KURI SQUASH WITH CONFIT OF SHALLOTS – If you can't find kuri squash, use another of your favorites – butternut, hubbard, even pumpkin. Kuri squash doesn't need to be peeled. This dish makes a fine first course, or a side-dish. You can turn this into a main dish by sprinkling it with fried bacon, or putting a poached egg on top.
– For the squash:: kuri squash (seeded and diced (if using other squash, peel it), 1 kg), Fine sea salt, For the Confit of Shallots:: extra-virgin olive oil (80ml), large shallots (peeled and sliced paper-thin), For garnish:: pine nuts (lightly toasted), flat-leaf parsley leaves, Place the squash in a medium-sized saucepan, cover with water by 2-inches (5cm), add the bay leaf and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so the water is simmering, cover partially and cook until the squash is tender through, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain the squash, keeping the cooking liquid. Discard the bay leaf.; Puree the squash either with a wand blender or in a food processor, adding just enough of the cooking water to make the puree moist, but not liquid. Season to taste with salt.; While the squash is cooking, heat the olive oil and the shallots in a small saucepan over medium-heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the y are golden and crisp, which will take about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, and immediately transfer the shallots to a small, heat-proof bowl.; Coarsley chop the parsley leaves.; To serve, divide the squash among four shallow soup bowls. Top with equal amounts of shallot, and drizzle each serving with shallot-cooking oil. Sprinkle generously with pine nuts and parsley, and serve immediately.; – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]
In the 14th century, a pound of nutmeg was purportedly worth three sheep and a cow; in the 17th century, the little, fragrant nut was valued higher than gold.