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Fall Squash

November 1, 2016 - Radio Kitchen - Fall Squash


If you're checking out our farmers markets these days, you may be more than a little impressed with the abundance our display.  Among the champion vegetables of autumn are the wonderful squashes that come out.  And if you think that only means butternut, think again.  According to Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School, there's quite an amazing assortment out there.

As useful as the butternut and acorn squash are, Jerry has a couple new favorites:  the Delecata and the Honeynut.  In addition, the chances are good that you will come across the Hubbard, a very large knobbly, gnarly, ugly old thing that looks like something from the set of Star Wars.

The flesh of the Hubbard is quite tasty, but the rind is tough as nails.  Here's an idea:  place the squash on a heavy wooden cutting board on top of a sturdy table; put the cutting edge of a big strong knife on the rind, and hit the flat dull side with a hammer.  It will split in two.  Repeat until you have four quarters to work with.

Roasting the Hubbard, cut side down, brings out the best flavor.

Here are three recipes that Jerry developed at Schola Cooking School.

Hubbard Squash Agrodulce with Sage & Israeli Couscous


  • 1 lb. Hubbard squash, peeled, seeded and cut into half moons
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 8 cloves of garlic sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked Israeli couscous

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil until just smoking.
  2. Carefully place the Hubbard squash in the hot oil on one of the flat sides and allow to caramelize, about ten minutes.
  3. Flip the squash to the other flat side and sprinkle the garlic into the pan.
  4. Cook until the garlic starts to brown on the edges.
  5. Add the sugar and shake the pan to distribute evenly.
  6. Allow the sugar to caramelize slightly.
  7. Add the sage and crushed red pepper flakes and cook for one minute.
  8. Add the vinegar and stir to combine completely.
  9. Cook and additional three minutes and spoon over the couscous.

Roasted Delecata Squash, Black Lentils & Ricotta


  • 2 ripe Delecata squash, cut into ½ inch rounds, seeds scooped out
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Slat & pepper
  • 1 cup black lentils
  • 2 additional tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup yellow onion cut into ¼ inch dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

  1. Toss the squash in the olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the squash, overlapping each other in an oven proof casserole dish.
  3. Roast the squash in a 400°F oven until the edges are brown and the squash fork tender.
  4. In a sauce pan, heat the oil until just smoking.
  5. Add the onions and cook until translucent.
  6. Add the garlic and cook an additional two minutes.
  7. Add the lentils and stock and bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce the heat and simmer the lentils, covered until just soft, approximately 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Remove the squash from the oven, spoon the lentils over the squash, add dollops of ricotta cheese and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Roasted Honeynut Squash with Yogurt and Walnut Pesto


  • 4 honeynut squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Lebanese 7-spice (recipe to follow)
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 small sweet red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

  1. Place the honeynut squash, skin side down, on a baking sheet.
  2. Divide the butter into 8 equal pieces and place one on each squash in the hole where the seeds were. Liberally pour the honey over the squash.
  3. Season with the 7-spice, salt and pepper and roast in a 400°F oven until golden brown and fork tender, about 30 minutes.
  4. While the squashes are roasting, finely chop the walnuts, red pepper and garlic. Combine these ingredients in a bowl and add the olive oil.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and reserve.
  6. Remove the squash from the oven and place on a serving dish.
  7. Place a dollop of yogurt in the hole where the seeds were and spoon some of the walnut mixture over the yogurt. Serve warm.



  • ½ cup ground black pepper
  • ½ cup ground cumin
  • ½ cup paprika
  • ¼ cup ground coriander
  • ¼ cup ground cloves
  • 4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom

Combine all of the spices in a jar with an airtight lid. Store in a cool dry place for up to 6 months.  

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.
Executive Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Corks restaurant is fascinated by food and wine, and the way they work in harmony on the palate. His understanding of the two goes all the way to the molecular level, drawing on his advanced education in molecular biology. His cuisine is simple and surprising, pairing unexpected ingredients together to work with Corks' extensive wine offerings.