Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hyperfocused on Butternut Squash

Ed is such a good sport. I plan most of our meals and he never complains about what I fix. This week I may have pushed him over the edge. You see, I've been hyperfocused on butternut squash. It's about the only thing coming out of my garden these days.

This weekend, we've had butternut squash soup, caramelized butternut squash wedges with sage hazelnut pesto (twice), roasted squash seeds,  and butternut squash pie.

I can't give you an exact recipe for the soup as I made it up as I went along. It went something like this: peel, cube and then roast butternut squash. Saute 1 diced onion, 2 diced garlic cloves, a handful of fresh sage. Add two bay leaves, one cinnamon stick, and one can of lite coconut milk; then add the roasted squash and a bit of vegetable broth. Cook until vegetables are soft. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves and then puree with an imersion blender. Add salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Serve with a dollop of yogurt and some roasted squash seeds. Made this way, it is vegetarian; and if you leave off the yogurt, it is vegan. 

Here is the recipe for the butternut squash pie. It is adapted slightly from this one on Food52. Best of all (for me), it is gluten free! Good enough to be a contender for our Thanksgiving table. 


Buttermilk Squash Pie

  • 2 pounds (1 kilogram) butternut squash (one fairly large one)
  • 1 pint (500 milliliters) coconut milk
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) light brown sugar (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) melted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) almond meal (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • handfuls sliced almonds
  • powdered sugar, for decoration

Peel the squash (with a vegetable peeler) and remove the seeds. Chop into inch-sized cubes. Place in a saucepan with the coconut milk. Simmer about 25 to 30 minutes or until soft. Drain and leave squash in a colander or sieve to drain/evaporate as much as possible until cool Then transfer to a bowl and mash or purée the squash.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs together with sugar, butter, almond meal, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and pinch of salt. Stir through the cooled squash to combine well.

Pour the mixture into a greased 9-inch (23 centimeter) pie dish. Smooth over the top to sprinkle with the sliced almonds.

Bake at 350º F for 45 minutes or until golden on top and set. The sides will shrink away slightly. When cool, dust generously with powdered sugar and serve.    


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