Oct
27
    
Posted (Lori) in News

Carmelized Butternut Squash

2 medium butternut squash (4 to 5 pounds total)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off and discard the ends of each butternut squash. Peel the squash, cut them in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into 1 1/4 to 1 1/2-inch cubes and place them on a baking sheet. Add the melted butter, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. With clean hands, toss all the ingredients together and spread in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 45 to 55 minutes, until the squash is tender and the glaze begins to caramelize. While roasting, turn the squash a few times with a spatula, to be sure it browns evenly. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.

1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, All Rights Reserved

STORAGE

Winter is coming—just three more weeks of deliveries after this one. But a little preparation will allow you to enjoy your vegetables well into 2015.

WINTER SQUASH: Butternut squash does not do well in temperatures under 50 degrees; so it’s best not to keep it in the refrigerator. This works well for me—I don’t have room in my refrigerator and I like the way it looks on the counter or windowsill. As long as the room does not too warm, it can last up to two months or more. Don’t let is sit near ripening apples or pears—they emit a gas that damages winter squash. If you don’t think you’ll be using your squash for a longer time, bake it, cut it into chunks, and store in the freezer in ziplock bags. POTATOES: I find that potatoes will last for several weeks or even a few months if they are not subjected to warm places. I keep them in a plastic bag, punched with several holes, and near an open window—but not in the refrigerator. Check them every few days and if they show even the slightest softness, use them or throw them away. There are very few things that smell as awful as a potato that has gone to mush—and once one goes bad, it takes the rest of them with it.

CARROTS: Carrots last only a few weeks in the refrigerator, but they freeze well. Peel, slice or dice (or grate), boil them for a few minutes, cool, and pack into ziplock bags. When thawed, they can be used in any recipe calling for cooked carrots. Or—make a Carrot Cake from Recipes from America’s Small Farms (p. 206) and freeze slices of that.

KALE, COLLARDS, AND OTHER GREENS: Greens are among the easiest vegetables to store for winter. Wash and chop them roughly, then blanch in boiling watehr for about 30 seconds. Drain in a colander until almost dry—you can leave a bit of moisture, but water will turn to ice when you freeze. Pack in ziplock bags and squeeze out all the air before you put them in the freezer. I pound the bags until they so thin that they take up very little space in the freezer.

BEETS: Fresh beets will last in the refrigerator for up to a month before they start to get moldy—sometimes longer if you’re not fussy. But you can also freeze them—roast, peel, slice and store in ziplock bags. Another way to preserve beets is by picking them. Pickled beets will last for several weeks in the refrigerator in a tightly closed jar—or they can be canned by following instructions on the Ball Canning Jar or USDA websites. Here’s one recipe for pickled beets from Allrecipes.com:

5 pounds fresh small beets, stems removed

1 cup white sugar

1.5 teaspoon pickling salt

2 cups white vinegar

1/8 cup whole cloves

1. Place beets in a large stockpot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes depending on the size of the beets. If beets are large, cut them into quarters. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the beet water, cool and peel.

2. Sterilize jars and lids by immersing in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Fill each jar with beets and add several whole cloves to each jar.

3. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, beet water, vinegar, and pickling salt. Bring to a rapid boil. Pour the hot brine over the beets in the jars, and seal lids.

4. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 10 minutes.

One other idea: Make a batch of beet burgers (Recipes from America’s Small Farms) p. 195. They can be frozen before or after baking.

CAULIFLOWER AND BROCCOLI: Both of these can be frozen—cook briefly, squeeze out the water, and pack in ziplocks. Both can also be pureed before freezing—they take up less space in the freezer that way and can be used in soups.

CABBAGE: An uncut cabbage will last for months in the refrigerator. If the top leaves go brown, just peel them off. Most years, my last non-frozen or canned CSA foods is a cabbage dish that I eat sometime in February.



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