Cooking with Sarah

Black Futsu Squash with blue cheese cream, fresh basil and watercress topped with toasted maple hazelnuts

Talented and diverse Vancouver Chef Sarah Kashani not only caters private events and intimate dining experiences, but has also created a signature line of vegan charcuterie dips and spreads that are full of flavour and delicious with crackers or veggies. She created this delicious, super seasonal Black Futsu Squash with blue cheese cream, fresh basil and watercress topped with toasted maple hazelnuts with produce picked up at our Riley Park Winter Farmers Market.

In words of Sarah – “As a private chef and local maker at the farmers market, it is such a privilege to be surrounded by the local growers and producers each week. Seasonal changes bring amazing variety and delicious inspirations for all who walk along the path of local vendors and farmers alike. For my own fall/ winter menu I have picked up some ingredients from my favourite stalls. This seasonal dish is a mixture of purchased and household ingredients. I absolutely love the fresh produce that The Local Farm has each week. My favourite thing to do is buy fresh herbs and greens that pack an awesome punch to my menus. The Farm House Cheese Truck has a variety of beautiful cheeses that are made right in Agassiz, B.C.  Langley Organic Growers offer a wide range of seasonal squashes perfect for a hearty side dish or main event. Another terrific vendor I love to use for my Private Events menu is the Hazelnut Growers Collective. Hazelnuts are harvested this time of year and are absolutely delicious! They are wonderful toasted dry, or in butter and add nutritional value and a lovely texture to holiday dishes.”


Cooking with Sarah Kashani

For this recipe Sarah worked with:

  • 1 Black Futsu Squash (small)( Langley Organic Growers)
  • Hazelnut (peeled, husk on ,raw) 1/4 cup (The Hazelnut Collective)
  • Whole cream 1 cup (warm) or sauce will break
  • Unsalted Butter 3 tbsp
  • Shallots  2 peeled and halved
  • Garlic 2 whole cloves smashed
  • Cognac  1/4 cup
  • All purpose Flour  2 tbsp
  • Dark Maple Syrup 3 tbsp
  • (Strong) Blue Cheese 50gr (Country Blue Farm House)
  • Grapefruit 1/4 sliced
  • Orange 1/4 sliced
  • Tasting Olive oil 1 tsp and to drizzle
  • Extra virgin olive oil (to roast)
  • Parmesan to shave
  • Watercress 1 bunch (The Local Farm)
  • Basil 2 leaves shredded ( The Local Farm)
  • Amaranth (The Local Farm) to garnish
  • Salt to season
  • Black Pepper to season


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Start by cutting your squash (skin on) in cubes or halved and remove pith and seeds
  3. Toss your Squash in extra virgin olive oil and place on baking tray lined with parchment
  4. Roast for 40 min or to desired texture. 
  5. In pan place 1 tbsp of butter and hazelnuts and let warm and gently toast on med high heat
  6. Once aromatic and slightly brown add maple syrup and let reduce 
  7. Once the liquid dissipates turn off burner and let nut caramelize with the sugars left in pan
  8. Season nuts with sea salt to taste
  9. Let cool
  10. In another pan melt 2 tbsp of butter in pan on med high heat and sweat off shallot halves and whole garlic cloves until soft
  11. Add cognac and allow to cook off most of it moisture in pan
  12. Remove Garlic and shallots and put to the side or plating
  13. Add flour and stir until mixture is a nutty pale yellow and then whisk in warm cream slowly allowing it to combine together with butter and flour mixture
  14. Add blue cheese and let melt while whisking, add salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat. Do not let boil or over cook, as it will break
  15. In a bowl mix watercress , squeeze 1/4 of a grapefruit and 1/4 of and orange and drizzle some tasting olive oil and season lightly
  16. Once squash is done, plate by layering Squash with watercress and top with some ( your preference on how much) blue cheese cream, shallots petals, toasted hazelnuts, basil and amaranth. Foraged edible flowers are lovely as well!!
  17. Add a little freshly shaved parmesan and drizzle a wee bit of tasting olive oil, and done!

We think the dish looks just amazing! Why don’t you try it for yourself and share your cooking stories with us on Instagram