Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Butternut Squash Puree

I must admit, I am not a huge fan of winter squash. They are a bit too sweet and too creamy, like a dessert almost. I guess that is probably why most people like them. Boiled, roasted, or baked in their shell, they turn out soft and supple, like pudding. And they are a fixture on our Thanksgiving table each year. A tradition from my husband's side of the family, they are never to be disposed of...though I'll fess up that I have made that suggestion on occasion.

But tonight when I prepared them (they will reheat easily and get better if they sit a day or two in the fridge), they did taste pretty good. I don't know if I have improved on the recipe any, or if they are just growing on me.

I couldn't decide to roast or boil the squash, so I roasted one (cubed) and boiled the other. Then I pureed them in my food processor until smooth, added a bit of maple syrup, butter, salt and freshly grated nutmeg. After I reheat it, I will add a touch of cream, muting the vivid orange color only slightly and enriching the flavor a great deal.

Butternut Squash Puree
serves 8

2 small butternut squash (or one large), peeled and cut into one inch cubes
3 T butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg
1/2-1 t salt (to taste)
1/3 C maple syrup
1/4 C heavy cream

Boil (cover with water and boil for 15 minutes or until tender) or roast squash (to roast, heat oven to 425°, toss cubes with oil and salt and roast until tender 15-20 minutes). Puree in food processor, adding a bit of cooking water if necessary. Add butter, nutmeg, salt and maple syrup and whiz until smooth and combined. If making ahead, refrigerate for up to 3 days. After reheating stir in the cream, about 1/4 C. Taste for seasonings and serve.

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