Recipe: Crostini with Sauteed Calabacita Squash

Apr 7, 2013 by     2 Comments    Posted under: Appetizer Recipes, Recipes
Crostini with Sauteed Calabacita Squash

Crostini with Sauteed Calabacita Squash

When I was in Puerto Vallarta staying at Riu Palace Pacifico, I discovered this tasty little appetizer crostini hidden among the hundreds of items in their main buffet.  I was amazed at the depth of flavor such a simple creation provided.  Crunchy, savory, and a touch sweet, it was everything my mouth could desire, and I made a note to make it for a crowd at some point.  Well, that point came recently at an event I helped cater.  It was a hit, even with the teenagers in the crowd who were afraid to eat squash.

What is Calabacita (Tatuma) Squash?

Calabacita Squash

Calabacita Squash

This ancient squash is native to Latin America.  Archeologists have found evidence of human consumption in Latin America dating back 10,000 years ago.  It is known by many names, including:  Calabacita, Tatuma, Tatume, Calabacita Italiano, Mexican Grey Squash, and White Mexican Squash.  However it is called, it is delicious.  It has a thin tender skin which is light green in color with little white speckles all over it.  The flesh inside is white and fairly firm.  Both skin and flesh are cooked.  It has a great buttery and savory flavor, and gets slightly sweet when sauteed and lightly caramelized.  As I discovered while in Puerto Vallarta, it is very diversified in its use.  I found it served up in everything from soup, to appetizers, to omelets, to casseroles; and it was all delicious. It has a much deeper flavor than zucchini, and is perhaps the most flavorful of all the summer squashes.

You can readily find Calabacita squash along side zucchini and yellow squash in most grocery stores that cater to Hispanic clientele.  Here locally in Boise, Idaho, I source it from Winco.

How to Cook Calabacita Squash

You can grill, bake, stew, braise, and fry calabacita squash just like you would zucchini.  But for this recipe, I saute it in butter until just caramelized.  Simply cut the calabacita squash in half length-wise, then slice into 1/2 half inch pieces.  Melt the butter with olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat, add the squash, add diced onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-heat for about 15 minutes until tender and golden in color.

Sauteing Calabacita Squash

Sauteing Calabacita Squash

 

Ingredients for Making Crostini with Calabacita Squash

  • 2 lbs calabacita squash
  • 1/4 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 baguette, sliced diagonally (1-inch thickness) and toasted
  • 3 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh herbs (like dill) to garnish

How to Plate and Serve Crostini with Calabacita Squash

Spread a heaping spoonful of sauteed squash onto crostini.  Sprinkle shredded Parmesan cheese on top of squash, then place a sprig of fresh dill or other fresh herb on top.  Place individual crostini on a small plate, or place several on a large serving platter.

Plated Crostini with Calabacita Squash

Plated Crostini with Calabacita Squash

Catering Crostini with Calabacita Squash

Catering Crostini with Calabacita Squash

 Recipe by Jothan Yeager, March 6, 2013

 

The Bald Gourmet brings home a concept for a delicious Calabacita Squash Crostini recipe from Puerto Vallarta.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews

Recipe: Crostini with Sauteed Calabacita Squash
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

When I was in Puerto Vallarta staying at Riu Palace Pacifico, I discovered this tasty little appetizer crostini hidden among the hundreds of items in their main buffet. I was amazed at the depth of flavor such a simple creation provided. Crunchy, savory, and a touch sweet, it was everything my mouth could desire.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetiser

Ingredients
  • 2 lbs calabacita squash
  • ¼ large onion, diced
  • ½ stick unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 baguette, sliced diagonally (1-inch thickness) and toasted
  • 3 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh herbs (like dill) to garnish

Instructions
  1. Cut the calabacita squash in half length-wise, then slice into ½ half inch pieces.
  2. Melt the butter with olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat, add the squash, add diced onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-heat for about 15 minutes until tender and golden in color.
  3. Spread a heaping spoonful of sauteed squash onto crostini.
  4. Sprinkle shredded Parmesan cheese on top of squash, then place a sprig of fresh dill or other fresh herb on top.
  5. To serve, place individual crostini on a small plate, or place several on a large serving platter.

Notes
What is Calabacita (Tatuma) Squash? This ancient squash is native to Latin America. Archeologists have found evidence of human consumption in Latin America dating back 10,000 years ago. It is known by many names, including: Calabacita, Tatuma, Tatume, Calabacita Italiano, Mexican Grey Squash, and White Mexican Squash. However it is called, it is delicious. It has a thin tender skin which is light green in color with little white speckles all over it. The flesh inside is white and fairly firm. Both skin and flesh are cooked. It has a great buttery and savory flavor, and gets slightly sweet when sauteed and lightly caramelized. It has a much deeper flavor than zucchini, and is perhaps the most flavorful of all the summer squashes. You can readily find Calabacita squash along side zucchini and yellow squash in most grocery stores that cater to Hispanic clientele.

2 Comments + Add Comment

  • I tried your recipe and while I think this would be great with zucchini , I found calabacita to have a dirt taste to it. That’s the best way I can describe it. It’s not a squash I would eat much of. But I love the recipe

    • Thanks for the comment Sandy. I’ve heard the same “dirt taste” complaint from a couple others as well. Interesting. I don’t pick up on that flavor at all. I wonder if there’s something about it that is related to genetics similar to how some people can taste the sulfur in tomatoes if they happen to have the correct recessive gene. Not sure. Oh well. Thanks for trying the recipe. Keep it in your collection I guess, just change the squash to zucchini.

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I'm Jothan Yeager and I am The Bald Gourmet. After years of experimenting in my kitchen, creating delicious food and eating at amazing places around the world, I wanted a place to share my experiences with everyone. Thus the Bald Gourmet was born. I hope to open the doors of great food and great cooking to you, to inspire you to reach beyond prepared boxed meals, and to teach you of a world of deliciousness that has brought joy to me and those around me. Please enjoy the adventure which is The Bald Gourmet and share it with those you love.