African Squash Stew with Sweet Potato Greens & Pesto


3 lb tomatoes (slicers ok) - roasted!
1 T olive oil
½ lb bacon, cut into lardons (cut into thin strips)
1 ea onion (medium size), small diced
½ ea African squash (if big), or 1 whole smaller squash, cut into ½” cubes
4 ea garlic cloves, minced
¾ c dry white wine
5 c chicken stock
½ bu sweet potato greens, cleaned & chopped
2 T kosher salt
1-2 t black pepper, fresh ground
herb bouquet: rosemary, sage, thyme, basil stems (from picked basil for pesto)  & 1 bay leaf
Pesto for topping Make your own or

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325F.
  2. To roast the tomatoes, cut out the core, then cut them in half & toss w/ salt, pepper, olive oil. Place flesh sides down/skin side up on a roasting rack and put in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Set aside to cool while prepping out the rest of your mise-en-place. Once cool, peel off the skin (it will come right off), & rough chop the tomatoes.
  3. Pre-heat a (preferably cast iron) pot over medium heat. Begin building the stew by rendering the lardons until the bacon is crispy, then remove the bacon & set aside (leaving the fat in the pot). Add the squash, onions, herb bouquet, & bay leaf, and sauté until the onions become translucent. Add the garlic, salt & pepper, and then cook another minute. Deglaze with white wine & reduce au sec. Next add the chicken stock & roasted tomatoes bring the stew to a simmer, and cover the pot. When the squash is fork tender, add the sweet potato greens (this will require some stirring until the greens have wilted). Once the greens have fully wilted, put the bacon lardons back into the pot, adjust the seasoning of the stew & serve!
  4. To serve, top with a generous portion of pesto.

Makes 10 cups.


1 bu basil (7-8 stems)
1-2 ea sprigs thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage
2 ea garlic cloves
⅛ c pecan slices or slivers, toasted
½ c olive oil
½ ea lemon - for juice
1 ½ oz parmesan
1 t kosher salt

  1. Pick all herbs & rough chop, mince garlic, & grate parmesan. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse until the mix reaches a “pesto” consistency - not over pureed, but not overly chunky.
  2. Makes about 1 cup.

Pumpkin/Autumn Squash Butter

3-4 lb African squash (bulbous ends & scrap pieces)
1 ½ t ground cinnamon
½ t ground allspice
¼ t ground nutmeg
¼ t ground ginger
⅓ c brown sugar
1 t salt
½ t ground cardamom
1 t vanilla extract
1 t lemon juice

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  2. To cook the squash, cut in half, scoop out the seeds, & place flesh-side down on an oiled pan. Bake until the flesh is soft and cooked through. Cool the squash until it is at a temperature that is easy to handle (but not cold!) and scrape the flesh from the skin with a spoon. Put all of the flesh, with some water if needed, into a blender and puree until silky smooth.
  3. Transfer the puree into a wide sauce pot, and over low heat, reduce the puree by at least ⅓. Once the puree has reached a spreadable butter consistency, add all the seasonings, adjust to your taste, and cool.
  4. Enjoy on a piece of toast with your favorite nut butter, with poached fruit, or use as a substitute for pumpkin pie filling for the holidays. (yes, it freezes well)

Served with Ginger Snap cookies crumbles