Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash

Squashes of all types, Cucurbitaceae,  are arriving at supermarkets now and should be enjoyed without a moment to lose.  I'm always looking out for beautiful butternut squashes to roast and serve to my family throughout fall and winter.  There's something about roasting these Cucurbita muschata around this time of year that makes my home seem a little bit cozier & nicer.  A good source of Vitamin A, E, C, and fiber, butternut squashes are not only nutritionally beneficial for you, they're also very tasty.  Apart from that, roasting this squash is the easiest thing in the world.  Let me show you what I do in my kitchen. 



Preheat your oven to 425°F.  Cut your butternut squash in half, lengthwise, with a very sharp chef's knife (be careful!) & scoop out the seeds. 

Note: I'm roasting squashes that weigh between 2 to 3 lbs. 


Place the squash cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet & roast for approximately 45 minutes, or until the halves can be pierced with a knife all the way through. 



As soon as the they're cool enough to handle (after about 20 minutes or so), remove the skins with a spoon to expose the flesh.  You can also turn them over & scoop out the flesh. 

Note: At this point, they're wonderful to have as a side dish if left in big chunks.  Simply dot with a little bit of butter, and salt & pepper to taste.  Delicious.


Place the peeled squash in the bowl of your food processor & purée until smooth.  You may have to pulse this several times & scrape down your bowl. 


Butternut Squash Purée 


At this point, I let the purée cool completely & then freeze it in 1 cup portions for later use.  This is the type of purée I reach for if I'm making a pumpkin pie or my delicious pumpkin bread.  It's also perfect for my Butternut Squash Soup.  You can, of course, serve this purée to your baby or toddler as is, or as a side (dot with butter) at dinner time.    

 



As soon as you spot butternut squashes or any other type of Cucurbitaceae at your local supermarket, buy a few of them.  Roast the squashes in the oven and either serve as is, or create something else with their delicious flesh.  It doesn't take much to coax the full flavor of butternut squash, but if you want to enhance this vegetable you can try a few fresh herbs.  Sage & thyme are naturals, but should be added sparingly to your dish.  I also like rosemary and flat leaf parsley with my butternut squash; let your taste buds guide your preferences.  Do I need to tell you that cream & butter are exquisite with butternut squash?  Whatever you decide to add to this vegetable, remember these words: make it your own & enjoy! 

4 comments:

  1. I like that you freeze the pureed squash. Do you put it in containers, bags or something else? TIA. The puree looks good!

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  2. I like to freeze the puree in reclosable freezer bags. I put 1 cup portions in the bags, squeeze out as much air as possible (to reduce freezer burn), and place them in the freezer. Don't forget to label with dates. I use the puree within a few months. Happy Roasting!

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  3. We have been growing butternut squash this year so your timing is great David! I have never made the purée but made soup the other day. Thanks for the tips. Ina Garten had a great recipe for a warm squash salad which looked really good.,

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  4. I want to see your squash straight from the garden! Ina always has really good recipes, so I may have to look that salad up and try it. Thanks Pru!

    ~David

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