- Heirloom winter squash are also known as: Cheese Pumpkin, Marina di Chioggia, Banana, Blue Hubbard, Sweet Meat, Red Kuri, Turban and many many more; new hybrids include Carnival, Stripetti, and Eat It All
- Origin and cultivation: originally from the New World, taken to Europe by Christopher Columbus
- Availability: fall, especially at farmers markets
- Appearance: varies from orange to white to blue, striped to solid, big to small, round to oval, smooth flesh to stringy
- Flavor: varies from pumpkin to sweet potatoes
- Trivia: name isn't scientific, rather a definition of a squash having a hard outer rind that can be stored through the winter
1 small heirloom winter squash (about 2 pounds)
1 cup of flour, sifted and cold by putting in the freezer for a bit
1/4 cup of flour for dusting the squash before dipping in the batter
1 cup of ice cold water for the batter
1 cup of vegetable oil
1/3 cup of fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup of fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1 hot green chili
1 teaspoon of lime juice
1/4 cup of water for the dipping sauce
Salt and pepper
Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Cut off the peel and slice into 1/4 inch thick pieces.
First, while the flour is in the freezer, make the mint chutney dipping sauce by puréeing the mint leaves, cilantro leaves, ginger, chili and lime juice. Then, add about 1/4 cup of water until it starts to look like a dipping sauce.
Start up the oil in a heavy pot or pan until 340ºF. If you don't have a thermometer, then you can test the temperature with a drop of batter, which when put in, should sink about a 1/4 inch before floating to the top.
While the oil is heating up, make the batter. Beat the egg, and then add the 1 cup of ice cold water. Then, gently mix in the cold flour until blended.
Dust a few squash pieces with flour and shake off excess, dip in the batter, then fry for a few minutes until light brown, flipping once or twice. Drain on a wire rack. Repeat with the next batch.
Serve with the dipping sauce.