One of the vegetables that I really like to eat but have very little success in growing is the buttercup squash. On the other hand, my gardening partner, Darrel Koehler,has a green thumb when it comes to buttercups.
The buttercup, which is part of the Turban squash family, has sweet and creamy orange flesh, and in my opinion, is much sweeter than other winter varieties. It can be baked, mashed, pureed, steamed, simmered or stuffed.
Darrel recently shared some buttercup squash with us, and we prepared one large one for our Thanksgiving Day dinner. It was so big that it fed eight of us, and there was more than half a squash leftover.
I’ve ate it for a couple of lunches, but some of in went into a squash bread that Therese made. She used a standard pumpkin bread recipe, and the result was wonderful. She said you also can use leftover squash in pies.
For those of you who have a hankering, here is a recipe from the Culinary Institute of America for pumpkin bread that might be worth trying if you have any leftover squash.
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon finely grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
½ cup raisins, plumped (to plump cover raisins with boiling water and rest for at least 15 minutes and drain)
1 cup pureed cooked pumpkin (fresh, canned or frozen)
¾ cup sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour two 8½-by-4½-inch loaf pans.
Sift together flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
Combine raisins, pumpkin, sugar, eggs, and oil in a large bowl and mix well.
Stir dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture all at once, and mix just until dry ingredients are blended into batter. Transfer batter to prepared loaf pans and bake for 50 to 55 minutes.
Let breads cool in pans for 10 to 15 minutes. Ease breads out of pans and continue to cool on a rack.
Yield: 2 loaves.
Chef’s tip: Since the batter is mixed very little once the dry ingredients are added sift the chemical leaveners (baking powder and baking soda) twice with the flour before incorporating into the wet ingredients. This will ensure a more even distribution of the leaveners, which will give a consistent texture in the final product.
Approximate nutritional analysis per slice (16 slices per loaf): 100 calories, 2 grams protein, 15 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fat, 15 milligrams cholesterol, 80 milligrams sodium.