Friday, September 3, 2010

Butternut Squash Purée

Oh. My. Heaven. Butternut squash purée. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways: you are rich, delicious, sweet, filling, and so good for me. You're good for my heart and my soul! A little overdramatic maybe, but wow! This was so good! Lots of exclamation points here! I feel so healthy eating this (and that's me forgetting about the butter and maple syrup) and it was easy to make. I might even make this every week or make large batches of it to freeze. There are a lot of recipes that would benefit from the addition of this purée, like macaroni and cheese, for example. A little butternut squash purée would make mac feel a little less sinful. It's that powerful. This will be a new staple at family gatherings during the holidays too. Go make this! Now! Go!

Butternut Squash Purée
*From the Pioneer Woman (I LOVE YOU!)

1 whole butternut squash
1/2 stick butter
2-4 tablespoons real maple syrup (not the yucky pancake kind)
Dash salt
Cinnamon or nutmeg (optional, but so good!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the squash in half. Or attempt to slice it in half, like I did.

Scrape out the seeds and membranes with a spoon. Think pumpkin carving, people.

Place both halves (or not so halved . . . ) pieces of squash cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet. See what happens when you roast a bunch of tomatoes on a baking sheet:

Add 1-2 cups of water to the pan. I used two because it was a big pan and it's important to have enough water so the squash doesn't dry out. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until squash is fork tender.

Cut half a stick of butter into pieces and throw it in a mixing bowl.

With a spoon, scrape the flesh of squash from the skin and place it in the bowl on top of the butter. Try to get it all; it gets easier as you go.

Add 2-4 tablespoons of real maple syrup (I used 4).

Mash with a potato masher until the large chunks are gone. Add a dash of salt for balance-just a dash; you don't want to overdo it!

Place the mixture into a food processor or blender and purée away!

Serve warm with cinnamon or nutmeg and enjoy!

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