I'm so sick of butternut squash I could scream.
I was so pleased and proud as I picked them and cured them and stored them last fall.
I had 24 of them, all sizes, but mostly big.
I was sure they would be gone by December.
At the very latest the middle of January.
They're only supposed to 'keep well for 4 or 5 months'.
I've made soups, made purée to use in my Christmas Breads, roasted, steamed and fried it.
I've sliced it, chopped it, cubed it, shredded it and mashed it.
I've made risottos and stews.
I swear it's breeding down in the dark of the cellar.
Whenever I send mon mari down for another one, (I don't go into the cellar… did once, that was enough) I keep hoping he'll say it's the last.
He always says there are 'lots left'.
If I just use it as a vegetable side dish, one decent squash will be good for 5 or 6 meals.
That's 1 per week.
We've eaten 1 butternut squash per week since September.
I long for a cauliflower or some Brussels sprouts or maybe a few sunchokes.
But, the squash won't keep forever…. And while it's still good, we'll eat it.
The 'By God I grew it we damn well are going to eat it' menu plan.
I really believe that the masses were fed with squash (both butternut and zucchini) and not the loaves and fishes some claim.
Maybe, just maybe, I'll only plant two vines next year, rather than three.
That would be the prudent thing to do.
What if one died?
Than I'd only have one vine. That wouldn't be nearly enough.
Better plant three again…. maybe four, just to be safe.
(You see what I'm dealing with here…)
Tagine of Lamb with Chickpeas and Butternut Squash
boneless lamb, shoulder or leg, pieces, 12oz (350gr) or lamb ribs 20oz (600gr)
3/4 cup (6oz, 170gr) chickpeas
1 1/2 cups (7oz, 200gr) cubed butternut squash
14 – 16 dry-cured Greek olives (1.5oz, 50gr)
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp olive oil
1/3 (3oz, 90gr) cup white wine
1 cup chopped tomato
3 bay leaves
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
Slice shallots; mince garlic. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Pit olives if needed and roughly chop. Cut lamb into large pieces and trim excess fat.
Heat oil in a tagine, heavy pot or Dutch oven with tight-fitting lid. Add lamb and brown on all sides. Remove and set aside. Add the shallots, garlic, paprika, cumin and sauté until tender and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Return the lamb to the pot, add herbs, wine, tomato, chickpeas and squash. Cover, turn heat to low and braise for 60 minutes.
Pit olives and roughly chop. Stir into stew. Spoon meat and vegetables onto a platter and serve with Couscous.
At the rate we're going, we'll finish the butternut in time to start eating the summer zucchini.
Did I mention that I also have a lot in the freezer? For when we run out of the fresh?