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Related Ingredients
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Tasting Notes

Say good-bye to bland butternut squash.

Michael brings out the maximum sweetness of winter squash by slow-roasting it with butter, salt and maple syrup. Mellow and gently seasoned, the butternut squash gets run through the blender to become a silky smooth purée.

Tips & Techniques

  1. Don’t water it down. If you roast butternut squash until it’s very soft and tender, it barely needs any liquid to blend into a rich and creamy purée. For the best flavor, don’t add any more water than absolutely necessary.
  2. Switch to soup. If you do blend vegetable or chicken stock to the purée, you could quickly and easily turn it into a rich, wintery soup.
  3. Save the seeds. Clean the pulp off the seeds, allow them to dry on paper towels and then roast them with grapeseed oil and salt for a tasty, crunchy snack.

Toolbox

These tools are the ones we find especially helpful when making this dish.

  1. Spoon. The only special equipment you’ll need is a spoon to scrape every bit of roasted squash out of its shell.

The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.

  • Large spoon
  • Medium-sized sheet pan lined with tin foil
  • Fork
  • Blender
  • Measuring cup
  • Large knife and cutting board
  • Small bowl
  • Medium bowl
  • Pastry brush


Ingredients
  • 4 lbs. butternut squash  (2 small or 1 large squash)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper

Serves: 4

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Active Time: 30 minutes

 

Method
  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut squash in half. Scoop out seeds and reserve if you would like to save to make roasted seeds. If not, discard seeds. Mix butter and maple syrup together in a small bowl. Brush or rub the cut sides of the squash with butter mixture. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  3. Place on sheet pan, cut side up, and roast in oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until flesh is easily pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and let cool.
  4. Using a large spoon, scoop out flesh and place into blender. Blend until completely smooth. Note: The roasted squash should be soft enough to purée on it’s own. But if you have to, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, blending in between, to achieve a smooth consistency.
  5. Re-season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve 1 cup of purée for the risotto and the rest for plating.

Here is a great way to turn this dish into a meal

Butternut squash soup with garlic croutons & avocado

To create a rich and flavorful soup, thin the purée with equal parts cream and stock. Toast a dense multigrain bread, spread with butter and rub garlic clove and cut into croutons, serve with soup and slices of avocado dusted with chili powder.

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