Paul Ward contributes another slightly non-traditional side for our Thanksgiving feast, something I can really get behind -- butternut squash. He writes:
"My wife and I have served some type of sweet potato dish at Thanksgiving, from my bourbon-sweet potato pie to her sweet potato casserole (no marshmallows!). After alternating dishes, we’re going in a different direction this year. We have a vegetable garden and one pleasant surprise this year is our butternut squash. In keeping with the Thanksgiving theme of giving thanks for the harvest, we’re going to serve some of our home-grown squash."
A how-to on roasting butternut squash, from planting to harvest to oven, on the jump.
Paul's how-to on butternut squash:
What is this little orb?
Now it's taking shape.
Full grown, green color has changed to pale yellow-brown.
This is all from one plant. I got a butternut squash at the store last winter and made soup. It was good. I washed and dried the seeds and set them aside until this spring. I planted a few and transplanted one plant to the garden. The vine grew over 20' and as you can see, was quite productive.
Cut stem end off.
Cut in half from top to bottom. Be careful, the skin can be tough.
Scoop seeds and pulp from cavity.
Place cut side down in oiled baking pan. You can add a little water if you want. Bake for 1 hour at 350 or 375 degrees. Check tenderness by sticking tip of knife in squash neck.
This is how it looks after one hour. The flesh should be tender. Let cool a little.
Scoop flesh from skin and mash or place in food processor and puree. Add butter, salt and pepper, fresh nutmeg and maple syrup or molasses.
I saw another recipe where you score the flesh and brush w/ a mixture of melted butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Roast cut-side-up at 400 degrees for about 50 minutes. When tender and cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh and mash/puree. Serve as a side dish, as we will at Thanksgiving.