Recipies with turban squash
Origin: North America
Etymology: From the Algonquin Indian words askoot asquash, meaning “to eat green”
An annual plant with trailing stems, of the Cucurbitaceae family. Unlike summer squash, its skin is hard and inedible.
Has orangey or golden yellow flesh that is thick and dry, but mild and very sweet with nutty overtones. Turban squash measure 6-8” in diameter when mature and weigh about 3 lb. They can be used to add nutritional value to muffins, puddings and cookies.
Nutritional value per 100 g
Calories: 37; carbohydrates: 8.8 g; fat: 0.23 g; water: 88.72; protein: 8.8 g; fiber: 1.6 g. Rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamins A, B and C.
Note that the more orange the squash, the higher its vitamin A content.
Winter squash should be firm and deeply colored with a heavy feel. The skin should be dull, hard and smooth. When immature, they have no flavor; too old and they become stringy and pasty.
Winter squash will keep from several weeks to more than six months in a dry cool place. Their flavor becomes more marked with time. The stem should be left on to prevent dehydration. Once cut, wrap the squash and refrigerate. Can be frozen easily if peeled and cooked first.
Cut in half or in wedges depending on the recipe. Remove the seeds and filaments with a spoon.
Winter squash lend themselves to just about anything: sweet dishes, savory dishes, soups, gratins and pies. Often we forget that each squash has its own particular taste and unique texture that allow for tasty and creative culinary pairings.
Place squash halves, cut side down, in a baking dish or on a cookie sheet. Pierce the skin several times to prevent the squash from exploding while it bakes.
Place the squash in an oven preheated to 350° F. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until flesh is very tender.
In a microwave, cook for approximately 10 to 20 minutes in a dish, loosely covered with plastic wrap.
When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a bowl and discard the skin.
Use turban squash to make a creamy soup with leeks, turnip, carrot and onion. Cook in water or chicken stock; liquefy; season with salt, pepper and a splash of aged rum.
If you prefer it spicier: In a large saucepan, sweat a chopped onion in oil with a pinch of turmeric. Add diced turban squash, 4 cups chicken stock and 2 diced potatoes; once the vegetables are tender, liquefy everything, adding 4 cups milk; add 2 tbsp. grated ginger, a pinch of saffron, 1 tbsp. sugar, salt and pepper. Return to the heat and simmer a few minutes longer.
Turban squash purée
In a skillet, sweat 1 chopped onion with 1 tsp. chopped fresh ginger in butter over moderate heat for 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent, stirring often. Stir in 1 chopped clove of garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute longer.
Purée the flesh from a cooked turban squash with the onion mixture; season with salt and pepper. Garnish with crystallized ginger.
Turban squash, with its bizarre shapes, extravagant coloration and bulblike blossom end, is popular as a harvest ornamental. It can be used in centerpieces or as a tureen, filled with squash soup.