squash and sweet potato purée in a zucchini basket

This may look like a mini flower pot, but it is actually a sliver of zucchini rolled to simulate a vessel. Aside from its charm, there is something wholly satisfying about a dish in an edible container. 

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serves 3

INgredients

1 medium to large zucchini

4 ounces buttercup squash

4 ounces White Delight (white fleshed) sweet potato

1 Tablespoon EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

pinch sea salt

1 Tablespoon maple syrup (optional)

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Process  I had about a quarter of a buttercup – aka kabocha – squash  in my fridge. It was not enough to make the amount of purée needed to fill  three zucchini “baskets” so I added an equal amount of white-fleshed sweet potato (also in my fridge). The result is delicious, but you could use pure kabocha or pure sweet potato for a similar result. Peel the squash and sweet potato.  Cut each into inch-square cubes.

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Place in a medium-sized pot and cover with water.

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Bring to a boil; cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the squash and sweet potato are soft. Drain most of the water from the pot, leaving about a quarter-inch.  Add the maple syrup if desired. Use an immersion blender to puree the squash and sweet potato together until consistency is smooth but not too watery.

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Allow to cool a bit. Wash the zucchini by immersing it in water.  Slice it lengthwise into 3 or 4 third-of-an-inch-thick strips. Use a pastry brush to rub olive oil onto one side of each strip.

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Heat a cast iron or stainless steel skillet for about 20 seconds. Add as many of the strips as will fit flat in the pan (here, 2), olive-oil-brushed side down. While one side is cooking, brush the other (up-facing) side with the remaining olive oil.

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Turn the strips over when they begin to pucker and pan-side turns a golden brown. Cook the second side until it is golden browned. Remove from pan and dredge on a brown paper bag.  Roll each zucchini so it forms a cylindrical shape; place each one on a plate.

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Spoon the squash-sweet potato puree into the center of the zucchini “basket”.

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Sprinkle with cinnamon (about ¼ teaspoon for each basket) and serve.

©Nancy Wolfson-Moche 2014