A few weeks ago, I saw a picture of food on Foodgawker (or Instagram or somewhere), and wanted it. Okay, this is nothing new – I regularly scroll through any given form of social media and want the food. And have been known, in particularly bad fits of desire, to head right to the kitchen right away and start making it. Or, perhaps avoid the feeds altogether if I know it is not the time to be making anything chocolate, or messy or involving a lot of nut butter.
But in this case, it wasn’t chocolate, or a sweet, or anything particularly messy: it was this savoury dish made with butternut squash. And of course, all I really wanted was heaps of butternut squash.
I haven’t really talked about it much on here, but the absence of squash thing here in Australia is real – and it’s especially real for a girl who loves her squash. They have pumpkin, which in my opinion is more just really large squash, but it’s pretty much guaranteed to be wet, and if we’re on the topic of squash, I’ll take mine dry thanks. In other words, there was no buttercup or acorn this year for me.
There was butternut though. Because, despite the fact that they call it butternut pumpkin, it really is butternut squash, and it was an absolute delight in this dish. I say that with some relief, because the dish was a long time coming. I saw the image, started thinking about it and concurring up recipe ideas and plans in my head for what I though it would be, and then just kind of lost inspiration. And the squash and idea sat untouched for a couple of weeks.
But after it stared at me long enough on the counter, I pulled it together. And I entered sage, and I played with flavours, and I added cauliflower, and the result was just what I was thinking way back when I originally started dreaming of the dish.
Sage is one of my favourite herb flavours. Between the smell and the flavour, whenever I see it or get a whiff of that glorious smelling thing, I just can’t help but start to think of recipes and creations. And an added bonus for when you purchase sage: it’s great for mouth sores, like a canker sore, or if you bite your tongue, the side of your lip etc. Just steep a few leaves into a tea for 15-20 minutes, and once it is cool enough, hold the tea in your mouth for 10-15 minutes and swish it around.
For now, sage is only happening in recipes though. This recipe actually. Hearty, warming, thick stew, laced with butternut squash and with the perfect sage flavour it. It was well worth the wait!