So what do you do with a huge Musqué de Provence squash that kept Louis XIV happy, but is now sitting on the kitchen counter, begging to be cooked?
Louis XIV? Yes, the BBC recently filmed a segment about Louis XIV and his gastronomic predilections at On Rue Tatin, and the Musqué de Provence squash was a prop. (More on that later when the photos come in). It’s a beauty, a Cinderella kind of thing that fits right in with the rustic charm of my kitchen. I love the way it looks, but I decided I wanted to cook it.
Musqué de Provence or any squash right now isn’t as out of season as it seems. This year, we’ve still got frost on the ground in the morning, inhibiting spring vegetables and keeping winter offerings fresh and good. Sometimes a trip to the market is slightly schizophrenic: there may be a few stalks of asparagus or a bunch of radishes, next to all those big winter squash and mounds of celery root and big, fat leeks.
The cold temperatures made me welcome the thought of grilling that big Musqué de Provence squash, though. And what would go better with it, I thought, than maple syrup and rosemary?
Musqué de Provence Squash and Asparagus – Two Recipes for One
So, here is a great recipe for rosemary squash on the grill, with a few asparagus thrown in for good measure. The recipe below is for the squash. (You can use any variety of pumpkin-type squash you find; check Johnny’s Selected Seeds for options). As for the asparagus, roll it in oil and salt and grill it with the squash for about 4 minutes per side, depending on how crisp you like your asparagus!
MAPLE MUSQUE DE PROVENCE SQUASH
The French adore maple syrup, and they adore Musqué de Provence squash. Most of the maple syrup here comes from Canada, and is a staple on just about every grocery shelf. It is mostly used in savory dishes like this one, since pancakes don’t exist here, particularly for breakfast, and it hasn’t made it to the crêpe repertoire yet. Maybe with our new, americanophile president that will happen!
2 pounds (1 kg) squash, preferably Musqué de Provence, but you can use the best squash you find, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-1/4 inch thick (3cm) slices
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 long sprigs fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Build a fire in the grill, or heat up the gas grill.
- Rub the squash all over with oil, then season the squash on both sides with salt and pepper. Soak all but 1 rosemary sprig in water.
- Set aside 1 tablespoon rosemary sprigs.
- When the coals are red and dusted with ash, place half on either side of the grill. Pat dry the rosemary, then place half the sprigs over each bunch of coals. Put the grill over the coals to heat.
- Place the squash on the grill right over the coals and leave it until each slice has gold marks on it, about 4 minutes. Turn and repeat, then place the squash slices in the center of the grill, cover, and cook until the squash is tender, about 30 minutes, turning it twice during the cooking process. If you want the squash very golden, move it back over the coals during the final 5 minutes of cooking.
- Mince the rosemary sprigs.
- When the squash is cooked, transfer it to a warmed serving platter. Drizzle it evenly with the maple syrup, sprinkle the rosemary sprigs over it, and adjust the salt and pepper. Serve immediately. 4 side dish servings