The Butternut Squash Odyssey

butternut squash from Polka Dot Hem Produce
Ah, the artistic arrangement of butternut squash. So pleasing. But how am I ever going eat through my pantry stores?

It Began So Innocently

When I was planning the crops last winter, I knew 2020 was my year for winter squash. After two consecutive years where my squash plans had come to naught, I was hankering for a harvest.

Well, I may have overcompensated.

Wanting a diversity of squash to hedge my bets given all the weird weather the past several years, I grew early ripening bush delicatas, every size of butternut, black futsu and red kuri squash. At least one variety should make it through to maturity, right?

What I didn’t take into account was our leaving the farm for the month of October to camp in Quebec. (I talk a little bit about that in my last post.) Thus, I also didn’t take into account that I would wind up my veggie delivery business in early September to prepare for this trip.

Our wonderful house sitters stewarded the garden extremely well, harvesting a bumper crop of squash for us. On our return, I was greeted with totes and totes of curing squash in our family room. My dream had come true! But…so many squash.

Now, there are worse things than having an abundance of winter squash to deal with especially these days. So, please understand I am not complaining here.

It’s just a bit daunting given my other family members are not huge, arm-flapping fans of winter squash. No one is begging me to cook it for dinner. Ever.

Finding a Butternut Buddy

Beautiful pasture-raised, home-processed, home-cured and home-smoked bacon.

Happily, the other thing we have in abundance in our pantry this winter is pork. Beautiful and tasty pasture-raised pork is a fine friend to sweet and earthy winter squash.

I do have fans of sausage and home-cured bacon in the house.

One dish we have enjoyed several times is a pancetta (or bacon) and butternut squash topped gnocchi. See the recipe here. Frankly, we all found the store-bought gnocchi a bit starchy and *meh*, so we prefer this topping on pasta or cous-cous. Adding cauliflower to this dish is a good fit with or without the pasta.

Shred that Squash

One other unexpected family favourite (can I actually say that?) is butternut squash fritters. We made these most recently for our Super Bowl “party” as a healthier component to balance out the chips, fries, guacamole and cheese dip.

And to balance out the bitter taste of Tom Brady winning yet another Super Bowl. But I digress.

The secret to these fritters is using the finest grater you can manage. Finer strands make for faster cooking and no weird crunchy squash bits. Mince the onion finely for the same reason.

The fun part is choosing the dip. These fritters are quite good with hoisin sauce or chutney. But you can go anyway you want. During the Super Bowl we had yogurt, sour cream chip dip, salsa and steak sauce as dips on our plates. I may have seen ketchup as well, but looked away.

Any Advice?

I put out a call for help on Instagram a few days ago, and people are coming through with recipe rescues. Thank you so much if you are one of them.

If you haven’t weighed in, do you have any ideas to share? Only 25 more butternuts to go.


6 Replies to “The Butternut Squash Odyssey”

    1. Oh, muffins sound wonderful, Catherine! I was really stuck in the main dish category. Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll put my daughter the baker on it! So nice to hear from you!

  1. For the next super bowl (how can you watch that stuff?) (Canadian author)

    If you do sourdough

    Slice and dehydrate to make for camping supplies > soup, risotto etc.

    Butternut butter/jam with lots of maple syrup. I add pecans.

    Get HoneyNut for this year. Peter and Lois had it. Much tastier and smaller, but doesn’t last as long because of thin skin.

    1. Thanks for the recipes, Janet! I’m hoping to get a dehydrator this year to help tame the surplus.

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