Bear with me even if you are fed up with my insistence to suggest yet more quince recipes. This time I have the perfect substitute for you in case you cannot get the fragrant old apple-like fruit, which for me is the epitome of our Mediterranean winter.
I actually envy you, because you can get these absolutely fantastic mini butternut squash, or honey-nut-squash as they are called, developed by Michael Mazourek, a plant breeder at Cornell University, in collaboration with the visionary Dan Barber. I had the chance to taste this incredible, sweet squash whose skin is also edible, at Oleana. My old friend, the brilliant chef Ana Sortun talked to me about this new exciting variety that they cultivate at her family’s Sienna Farms.
The next day I went to the Boston Public Market and at the Sienna Farm stand I bought a few honey-nut-squashes that I wrapped with my clothes and brought home, to Kea.
I left the precious Massachusetts-grown mini squash on a basket for about a month, trying to decide how I should cook them, and last weekend I decided to roast and stuff them together with some of my quince.
I adapted the stuffing for quince I have in my Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts (page 156) omitting the tomato sauce. The stuffing is scented with the enticing Lebanese 7-spice blend and to this version I also added turmeric. If you are going to stuff only squash, I suggest you add some tart apple to the stuffing, or spike its sweetness with pomegranate molasses. You can, of course, use spicy sausage for flavor, since the original idea for this sumptuous vegan dish came to me from the traditional, meat-filled Turkish quince.
I baked the stuffed squash and quince on a bed of Roasted Quince and Carrots, and the combination was wonderful.