squash and sweet potato purée in a zucchini basket

February 10, 2014 • Nancy Wolfson-Moche

This may look like a mini flower pot, but it is actually a sliver of zucchini rolled to simulate a vessel. Aside from its charm, there is something wholly satisfying about a dish in an edible container. 


serves 3


1 medium to large zucchini

4 ounces buttercup squash

4 ounces White Delight (white fleshed) sweet potato

1 Tablespoon EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

pinch sea salt

1 Tablespoon maple syrup (optional)

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Process  I had about a quarter of a buttercup – aka kabocha – squash  in my fridge. It was not enough to make the amount of purée needed to fill  three zucchini “baskets” so I added an equal amount of white-fleshed sweet potato (also in my fridge). The result is delicious, but you could use pure kabocha or pure sweet potato for a similar result. Peel the squash and sweet potato.  Cut each into inch-square cubes.

IMG_2366 IMG_2370

Place in a medium-sized pot and cover with water.


Bring to a boil; cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the squash and sweet potato are soft. Drain most of the water from the pot, leaving about a quarter-inch.  Add the maple syrup if desired. Use an immersion blender to puree the squash and sweet potato together until consistency is smooth but not too watery.


Allow to cool a bit. Wash the zucchini by immersing it in water.  Slice it lengthwise into 3 or 4 third-of-an-inch-thick strips. Use a pastry brush to rub olive oil onto one side of each strip.


Heat a cast iron or stainless steel skillet for about 20 seconds. Add as many of the strips as will fit flat in the pan (here, 2), olive-oil-brushed side down. While one side is cooking, brush the other (up-facing) side with the remaining olive oil.


Turn the strips over when they begin to pucker and pan-side turns a golden brown. Cook the second side until it is golden browned. Remove from pan and dredge on a brown paper bag.  Roll each zucchini so it forms a cylindrical shape; place each one on a plate.


Spoon the squash-sweet potato puree into the center of the zucchini “basket”.


Sprinkle with cinnamon (about ¼ teaspoon for each basket) and serve.

©Nancy Wolfson-Moche 2014

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Icing on the Cake: Testimonials

I’m very impressed by all the elements you are able to pack into the lesson without it seeming at all overwhelming: the review, the actual cooking skills, the creativity of coming up with their own dishes, the chance to present their creations, the opportunity to learn about and share thoughts on something else (in last week’s case, the feelings represented in the book), the execution of their  jobs, the responsibility for one’s station/implements and the overall following of directions…..all without losing the fun quotient. No wonder the kids love coming!  You’ve really created something special so kudos to you!

- T.