An irresistible squash for a recipe that takes inspiration from The River Cottage Cookbook and spends more time in the oven than on the cutting board. The heavy lifting involves carving out the lid and interior cavity. Make the lid wide enough to easily scoop out the seeds and later the cooked pulp. Take care not to poke holes through the skin. This is your cooking vessel. Keep it whole until dinner is done.
- Medium Squash – cinderella, kubocha, Sweet Mama. It needs a flat base to work as the ‘cooking pot’.
- Stock – chicken or vegetable. The total amount of liquid varies depending on squash size. The volume should fill 3/4 of the interior at a ratio of 2:1 (stock:cream).
- Cheese, grated – Gruyère, Cheddar. Again, the amount varies. Let’s say roughly 1/2c.
- Nutmeg. Freshly grate less than a 1/4 t.
Once the cavity is emptied of the seeds and inner bits season the interior. Add half the grated cheese. Then, layer in the stock and cream. Finish with the remaining cheese. Grate the nutmeg using a microplane. Pop the lid on the top. Bake in the oven at 400˚F until the squash is knife tender. Reduce the heat if it begins to brown too quickly.
The resultant soup/gratin can be served alone. It would also do well on a bed of lentils, brown rice, or even fresh pasta. For extra crunchy texture it could be topped with sage cooked in brown butter.