Now that we’ve sufficiently addressed my confounding attitude toward pumpkin, let’s move on to the winter squash for which I am certain of my fidelity. That would be the economical, practical, and most importantly flavorful, butternut squash. Like pumpkin, butternut squash is orange and in season during the cooler months, but as far as I’m concerned that’s where the similarities end. Without seasoning, butternut squash can seem pretty uninspiring, but don’t be fooled. It possesses a sweet, creamy richness that is only heightened by the addition of salt and sugar. Roasting butternut squash yields superb results as it allows the natural sugars in the fruit to caramelize.
Puréed roast butternut squash requires an additional step, but one that is worth the effort. You can swap this nourishing blend for pumpkin in quick breads, cakes and pies. Also, try adding the purée to savory pasta sauces. Or enjoy it as a sweet side dish with a little maple syrup, butter and salt.
- 1 butternut squash
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Lightly grease a large roasting pan.
- Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise.
- Using a melon baller or ice cream scoop, remove the seeds from each half.
- Place the two halves, cut side up in the prepared roasting pan and roast for 35 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and cover with foil.
- Return the butternut squash to the oven and continue cooking for about another 35-45 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender.
- Allow the squash to cool for about 7-10 minutes.
- Pour any liquid that has formed in the wells of the squash into a blender or food processor.
- Then peel back the skin and chop the cooked squash into large chunks.
- Combine with the liquid already in the blender/food processor and process until smooth and creamy.