This mixed-squash recipe is a convenient side dish for the holidays, as it can be prepared on the stovetop, while the oven is occupied with other entrées. Select small squashes that will cook quickly. During the summer, you can make this easy to prepare dish with summer squashes such as zucchini and cruck-neck or gold bar squash. The flavor of just a few spices makes this dish versatile enough to go with any menu year-round.
1 small pumpkin
1 small butternut squash or a medium delicata squash
1 large sweet potato
1 large or 2 small carrots
3 tablespoons oil or butter
1 cup water, or more as needed
A few pinches of ground cinnamon
Powdered cayenne pepper and/or freshly ground black pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste
Wash the pumpkin, squash, sweet potato, and carrot. Using a sharp knife cut the pumpkin and squash first into halves and then into quarters. Scoop out and discard all the stringy fibers and seeds. Without peeling, rinse and cut the pumpkin and squash into chunks a bit larger than bite-sized. Set them aside. Cut the sweet potato and carrots into bite-sized chunks and set aside.
Heat the oil or butter in a large wok or frying pan. Add the pumpkin, squash, sweet potato, and carrot pieces. Stir-fry for about 5 minutes over moderate heat. Add the water, cover, and simmer for 15 to 25 minutes, checking after 10 minutes to see if the mixture needs more water. When the vegetables are cooked but not mushy, add the cinnamon, pepper(s), lemon juice, and salt. Stir well and cook for another 1–2 minutes. Serve hot or transfer the mixture to a covered casserole dish to be reheated before serving. When you serve, instruct your diners to remove the skin of the squash.
Makes six to eight servings