Chef Anthony Paone created this recipe our Fall/Winter 2010 issue story, “What Do You Do with a Black Futsu” when he was at Sea Salt, a seafood-forward restaurant formerly on San Pablo in Berkeley. The original recipe featured the black futsu squash, a unique variety that geneticist and seed breeder Fred Hempel was growing at the time at his Baia Nicchia farm in Sunol. The black futsu features golden flesh with a fudge-like texture and a rich taste reminiscent of hazelnuts. Sounds dreamy, but if you can’t find a black futsu, try any winter squash you like. We recommend a tender-skinned squash like red kuri, acorn, kabocha, or delicata.
Roasted Winter Squash with Green Curry Sauce
1 medium winter squash (approximately 2 pounds)
6 tablespoons butter
2 stalks lemongrass (Cut away and compost the tough green portions and bruise the more tender lower portion with the back of a knife before slicing thinly.)
½ medium-sized onion, chopped
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
3 green apples, peeled and diced
Zest of 2 limes
2 tablespoons green curry paste
2 cans coconut milk
½ cup cream (optional)
1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped (Reserve a few whole sprigs for garnish.)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cut squash into 1-inch-thick half moons. If your squash has tender skin, you may not need to peel it.
Clarify 2 tablespoons butter and use it to coat the squash segments. Lay them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, salt lightly, and roast until the squash is soft and its skin is crisp.
Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan and sauté onion, ginger, lemongrass, and apple until soft. Allow to cool and then pureé in a blender or food processor along with the lime zest, curry paste, coconut milk, cream, and cilantro. Just before serving, gently heat the curry sauce while arranging the roasted squash slices onto plates. Spoon the sauce over top and serve garnished with cilantro sprigs and slices of lime.