Carnival Squash with Apples and Thyme ~ This Iranian or Celebration squash was the main part of dinner last night. The corn and watermelon added even more hand sown goodies that were lovingly nurtured all summer. Carnival squash is a sweet squash, so it is best mixed with sour or salty additions to bring out all the natural flavors. Now you all know what a carb and sugar loving gal I am, but this squash just seemed to hit the right chord with me. This recipe would also go well with acorn and butternut squash also, but I hope you are able to find this at a farmers market or local store. Mind you, this squash got as big as a seedless watermelon so one will go a long way. Don’t you just want to give it a try?
- Fun Facts About Carnival Squash
The carnival squash is actually a hybrid of the sweet dumpling and acorn squash. It usually has a cream-colored background covered with stripes and speckles of green and orange. Warm temperatures tend to yield greener squash. After the squash is picked, the green on the surface will eventually fade with time to leave only cream and orange colors.
- What Carnival Squash Tastes Like
After simply roasting a halved carnival squash seasoned with a little butter and brown sugar, I dug in. It was nutty and sweeter than butternut squash but not as dry in texture as kabocha squash. And my favorite thing about it was that it had a buttery, almost maple syrup-like flavor to it.
- Buying and Storing Carnival Squash
Carnival squash are about the size of an acorn squash, and like most winter squash, are best from early fall through winter. Choose carnival squash that are heavy for their size and free of blemishes or soft spots. They can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to a month.
- Cooking Carnival Squash
Carnival squash is at its best when roasted to concentrate and bring out its flavors, but it can also be steamed or pureed. The seeds can be roasted and eaten just like with other winter squashes. I like its small compact size, which makes it easy to cut through and is great for serving one or two people.
These inexpensive and cute squashes are great to throw into stews, curries, soups, or even veggie chilis — use them in any recipe calling for butternut or acorn squash. I love the fact that they are so beautiful and unique-looking on my counter and that they have such a long shelf life I don’t have to be in a rush to eat them!
Mind you, this squash got as big as a seedless watermelon so one will go a long way.
- 2 carnival or acorn squash
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 Small apples 2 large, tart
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Heat the oven to 375°. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place on a cookie sheet and brush with a little of the butter and season with a little salt. Place a thyme sprig in each half and bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix together the apples, the remaining melted butter, the sugar and the cinnamon. Remove the squash from the oven.
Fill each squash with the apple mixture. Put them back in the oven for 15-20 minutes more, or until the squash and the apples are soft and caramelized.
- This squash makes a lot of juices so be careful to adapt for that.
- Watch cook times as mine was larger sized and took a bit longer to cook. I stuck a fork in it to make sure it was done enough. I gauged that by the way I like my acorn squash.
- Don't forget to save the seeds for planting next year.
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