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The Complete Squash Recipe

A recipe for stuffed winter squash in last Wednesday’s Close-Up section inadvertently omitted a step for cooking the squash. Here is the full recipe.

1 buttercup squash. The buttercup is a large green squash shaped like a wheel of cheese. Its flesh is dense and rich in flavor. Halve the squash, and scoop out the fibers and seeds.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 cups dried barley

4 cups water, or vegetable or chicken stock

2 apples or pears, cut into medium-sized chunks

1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries or cherries

1/2 cup nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds, optional.

1 teaspoon fennel seeds, and then one tablespoon fennel seeds.

pinch nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom or coriander, to taste

salt and pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Halve and seed the butternut squash. Season it with salt, pepper and a little dab of olive oil. Roast the squash for about 30 minutes or more, depending on its thickness. You want to be able to pierce it easily with a knife or fork. Set aside. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees.

In a saucepan with a cover, add the olive oil and heat gently. Add the diced onion, the teaspoon fennel seeds and saute until the onion softens. Add the dried barley and stir to coat it with the oil and fennel seeds. Add four cups water or vegetable or chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Let stand, covered, for five minutes. Then fluff with a fork.

Now add to the cooked barley the cut apples or pears, the dried fruit, the nuts, the fennel seeds, the pinch of spice, and salt and pepper to taste. Put the cooked barley with the added fruits, nuts and spices into the roasted buttercup squash.

Cook in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Cover it with foil for the first 10 minutes, and then uncover it for the last 10 minutes so it browns nicely. If you want to moisten the surface, you could drizzle a little olive oil, or put a pat of butter on top that will melt as the squash heats.