My sister and I have started a new veggie adventure this fall with the Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op. It’s a group of local farms that you can buy shares from, and every week they deliver your share to a designated pick-up place, and you get to try veggies that you would never pick up casually in a store – all local and organic, really neat stuff.
This week I inherited some sort of winter squash. I’m right on the fence with squash-type things – if it’s made just right I love it, but made the wrong way it is disgusting. I thought I would start simple and shred it and make it into some sort of patties (I learned to do this with zucchini and enjoy it very much). Maybe not the healthiest solution but at least I’m eating the vegetable, right?
Let me say that working with a winter squash is an experience. I read online and everyone suggests cutting the squash in half, scooping out the seeds, and peeling from there. I’m happy to have survived the experience with all ten fingers 🙂 The shell is very very hard, and the inside isn’t much softer. I used a good sharp knife and managed to hack it up. I found as I went along that it was worth cutting through the shell to make smaller pieces before trying to cut the shell off. It also seemed to work well to sort of rock the knife back and forth through the squash as you cut it, vs. slicing or pressing. Eventually I got it into pieces that would fit into the tube of my food processor so that I could shred it up.
The squash was less than a foot in diameter but I got about nine packed cups of shredded squash after I was done (and believe me, I wasn’t being picky about wasting as I tried to get the thing apart!). The immediate plus in my mind – it was extremely dry. Nothing like when you shred zucchini and end up with a wet sloppy mess.
I found a simple zucchini patty recipe online and modified it slightly to fit the winter squash. Mostly I just used less flour (since the squash was already dry) and less Parmesan cheese (it really called for a lot and I find that Parmesan cheese can be very overpowering). See below for the details.
- 2 cups grated squash
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 3/8 cup flour
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- salt to taste
- Combine all ingredients and mix well (using your hands at the end works best).
- Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan.
- Form thin patties and fry until golden brown on both sides.
- I substituted dehydrated onions for fresh (used about half the recommended amount).
- They were surprisingly edible. We were joking around as I cut the squash up that it looked and felt like wood! I wasn’t sure what to expect as far as taste.
- The squash itself is bland and definitely relies on what you put in it to make the recipe. This was a good start, but I would imagine that adding any number of things would make them better. I thought about substituting seasoned bread crumbs for the flour, or just adding some oregano or basil would be a help. I’m sure you could be more creative.