Bittman: Winter Squash Curry

Healthy and colorful!I loved this dinner. This is perfect for a cold winter’s night when you are feeling starved for flavor and color. As I said yesterday, this week’s menu was entirely inspired by Mark Bittman’s amazingly ginormous cookbook, How to Cook Everything. Tonight’s meal comes from Bittman’s extensive vegetable preparation chapter. I have extolled the benefits and awesomeness of squash on this blog before, but I’m always looking for a new way to use it.

Onion, Ginger, Bell Pepper

Winter squash curry is a cheat, I’m sure. Unlike real curries where you grind your own spices and put a lot of effort into hours of cooking, here, you just add curry powder and coconut milk to some veggies and simmer for 20 minutes. Of course, the effort comes in when you sweat bullets attempting to butcher a four pound butternut squash. Things can get, ahem, dicey. Really, if you cohabitate with someone who is confident with a butcher’s knife, let them do this for you. Nothing is more nerve wracking than getting a 8 inch blade stuck in something resembling a football. You have no traction to get the knife out. Say goodbye to your fingers.

Curry before extra veggies

But besides that, this is a super easy dinner! Heat up a deep non-stick pan with about 2 tbs of “neutral” oil, like grapeseed oil. Saute a diced onion in the oil until soft. Add in a tablespoon of freshly chopped ginger and a tablespoon of curry powder. Once everything is an even curry-yellow, pour a can of coconut milk and about 1.5 lbs of cubed butternut squash into the pan. (We added about a teaspoon of chili paste here– it was good!) Salt and pepper the mixture.Get the sauce simmering, then cover and turn the heat low. After 10 minutes, stir in red bell pepper and snap peas (pineapple would be excellent here, too). Cover and simmer for 10 more minutes. Serve over rice with some cilantro. Bittman also suggests adding maybe a tablespoon (not too much!) of peanut butter with the coconut milk and squash– it gives some depth to the curry.

Bell pepper makes everything better

I’m going to add this to my squash preparation repertoire, it was a great weeknight meal and one I won’t get bored with soon– you can always add something new to curry. What are you eating to make those wintry nights better?

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