Sunday, October 30, 2011

Vegan MoFo Day 30: Cushaw

At farm stands in the fall, you might see this odd, rather large, green-striped squash. This, friends, is a cushaw, and a cushaw is a wonderful vegetable with a fascinating history running back into Native American days. I suspect its size may have something to do with its fade from popularity. One cushaw yields a lot of food! However, it keeps pretty well, raw or cooked, in the fridge, and you can freeze cooked squash for longer storage. It has a lovely, gentle flavor, and once you try it, you may be hooked.

Last night, I split open the smaller of the two above, removed the seeds, chopped it into manageable chunks, put them into a roasting pan, and covered with foil. I let them bake at 400 F for 90 minutes. Once baked, it was very easy to remove the skin with a small knife.

Tonight, I made two recipes and did not even use half of my cushaw! I guess we'll be eating it for days to come! First I made a very simple soup inspired by one in Mark Sohn's Appalachian Home Cooking: In a soup pot, bring a generous 3 cups to water to boil with a veg broth cube. Add approximately 10 oz chopped potato and boil until it softens. Cut up approx 10 oz roasted cushaw and add to the pot, along with salt, black pepper (lots!) and sage to taste. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, and add about 1/2 cup soymilk. This was wonderful with a few crackers.

I also made Susan Voisin's Impossible Pie. If you didn't grow up in the rural South, an impossible pie is a concoction usually involving Bisquick. The batter is poured into a pie pan and forms its own crust as it bakes. Susan's recipe is super-easy (5 minutes in the blender plus baking), vegan, gluten-free, and has no added fat. It is also very delicious! We might have to make a second pie, as it don't think this one will last long!

You can use any winter squash in these recipes, but search out cushaw if you can find it!

1 comment:

panda with cookie said...

This is fascinating. I don't think I have had an impossible pie before.