What to do with a Giant Butternut Squash…

So, we made that lovely winter squash and white bean soup last week.  And since then, I’ve had a giant butternut squash inhabiting the vegetable compartment of my refrigerator.  It’s a little intimidating, actually, opening up your fridge and facing that much root vegetable.  What to do with it?  I’ve never really cooked winter squash, and I was at a loss.

What do Chris and I do in situations like this?  We turn to our good friend, Mark Bittman, and his book How to Cook Everything.  While his isn’t necessarily the book I go to for recipes, it’s been the most valuable book for general “how in the world do I deal with ______?” questions.  How to get the flesh from a mango.  How to clean and chop leeks.  How long to cook corn on the cob.  And now, how to prepare a giant hunk of butternut squash.

His suggestion?  Purée.  And so, we did.  Served with some herbed, oven-roasted chicken and Alton’s stuffing (but that’s another show…), this squash was wonderful.  It was rich and silky-smooth, and complemented the meal perfectly.  And, best of all, because it was getting all mashed up, I didn’t need to worry about making perfect little cubes!  Mark Bittman offers a number of different suggestions on herbs, spices, and seasonings, but here’s what I did.  It was quite tasty!

Puréed Butternut Squash

1 1/2 pounds (about half of a large squash), peeled and cut into chunks
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp sage
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp salt

1. Place the squash in a steamer above about 1 inch of water.  Cover and cook until the squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.  (Bittman suggests if microwaving, to place the squash and 2 Tbsp of water in a microwave-proof plate of shallow bowl and cover with a lid or plastic wrap.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes, shake the container, and continue to microwave at 2-minute intervals, until the squash is very tender.)

2. While it is still hot, place the squash in the container of a food processor with the butter, maple syrup, sage, and parsley; process until smooth.  Taste and adjust salt as necessary.


One response

  1. You make me laugh. =)
    ….and yet, another good recipe. Good for you both, ….and the vegetable compartment!
    That Bittman knows his stuff too! =)

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