Seasonal spread, all year round

20170418_113721I don’t know which I like more–bread, butter or buttered bread.  Some buy shoes or clothes to release tension built up and to be happier from professional and personal woes, I buy butter.  Like, ‘good’ butter as Ina Garten would say as she cooks up absolute deliciousness using the churned cream for husband Jeffrey to eat, makes a world of difference.  I’m a hoarder of salted & unsalted, sweet cream, European style, Irish and Italian cream butter.  No spreadable stuff, but if you rock with that don’t let me stop you.  So in giving a greater attempt this year at my Monday through Friday vegan lifestyle (baby steps first) and the limited diet I had over the Lenten season I was lost, confused every time I opened the fridge hunting for something to spread on my bread!

In Trinibago, the word ‘pumpkin’ loosely refers to all variations but mostly the Calabaza we eat all year.  In the US, because of the four changing seasons, squash are left to be consumed in the cooler and cold months, though variations like Kabocha and Butternut to name a few are on sale most if not all year round at the grocery store.  Their funky shaped, yellow, white, green and sometimes marbled exterior and the filling recipes it can be turned into goes unnoticed when the warmer months are upon us.

I bought a small Kabocha squash about a month ago from the Whole Foods that purposefully set up shop in midtown between the walk from my job to the bus station.  It calls my name every day, y’all don’t even know.  Other than the Calabaza squash or ‘West Indian pumpkin’ as its commonly known I also like working with this ‘winter’ squash to make soups and curried side dishes to go with meats, rice and roti but today, what I needed was something simple.  To eat and enjoy hot or cold.  As a dip to snack on or a spread to smear on beloved bread.  My Roasted Kabocha Spread was born!

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After cleaning the seeds out, I brushed the squash with 3 Tbsp. of olive oil, 2 tsp of salt, 1 tsp black pepper and fresh thyme.  I also seasoned 6 garlic cloves, ½ onion and handful of grape tomatoes with half the above ingredients and ½ of a scotch bonnet pepper.  I figured this addition can only enhance the flavor of the spread.
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In a 375 pre-heated oven, I placed the seasoned garlic cloves, chopped onions and whole grape tomatoes in the hollowed squash and baked it flesh side down on a foil-lined sheet pan for about 45 minutes.

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Using a food processor, I pulsed the cooked tomatoes, onions, garlic and hot pepper till smooth and placed in a medium mixing bowl.  The tender squash was also spooned into the food processor and pureed until smooth.  In the same medium bowl I folded all ingredients together, adding 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste to the finished spread.20170305_144817Note:
– I use a serrated knife to cut through the hard skin of the squash
– Once refrigerated, the spread lasted about 1 ½ weeks
– My brother tried the recipe and used it in fish sandwiches – he loved it!

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Eaten as a spread in my roasted veggie sandwich and a dip with chips at my desk.  I will be making this spread on a regular from now on.

 

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