Glorious Butternut Squash - 2 Ways

I love, love, LOVE butternut squash. love. Have I been vague? I love everything about it: price, color, nutrition, taste, consistency; it is a perfect food for me. I think you get it! Ok, so for dinner last night, I ate an entire beautiful winter squash by myself. 'While the cat's away, the mice will play' is sometimes how I feel in my kitchen. If my dearest husband isn't going to be present for a meal, I can get carried away with experimentation. :) In this case, it was to my advantage! I had quite a ball playing with ideas for this fantastic food item, which helps me keep my mind off the fact that my hunny isn't there to eat with me.

Roasted Butternut Squash - version #1: so easy and delicious

1 butternut squash
2 tsp olive oil (more depending on size of squash. I used a fairly small one)

Preheat your oven to 350-400 degrees. Cut top and bottom off the squash, then peel the skin off with a potato peeler (or paring knife if you trust yourself with that type of thing) until it is peeled all the way around. You want to really make sure you are at the flesh part, sometimes you have to make two rounds with the potato peeler. Then cut it in half length-wise and scoop out all the pulp and seeds. Once you have scraped all that out, cut into 1-inch cubes, trying to keep them all roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
Put all your cubes on a baking sheet (lined with foil for easy clean-up in my case) and drizzle with 2 tsp olive oil and a dash of salt/pepper. You could definitely play around with the spices used here, but I kept the flavor simple last night to focus on what the squash brings by itself. Toss the squash with tongs to make sure everything is lightly coated. Then bake in 350-400 degree oven for about 40-50 minutes, checking every 15 min or so to toss them around. The squash is done when it is tender and soft, usually slightly browned on a few edges.

Now, for Roasted Butternut Squash - version #2:

1 butternut squash
1 c. water
1/2 - 1 Tbsp butter (more or less depending on size of squash...this time, I used a medium size)
1/2 - 1 Tbsp maple syrup (REAL stuff, not pancake junk)

Preheat the oven to 350-400 degrees. Cut the squash length-wise and scoop out seeds/pulp (do not peel skin off this time!) Place face down on a baking sheet and add 1 c. water to the pan (that is basically just so it helps steam/tenderize the squash flesh). Bake for 40 min-1 hr until tender, usually the skin is cracked and beginning to brown. The scoop out all of the squash into a food processor (or blender) and add the butter & maple syrup. Whir away until the consistency is like velvet. It will already be mushy/puree-like when you take it out of its skin from roasting, but the processor/blender make it into magic so I really encourage this step. Pour into a bowl and enjoy (believe me, the enjoying part will be easy!)

Now, I loved both. A lot. And depending on the consumer, occasion, other menu items, etc, both cooking methods have their place. BUT, if I absolutely had to pick my favorite, it would be version #1.
I cannot wait to make both versions all fall/winter long. Also, I think version #2 would be great to use in all types of recipes as a puree....breads, muffins, mac n'cheese, pie, souffle, gosh, anything really!

Now, I did take a few pictures, but it was dark so the lighting was terrible and our blasted camera is just plain old poor quality. So! I have borrowed a few pics of exactly what it looked like so you could get an idea...

Version #1:
found at kalynskitchen.blogspot.com

Version #2
found at seattlefoodgeek.com


Sarah said...

I haven't tried butternut squash since I turned my nose up at it as a child. I wonder if I would like it now? I'll remember your recipes if I ever get up the nerve to try one!

The Shillings said...

Do try! I'd go with version #1 - it is so tasty (I guess I am bias though because I've never had to grow into loving it)...let me know what you think if you ever work up the nerve! :) I won't be offended even if it hasn't grown on you after transition to adulthood...

Tif Evans said...

Yum! Can you believe I've never even tried squash? But it's looks really tasty in your pictures, so I'm open to it!

Josh 'n Katie said...

after your raving recommendations, I may give this a shot.

also, next time hubby is away, let's get together to chat :)

Anonymous said...

YUM! I love squash! I made a squash lasagna once which was good, but quite a bit worse for you with all the cheese & pesto sauce everywhere. I like you trying & posting all these yummy recipies for us! Can't wait to see you! xoxo tiff