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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
These tools are the ones we find especially helpful when making this dish.
- 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
- Measuring cup
- Large knife and cutting board
- Small bowl
- Medium bowl
- Pastry brush
- 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
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
- Heat oven to 400°F.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Re-season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve 1 cup of purée for the risotto and the rest for plating.
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.