#vegetarian

Chili Maple Glazed Squash with Runny Eggs

In my classes and conversations with many home cooks and those eager to become home cooks, I hear the same repeated request: Healthy. Easy. Meals. So here’s one of my favorites that meets this criteria and then some. As a sheet pan supper, you’ll only be washing one pan after you stuff your face with wholesome goodness. And since the incredible edible egg is the star protein, equally acceptable for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and of course BRUNCH), it’s easy on the wallet. The chili maple glaze turns the squash into crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside, candy that even squash resisters can’t stop eating.

You can use any type of squash, but I find delicata or acorn work best in this dish, since the roasted skin is deliciously edible, upping the convenience and health factors (thank you, fiber). If butternut or another variety of squash is more readily available to you, go for it. Whichever you use, cut the squash into symmetrical crescent-shaped slices that can be ingeniously arranged to contain a cracked egg.

Make this for dinner on a weeknight. Make it for brunch and impress your friends. Make extra and put the leftovers inside a taco.

CHILI MAPLE GLAZED SQUASH AND RUNNY EGGS

Serves: 4 as a main dish

Acorn squash cut into crescent shaped slices and tossed in chili maple glaze before roasting.

Acorn squash cut into crescent shaped slices and tossed in chili maple glaze before roasting.

What you need:

  • ¼ cup maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or canola)

  • 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon tamari (or shoyu or soy sauce)

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled, minced or grated

  • 1 inch piece ginger root, peeled, minced or grated

  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon chipotle chili flakes, optional

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 acorn or 2 delicata squash, about 2 pounds

  • 8 eggs

  • 2-3 scallions, sliced at an angle

  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted

Delicata squash after roasting, ready to get brushed with more glaze, and arranged for the eggs to get cracked on top.

Delicata squash after roasting, ready to get brushed with more glaze, and arranged for the eggs to get cracked on top.

Garnish with sesame seeds, sliced scallions and more glaze.

Garnish with sesame seeds, sliced scallions and more glaze.

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Slice into ½ inch-thick crescent shaped slices. (Peeling delicata or acorn squash is optional.)

  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, sesame oil, grapeseed oil, apple cider vinegar, tamari, garlic, ginger, and chipotle chili flakes.

  4. Season the squash pieces with salt and add to the maple syrup mixture. Toss to coat. Set aside for 10 minutes.

  5. Spread the squash in a single layer on the parchment lined sheet tray, reserving the extra glaze. Bake 25-30 minutes or until it is golden brown on the underside.

  6. Remove the pan from the oven, flip the squash, brush with additional glaze and return the pan to the oven. Bake another 10-15 minutes or until squash is browned on both sides.

  7. Arrange the squash so that two half moons create a circle with a well in the middle. Drop one egg into each well. Season with salt. Return the pan to the oven and bake 7-8 minutes or until whites are solid and yolks are cooked to your preference.

  8. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, scallion slices and more chili maple glaze. Serve immediately.

Summer Succotash - New England Style

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It does not get more American than succotash, one of the first dishes Native Americans shared with settlers. The word, meaning "broken corn kernels" comes from the Narrangansett people, who lived in the area that is now Rhode Island. There are many ways to make succotash and an American southerner might eloquently debate a Yankee on both contents and process. I favor the New England variety, with a few tweaks, but also just assumed succotash translated to "every vegetable from the garden" or "the entire contents of your produce drawer dumped into a skillet."

Succotash is the whatever you have at the time kind of dish. Actually -- and perhaps I should put this into the procedure itself -- when making succotash, I open all drawers of my fridge, hunt behind jars and open every container of leftovers, stacking every possible vegetable that can be used on the cutting board along with the tomatoes ripening on the counter. As far as I'm concerned, the only required ingredient in summer succotash is fresh local sweet corn previously cooked or raw. The others you can take or leave or substitute, depending on what you have and what you like.

New England Summer Succotash

Yield: Serves 4-6

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What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or butter

  • 1 onion

  • sea salt or kosher salt

  • dried ground spices (e.g. smoked paprika, garlic powder, cayenne, optional)

  • 2 sweet peppers (any color bell, anaheim, cubanelle)

  • 3-5 cloves garlic

  • 1 cup beans (see note)

  • 2 medium zucchini or summer squash

  • 2-3 cups fresh corn kernels*

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1-2 medium tomatoes or handful of cherry tomatoes

  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, basil, oregano, chives, rosemary), chopped

What you do:

  1. Cut all vegetables into a similar size and shape.

  2. Heat a large heavy bottomed skillet (cast iron if available) over moderately high heat. Heat the oil or butter and add the onion with a few pinches of salt. Sauté until soft and lightly browned, about 5-8 minutes.

  3. Add spices if using and sauté about 1 minute.

  4. Add the peppers, garlic, a pinch of salt and sauté until peppers are softened.

  5. Add fresh beans (if using), zucchini and corn kernels with a few more pinches of salt. Sauté 1-2 minutes. Add the water and cook until liquid is absorbed.

  6. Add the tomatoes and cook until they break down. Add cooked dried beans if using.

  7. Right before turning off the heat, add the fresh herbs.

Note on beans: Traditional New England succotash uses cranberry or "cattle beans" like the ones pictured here. See that beautiful cranberry color marbled throughout? If you can get fresh cranberry beans straight from the shell for your summer succotash, that is ideal. Or substitute fresh shelling peas, snap peas, green beans, or lima beans. You can also cook up the dried ones, like you make any dried bean and add to the succotash at the very end.

Note on beans: Traditional New England succotash uses cranberry or "cattle beans" like the ones pictured here. See that beautiful cranberry color marbled throughout? If you can get fresh cranberry beans straight from the shell for your summer succotash, that is ideal. Or substitute fresh shelling peas, snap peas, green beans, or lima beans. You can also cook up the dried ones, like you make any dried bean and add to the succotash at the very end.

Variations:

  • Use leftover already cooked vegetables, such as corn boiled on the cob or grilled zucchini and squash. Simply reduce the cooking time for the already cooked vegetables. Add them to the succotash a little later than the recipe calls for, omit the water and reduce the salt.

  • Serve the succotash as a brunch hash topped with crispy fried eggs. Push the succotash to the side, add a touch more oil and fry the eggs in the same skillet.

  • In place of tomatoes, try a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar or other vinegar.

  • Use salt pork or bacon for the fat. Render the fat in step 2 in place of oil or butter. Add the onion to the rendered fat and bacon pieces.

  • Crisp up small slices of dry salami in the oil. Remove before adding the onion, set aside and return to the dish at the end.