Skillet Squash

I love roasted veg­eta­bles, but to me they’re a nui­sance. Fill two cookie sheets with chunks of veg­gies, after toss­ing with oil and herbs in a big bowl, bake nearly an hour, return­ing to toss a few times, and you get at most three servings.

So find­ing com­pa­ra­ble fla­vor in Mark Bittman’s “Pan­fried Pump­kin” inspired me to turn it into a one-pot stove­top stew for a lot of hun­gry veg­e­tar­i­ans. Ready in an easy hour.

  • 4–5 Table­spoons veg­etable oil
  • 2–3 pound but­ter­nut squash or other win­ter squash, peeled, seeded and cut in 1-inch chunks (about 8 cups)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1–2 Table­spoons finely chopped fresh garlic
  • 1/4 tea­spoon cayenne pep­per flakes or chipo­tle powder
  • 1 Table­spoon dried oregano or Ital­ian herb blend
  • 1/2 cup red wine or broth or water
  • 28 oz. can toma­toes (cut up if whole), includ­ing liquid
  • 15.5 oz. can chick­peas or other white bean, includ­ing liquid
  • 8 oz. frozen chopped greens — optional — no need to thaw
  • 1–2 cups zuc­chini or yel­low squash, cut in chunks — optional
At 10 inches long and 3 lb, 1 oz, this butternut squash is almost too big for the Skillet Squash recipe.

At 10 inches long and 3 lb, 1 oz, this but­ter­nut squash is almost too big for the Skil­let Squash recipe.
Photo Ben S. Pollock

Heat medium to large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 4 Table­spoons oil. Add about half of the but­ter­nut squash, arrange in sin­gle layer. Sprin­kle with a lit­tle salt and pep­per. Cook 4 min­utes; do not stir. Turn and cook another 3–4 min­utes; do not stir. With slot­ted spoon remove lightly browned squash to a medium mix­ing bowl and brown the remain­ing win­ter squash the same way. Remove that squash to the bowl.

Place onion in pot, add oil if needed, saute 2 min­utes. Add gar­lic, pep­per and herbs and saute 30 sec­onds. Add wine and scrape loose any bits stuck to the pan, 30 sec­onds. Stir in toma­toes and beans and their liq­uid, and optional greens. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low. Cover and sim­mer 7 minutes.

Stir in cooked but­ter­nut squash chunks and optional zuc­chini. Cover and sim­mer another 7 min­utes. Taste, adding a lit­tle salt and pep­per if needed.

Can serve with (or over) rice or pasta. Can gar­nish with sour cream, plain yogurt or Parme­san cheese. Makes 8 servings.

Adapted from “Pan­fried Pump­kin with Tomato Sauce” from How to Cook Every­thing Veg­e­tar­ian by Mark Bittman

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