No, not another pumpkin recipe. We shared some good ones with you last fall. Instead, we branched out to other gourds. Do you have the guts to pick up a whole butternut squash at the grocery store and turn it into something awesome?
Last year, we got a pre-cut squash and made squash-apple soup, and that gave us the confidence to chop up the whole squash. And wow, that was one tough rind! But once we got through it, the real fun began.
Cube about two cups of butternut squash. Add it to a pot heated to medium, with a few drops of cooking oil. Add in a diced onion, a diced clove or two of garlic, a chopped hot pepper (to taste) and salt. Once all of the ingredients are soft, carefully transfer to a blender, allow to cool slightly, and puree. Wasn’t that easy? It’s tasty and healthy, too!
To avoid cutting through the rind more than once, slice it in half length wise, remove the seeds and roast it whole. Place the flesh side down on a baking sheet, and add up to 1 cup of water to prevent the gourd from drying out. Use parchment to make for easy clean-up. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 – 75 minutes, or until tender. The squash will be slightly browned and caramelized, ready to use for soup or a creamy side dish. (More detailed instructions can be found here.)
Rich, creamy, near-velvety butternut squash offers a sweet flavor while providing Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Look for a butternut squash with a thick, firm rind that feels heavy for its size. Winter squash tend to store well, and chunks or purees can be easily frozen for later use.
What’s your favorite autumn gourd?