Friday, November 18, 2011

Fall in the Finger Lakes: Part Two (Butternut Squash)

Earlier this fall, I had a great time crisscrossing the back roads along Seneca Lake and exploring the myriad of farm stands.

Oh, the deals. I got eggplant for a buck a piece, and a peck of apples for $2. Quarts of raspberries for $3 (some of which are hibernating in my freezer waiting for the right recipe) and a slew of tomatoes (several slow roasted and also occupying the freezer).

But my best buy was at a Mennonite farm of Rt. 414 - three huge butternut squashes for $5.

Most winter squash is pretty hardy, and can last a long time in a cool(ish) dark cupboard (I know because I recently discovered and tossed a spaghetti squash from last fall. It looked a little shriveled, but was probably still edible. I was just too grossed out to try it). I used up 1.5 of the squash in soups (two batches of butternut squash soup with white beans and kale and one batch of winter minestrone with butternut standing in for zucchini.

To use up the other half lingering in the fridge, I went back to one of my favorite "weird but works" recipes - butternut with bulgur, feta and mint, wrapped in Phyllo. I first read the recipe in Cooking Light and have made it a few different ways -- as a casserole and in spanokopita triangles. I think triangles is the way to go --you can achieve a better filling to crust ratio.

But be warned -- it's a bear to shred the squash (unless you have a food processor). And be warned -- not everyone likes the flavor combo (I made them one Thanksgiving and I was the only one who ate them). But for the feta lovers out there - it's worth a try. This time, I had a hard time finding phyllo dough so I used wonton wrappers.

Butternut Squash Wontons


4 C shredded butternut squash 
.25 C uncooked bulgur
.5 t. salt
1 t. olive oil
1/2 Red onion, diced 
.5 C feta cheese
.25 C grated fresh Parmesan cheese
.5 cup chopped fresh mint
.5 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
32 wonton wrappers

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine  squash, bulgar and salt in a medium bowl.
In the meantime, saute the red onion in a splash of olive oil until translucent.
Add onion, mint and cheeses to the squash and bulgar, toss to combine.
Add cooked onions, the two cheese and chopped herbs to the squash-bulgar bowl and stir well.
Working one at a time, lay a wonton on a cutting board and brush entire surface with water.
Spoon .5-1 t. of squash mixture onto the corner of the won ton.
Fold the opposite corner over to form a triange, brush with water again and pinch the edges sealed.
 Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

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