How much does it suck when you spend time prepping and roasting squash only to be rewarded with a bland tasting flesh?
I couldn’t bring myself to throw out the two butternuts that broke my heart…instead, I stowed them away in the fridge hoping something would come to me.
A few days later, I had friends coming to dinner who were vegetarians. Desperate to avoid my 3rd trip to the grocery store of the week, I decided to go refrigerator diving and play a solo game of chopped.
Here’s what I was working with:
The disappointing squash
3 large Zucchini
a bunch of kale
half a package of shitake mushrooms
and my usual stocked pantry.
Cue the Chopped music.
Here’s what went down:
Heat oven to 350.
Place kale and mushrooms on a parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkling kale with oil and mushrooms with soy sauce (this makes them delightfully tangy and salty). Make sure to leave enough room between the veggies so they crisp up instead of steam. If you have to do in batches, do it.
Roast for 10-15 minutes in the oven until crispy. Reserve for garnish.
Spiralize zucchini and set aside. (Feel free to use regular pasta!)
In a sauce pan, heat ¼ cup of butter-flavored coconut oil on low with half a bunch of sage until oil infused (hint: you’ll know when you have the warm smell of sage wafting through your home) and the sage leaves are fried to crisp-ness.
In a blender or food processor add disappointing squash (I used about 2 cups), 1 tablespoon of maple cream (you can use maple syrup or honey!), ½ tsp salt, and strain the sage-infused coconut oil into the mixture, reserving the fried sage for garnish.
Blend squash into your pasta sauce.
In a pan heat 1 tbsp of oil, add zucchini and sauté until cooked. Add sauce and heat through.
Plate pasta and garnish with sage, kale, and mushrooms. DELISH.
Morals of the story
1) never throw anything away (unless it's past it's prime...)
2) a tbsp of maple syrup makes the bland squash go down...
3) when in doubt--roast it!