Daily Archives: 7 October 2016
Crisps, also known as Crumbles in places where crisps are potato chips, are among my household’s favorite desserts. I give them a mix-and-match approach, choosing the fruit based on season and the topping based on mood. There’s an infinite number of combinations.
I never considered the possibility of a SAVORY crumble. However, this week’s recipe choice for Cook the Book Fridays is exactly that. David Lebovitz presents a recipe for Butternut Squash Crumble in his book My Paris Kitchen. I was very intrigued.
This is the perfect recipe for the season. Local butternut squash has just started to be harvested around here. All the fresh ingredients were part of this week’s CSA share, farmers’ market purchases, or growing in my backdoor herb garden. Delightful!
[Side note: One of the most popular varieties of butternut squash is the “Waltham” which was developed in Waltham (the town next to mine) in the 1960s, by the Massachusetts Agricultural Extension Service.]
To create this savory side, first you cook the squash. Diced squash is sautéed with shallots and seasoned with a generous amount of fresh thyme leaves until the squash starts to soften. Then the squash is further roasted in the oven.
While the squash bakes, the flavorful topping is prepared. Bread crumbs, stone-ground cornmeal, and grated Parmesan cheese stand in for the flour you’d find in a sweet version. The butter is cut in until it’s crumbly. At this point, the topping had a familiar texture, but the addition of an egg ensures that it stays bound together. The crumble is sprinkled on top of the tender squash and baked some more to crisp up and brown the topping.
Well, the verdict is that butternut squash crumble is delicious! The tender squash and the crunchy topping works well together. My only quibble is that the two-step cooking of the squash seems fussy. When I make this again, I’ll either saute the squash until it’s completely tender OR roast the vegetable mixture until tender. I’ll skip the other step.
As is, the crumble screams “Serve me for Thanksgiving, please!” Variations on the crumble will also be in the cards. I’m imagining that roasted root vegetables, singularly or as a medley, are worth a try. Different herbs in the topping could be extended for a mix-and-match for savory crumbles to complement my dessert combos.
And a very Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends!