I’m a city mouse. I’ve been a fervent Torontonian for 16 years. As much as I love my city, I also love escaping it. What does this have to do with roasted squash zoodles? It started with a bucolic trip to Prince Edward County to visit family at Thanksgiving. We all loaded into our newly acquired boat sized mini-van and enjoyed a day of touring farms, meeting horses, picking apples and stopping at Hagerman Farms the most glorious farm stand I’ve ever encountered. Astonishingly reasonable prices coupled with the sheer selection of gorgeous vegetables spiralled me into a frenzied state with only one goal: acquire ALL THE SQUASH. And I did. Now I have about 15 squash on my kitchen counter. I suppose this is what happens when food loving city folk go to the country.
If you hadn’t heard by now, let me fill you in on a little secret. Cashews are everything. They make the best nut milk, ice cream, salty snack or paleo "cream" alternative. These nuts are so versatile I wondered if they’d complement all those squash I have taking up residence on my counter and of course they did, because they are everything.
roasted squash + cashew cream zoodles
1 squash, medium sized, kabocha halved and de-seeded
3 garlic clove, skin-on, unpeeled
1 shallot, peeled + halved
3 tablespoons avocado oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup chicken stock/bone broth/veggie stock
4 zucchini, spiralized
2 tbsp olive oil/ghee
1/2 tsp pepperoncino/pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 375F.
Cover raw cashews with hot water in a cup. Set aside while squash is roasting.
On a rimmed baking sheet with parchment, place halved squash skin side down and drizzle withavocado oil and sprinkle with salt. Flip squash over for roasting. On the same tray, add unpeeled garlic and shallot and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 25 minutes, or until squash is tender and fully cooked. Let cook for 5 minutes and then remove cooked squash from skin. Warm chicken stock on stovetop or microwave.
Using a high powered blender, blend cashews and water for 1-2 minutes until completely smooth. Remove roasted garlic from skin and add to blender with roasted shallot and cooked squash. Blend on high until very smooth, adding chicken stock to thin it out to a sauce consistency.
In a saute pan over medium heat, warm olive oil/ghee with pepperoncino flakes for 2 minutes, allowing oil to be infused with the pepperoncino flavour. Add zucchini noodles and 1 cup of the squash sauce, using tongs to toss the zoodles with the sauce. Heat for 3 minutes and serve.
Additional toppings can include: sausage, fried sage, or caramelized mushrooms.
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