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.
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.
Place in a medium-sized pot and cover with water.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Spoon the squash-sweet potato puree into the center of the zucchini “basket”.
Sprinkle with cinnamon (about ¼ teaspoon for each basket) and serve.
©Nancy Wolfson-Moche 2014