Our Best Squash Recipes – Wine Country Garden Style
A true American staple, squash has grown on our continent for over 12,000 years. Our fall garden still provides us with summer squash, and we’re beginning to enjoy the winter version, named so because it stores well during the colder months. Summer squash–think pattypan, zucchini and “crook-necked” yellow–has a tender skin and is best enjoyed fresh or lightly cooked. But winter squash–acorn, pumpkin and butternut–sports a tough outer skin, requiring intense heat, like roasting, to be edible. We also enjoy the blossoms, stuffed with all things delicious and sometimes deep fried. To celebrate this versatile vegetable, we assembled our best squash recipes, to feature the greatness of these gourds. Read on and enjoy them paired with red or white wine.
Our Best Squash Recipes – Salads and Sides
An orange-fleshed winter squash, butternut is one of the newest varieties, dating back only to 1944, and offers dense, almost sweet flesh. It has a sweet, nutty taste and is very high in nutrients. Boost the healthy quotient of your mashed potato recipe with butternut. Ours combines the squash puree with traditional Russet potatoes and brussels sprout leaves for a savory side dish. The thick, creaminess of the squash complements the medium body of an oak-aged Chardonnay such as Jordan.
This somewhat mysterious squash also has another alias: Japanese pumpkin. Lore has it that Portuguese sailors introduced this bumpy, funny-looking gourd to the Japanese, and they made this South American vegetable their own. Sweeter than pumpkin and more complex than butternut, the squat, deep-green kabocha is worth searching for. It’s our squash of choice for soups and roasting and almost always makes our best squash recipes list. Acorn or butternut squash can be substituted, or a combination of all three work perfectly well. The addition of flavorful Gravenstein apples and apple cider vinegar lend structure and texture to the dish, while rich millet miso acts as a liaison between sweet and tart, creating a perfect pairing for Jordan Chardonnay.
Acorn squash, a more common winter gourd, can be baked, stuffed or steamed and the name originates from its distinctive shape. In this recipe, tender and lightly smoky sunchokes and acorn squash are plated with beautiful shiso and merlot lettuce then introduced to umami-balanced miso vinaigrette for an elegant fall salad. The grilled notes and savoriness of this sunchoke salad recipe make a this a fantastic red wine pairing, like Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon.
One of the few summer squashes to make our best squash recipes list, pattypan, aka white scallop, is not only fun to say, it’s easy to prepare. This salad features a brightly unique combination of mint and basil pesto with deliciously roasted patty pan squash, eggplant and nutty freekeh. Definitely a healthy, early-fall dish. The roasted and earthy notes of the vegetables highlight the oak aging of red wine and makes an enticing salad pairing with Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon.