If a vegetable can be described as "cute," then sweet dumpling squash are every bit as adorable as their name. Available throughout the autumn months, sweet dumpling squash is a relatively small winter variety whose size makes them perfect for stuffing and roasting. Cut one open, and you'll find bright-orange flesh similar to that of a sweet potato but not as firm or dense. At the core, just beneath the stem, is a smattering of seeds and stringy fibers. These can be discarded, though the seeds (once toasted) make a crunchy snack or garnish.
Sweet dumpling squash is extremely versatile and stores well in a cool, dark, well-ventilated area for up to two months. Once the seeds are removed, it can be baked, boiled, mashed, pureed, steamed, simmered or stuffed.
Our favorite chef, Andrea Todd, shares this simple recipe:
Stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash (approx. 2-3 servings)
1 small sweet dumpling squash
1-2 garlic cloves
2 tbs coconut oil
salt and pepper
1. Chop potatoes and add to boiling salted water; cook until soft
2. Cut off the top of the squash and scoop out the seeds
3. Chop garlic
4. Drain water from potatoes
5. Add garlic, pinch of salt and pepper, and coconut oil to potatoes and mash
6. Scoop mashed potatoes into inside of the squash
7. Bake squash at 350 degrees until the squash is soft and/or the potato is golden on top.
-Fall brings lots of squash varieties so use any squash with an interior cavity to fill: acorn, delicata, kabocha, pumpkin, etc. However, the larger the squash the more filling required so adjust accordingly.
-Substitute butter for coconut oil
-Add cheese to mashed potatoes before baking
-Add any combination of foods with or instead of potatoes inside the squash: ground beef, Gimme Lean sausage, corn, rice and beans.
Photo: Susanica Tam