Power-Packed Butternut Squash with Walnuts & Maple Syrup


     Remember learning that dark green and dark orange vegetables are a great source of vitamin A? The darker the color, the better.   Certainly butternut squash’s bright orange color indicates it is packed with nutrition, and  it is also packed full of flavor.
     Normally we peel and dice butternut squash, toss it with salt, pepper and olive oil, then roast it in the oven. Although we love it this way, it is relatively time consuming to prepare.
     Looking for an easier prep method, I simply split the squash in half, leaving the skin on, and baked the halves until tender. Then, I scooped out the insides and proceeded with the recipe included below.
    Although I put the mashed squash back in the shell to reheat, the mixture could very well go directly on the plate. This time I added a hint of sweetness but plan to try adding herbs and maybe even a scoopful of sour cream the next time.

Mashed Butternut Squash with Walnuts & Maple Syrup
1 butternut squash (we used a small one that yielded 1 cup mashed; consequently the remaining ingredient measures are based on that 1 cup yield so adjust your ingredients accordingly and taste as you go)
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 to 4 tablespoons chopped walnuts

1.     Heat oven to 450° with the rack in center.
2.     Halve squash lengthwise, and remove seeds and fibers.
I used a grapefruit spoon to scrape out the seeds and fiber.
3.     Sprinkle squash halves with salt and pepper.
4.     Fill a baking dish with about ¼” water. Place squash in pan, cut side up.
Squash have been seasoned and placed in a baking dish with water.
5.     Cover baking dish with aluminum foil, and bake until squash is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 35 to 45 minutes.
6.     Remove from oven, transfer squash to a cool surface, and let cool enough to handle.
7.     Use a spoon to scoop baked flesh out of each half into a bowl; leave about a ¼” border around the halves if you plan to refill and rebake the squash).
8.     To the bowl of squash, add the butter and syrup; mix and mash until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
9.     At this point the squash could be plated and served, Or, add it back to the shell and bake until heated through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Or, reheat in the microwave. Add the chopped nuts to the plated squash mash before serving, or place on top of the twice-baked squash before they go back into the oven.
The mashed squash is ready to add back to the shells. I have placed the shells back in the same baking dish, minus the water. I choose to microwave the squash for a quick reheat right before our meal.
Recipe without photos . . .
Mashed Butternut Squash with Walnuts & Maple Syrup
1 butternut squash (we used a small one that yielded 1 cup mashed; consequently the remaining ingredient measures are based on that 1 cup yield so adjust your ingredients accordingly and taste as you go)
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 to 4 tablespoons chopped walnuts

1.     Heat oven to 450° with the rack in center.
2.     Halve squash lengthwise, and remove seeds and fibers.
3.     Sprinkle squash halves with salt and pepper.
4.     Fill a baking dish with about ¼” water. Place squash in pan, cut side up.
5.     Cover baking dish with aluminum foil, and bake until squash is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 35 to 45 minutes.
6.     Remove from oven, transfer squash to a cool surface, and let cool enough to handle.
7.     Use a spoon to scoop baked flesh out of each half into a bowl; leave about a ¼” border around the halves if you plan to refill and rebake the squash).
8.     To the bowl of squash, add the butter and syrup; mix and mash until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
9.     At this point the squash could be plated and served, Or, add it back to the shell and bake until heated through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Or, reheat in the microwave. Add the chopped nuts to the plated squash mash before serving, or place on top of the twice-baked squash before they go back into the oven.

1 comment:

  1. queenie's kitchenSeptember 22, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    I wonder...could you cook this type pie like pumpkin?

    ReplyDelete