from Jude’s Kitchen: squash is king

A favourite seasonal fall vegetable is the squash and it's such a versatile one that you won't easily get tired of it.

Pig in a Pod with Apples

Pig in a Pod with Apples

Everywhere you look, squash of all shapes, sizes, colours and varieties are piled high, waiting for your creative juices to be inspired to do something wonderful with them.

If you don’t roast them, squash them or create a thick and filling soup with them, try these two ideas while squashes are in good supply.

It’s been a great year for these cucumber relatives, with lots of sun to help them grow well.

Squash is an excellent source of beta carotene and potassium and a source of Vitamin C and folacin, so it’s no slouch in the nutrition department, plus it tastes delicious.

In the coming months there’s lots to do for those who enjoy eating good food, learning to cook new dishes, or both at the same event.

Mission Hill Family Estate Winery’s fabulous cooking classes, featuring executive chef Matt Batey and members of his team, began earlier this month, and continue with an Indian class this Thursday beginning at 6 p.m. at the  winery’s amazing culinary theatre.

Next up is a new class featuring wines of Italy with Ingo Grady Nov. 19, followed Nov. 21 with Pasta, the Italian Way.

France is next on Nov. 28, then Spain Dec. 3 and Dec. 5, and Pastry Delights Inspired by the Festive Season on Dec. 10. For a detailed listing of classes, go to the website at: and click on events and culinary classes. You won’t be disappointed in these classes.

Or, if Indian food is your interest, some of the best in the valley is available at Poppadom’s and owner Jas Dosanj is willing to share some of her secrets in special classes Sundays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., to groups of six to 10 people.

This excellent Indian restaurant is also celebrating its fourth birthday Dec. 15, with a special dinner being prepared by Jas and renowned chef Rod Butters of RauDZ Regional Table and Bernard Casavant, as well as Sandrine Raffault and her amazing French pastries and chocolate.

Details are available on the website at: They also do Christmas parties for groups of six to 28.

If you want to win some fabulous kitchen appliances, check out the Ambrosia apple Orchard to Table Recipe Contest at but you must get your apple recipe in by Dec. 10.

For lots of recipes featuring apples, squashes and other local, B.C. products, pick up a copy of my book, Jude’s Kitchen at local bookstores, wine boutiques or at Codfather’s.

Jill’s Spaghetti Squash with Vegies

Mixed with lots of great vegetables, this is not only good, but good for you as well. Leftovers heat up well, and you could add diced, cooked chicken or ham if you didn’t want a vegetarian meal.

1 large spaghetti squash

2 c. (500 ml) broccoli florets

2 c. (500 ml) spinach

1 c. (250 ml) mushrooms

2 med. tomatoes

2 c. (500 ml) frozen peas

1 tsp. (5 ml) thyme

2 tsp. (10 ml) oregano

2 tsp. (10 ml) basil

1 c. (250 ml) parmesan cheese

salt and pepper, to taste

Pre-heat oven to 375 F.

Cut a large spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place each half, cut side down, in a large pan with an inch or so of water in the bottom. Roast for three-quarters of an hour or so, until the spaghetti-like threads of squash can be pulled from the shell with a couple of forks.

Meanwhile, cut the broccoli into small florets, chop the spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes.

In a wok or deep frypan over medium-high heat, saute the broccoli, adding the mushrooms and cooking for a few minutes before adding the spinach, tomatoes and peas.

Season with the herbs while heating them through and mixing everything together well.

Add the strands of spaghetti squash, grated parmesan cheese and salt and pepper, to taste, mixing everything together well.

Serves 4-6.

Pig in a Pod with Apples, Topped with Parmesan

This is a whole meal stuffed into an acorn or other small winter squash, topped with a crunchy, cheesy garnish.

2 acorn squash

1/2 lb. (250 g) ground pork

pat of butter

1 onion

1 c. (250 ml) cabbage leaves

1 apple

1 knob ginger

2 tsp. (10 ml) fresh thyme

1 tbsp. (15 ml) fresh sage

1/2 tsp. (2 ml) cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste


1 tsp. (5 ml) butter

2 tbsp. (10 ml) dried crumbs

1 tbsp. (15 ml) grated fresh parmesan

Pre-heat oven to 400 F.

Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and membranes, leaving the meat and shell intact.

Set face down in a roasting pan with just a half-inch of water and bake for about 20 minutes while you prepare the filling.

Cook ground pork (you may substitute sausage meat) in a deep frypan or wok until all pink is gone, draining off any excess fat. Remove the meat.

Add butter or oil to pan and fry a large chopped onion, shredded, chopped cabbage leaves (cut out the core and coarse ribs first), cored chopped apple and a spoonful of minced ginger, cooking until the onion and cabbage are just limp.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping by melting the butter in a small bowl and adding the dried crumbs, mixing well.

Season with fresh herbs, salt and peppers and return pork to pan, mixing well.

Remove squash from oven and turn over, cut side up. Season each shell and fill each with the pork and cabbage mixture.

Sprinkle with the topping and grate cheese over the top of each shell.

Return to the oven for a further half hour.

Serves 4.



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