeled and sliced your squash and made your bechamel. I like Delia Smith's basic bechamel recipe, though I added a clove of garlic and a half a grated fresh nutmeg in lieu of the peppercorns and mace. I also like to stir in a healthy spoonful or two of ricotta cheese at the end of making the bechamel, though I don't always have it on hand or remember to buy it.
A word of warning if anyone happens to use soya milk or lactose free milk: the milk can go funny when it boils (particularly the lactose free version) so do try to keep it just below bowling point if you want to keep it separating and looking as if it's curdled.
I'm submitting this post to Beth at The Expatriate's Kitchen as part of Weekend Herb Blogging.
Buttercup Squash Bake (an approximate recipe)
- 1 serving of bechamel sauce, a la Delia
- 1 average-sized butter cup squash, peeled and cut into thin, half-moon slices
- 2 slices of bread, whizzed through a blender
- 50-60g parmesan cheese, grated
- Pre-heat the oven to 180
- Layer the slices of the squash in an oven-proof dish so that they are slightly overlapping - most of the dish should be taken up by squash
- Pour the bechamel sauce over the squash
- Cover with the breacrumbs, lightly patted down
- Cover with parmesan cheese (if there isn't enough cheese to cover the whole thing, grate some more)
- Place uncovered in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes or until the squash is tender. If the cheese starts to cook too quickly, cover with tin foil and uncover for the last few minutes.