Don’t be fooled by the title, I love all squash. But there is one squash that a friend introduced to me a few years ago that is my “must buy” every season.

Sounds like curry…

So my friend shared a recipe with me that incorporates Red Kuri squash with prawns that initiated my interest in both squash and farmer’s markets. At first, she bought me one, then I would ask her to pick one up for me when she was going to the market and it grew into me trying to source out my own local food. Now we even do farm days in our house, where we go to the local farming areas and buy as much local food as we can – produce, wine, cheese, eggs and meats.

Red Kuri squash has a sweet, lightly nutty taste and although its name sounds like curry, it doesn’t taste like curry. However, what I love about this squash is how well it is complimented by red curry. So with one last squash in the kitchen and a craving for scallops, a dinner idea was born.

I started by cutting the squash in half and removing the seeds and pulp. I coated the flesh with olive oil and sea salt and roasted it cut side down until tender. As it cooled enough so I could handle it, I prepped the scallops by quickly rinsing them and patting them dry (if they’re too moist they won’t get that golden brown appearance). I had found a great idea for crusting scallops with sesame seeds that I have since modified by only dredging one side of the scallop in toasted sesame seeds.  Black sesame seeds are excellent for garnishing the completed dish.

So with the scallops prepped and the squash roasted, I realized I needed to do something with the squash (with only what I had in the fridge) that would plate nicely and compliment the scallops. So, in a bowl, I added the roasted squash (without skin), triple cream brie, red curry paste and sea salt and blended with my stick blender, adjusting the ingredients to taste. I covered it with foil and put it in the warm oven while I cooked the scallops, starting with sesame crusted side down.

The end result was pan seared sesame crusted scallops on a base of the Red Kuri squash and brie puree, alongside field greens tossed in toasted sesame vinaigrette. It was beautiful – and I forgot to photograph it. I almost need a surveillance camera in the kitchen to capture all of the moments I want to share!

The squash was the star of this dish, but my best discovery was how well the brie added both creaminess and richness to the puree. Since I almost always have brie in the fridge, I’m going to try this in other purees, like potatoes or other squashes, unless I’m making potatoes with blue cheese and bacon. Oops – I’ve said too much. I’m saving that story for a later date…

Written By AHWD Food Expert – Dan Saunders.

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