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Posts Tagged ‘butternut squash’

If there’s a butternut squash in our CSA box, can autumn be far behind?

This winter squash is known in Australia and New Zealand as butternut pumpkin. It has a sweet, nutty taste similar to that of a pumpkin, with yellow skin and orange fleshy pulp. When ripe, it turns increasingly deep orange, and becomes sweeter and richer. This hardy squash can be kept for up to three months in a cool, dry place. Do not refrigerate.

When I saw that butternut squash, I instantly thought of a recipe I got several years ago at a Weight Watchers meeting. I’ve made it many, many times since then. The tender squash, sweet apples and crunchy nuts all come together in a delightful way! I think you’ll like it, too.

Since I only had one squash in the box, I halved the recipe.

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The cast!

WHAT YOU NEED:

2 medium sized butternut squash

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cubed

¼ cup butter, melted

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup pecans, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

WHAT YOU DO:

Preheat oven to 350*.

Prep the squash: Wash and cut in half lengthways; be careful with that sharp knife and a wobbly butternut squash! Remove seeds.

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Halve and de-seed.

Place squash halves face down in a glass dish, add a few tablespoons of water, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high for 6-8 minutes.

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Just minutes in a microwave!

This smallish squash was tender in 6 minutes. Allow to cool before removing peel and chopping into chunks.

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Chunks of tender butternut squash!

You could also prep in the same manner but cook uncovered in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, using about ¾ inch of water in the bottom of the pan.

Core, peel and chop apple. I used a Gala apple since that’s what I had on hand. I placed the apple pieces in a bowl of lemon water to prevent browning while I prepped the other ingredients.

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Core, peel, and chop apple.

I chopped the pecans rather finely since there aren’t very many of them and I wanted them to be evenly divided within the squash mixture. I also toasted them in the microwave on high at 30 second bursts. I did this twice, allowing them to cool between sessions.

Combine apple pieces, toasted pecans, cinnamon and brown sugar in a bowl. I poured the melted butter over the apples first so the other ingredients would stick to the apples.

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Here’s the flavor!

Add to the dish of chopped squash and toss lightly to coat squash pieces. Spread evenly in dish.

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Apple nut mixture joins the squash!

Bake for 30 minutes or until casserole is warm and bubbly.

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Oh my!

VARIATIONS: use coconut oil rather than butter; honey rather than brown sugar; add ½ tsp. each of cinnamon and nutmeg. I chose to add the cinnamon which I’ve never done before. I’m pretty sure I’ll love this addition! I’m also thinking this dish will make an appearance on my Thanksgiving table this year!

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This was one of the first recipes I tried when venturing into winter squashes. I was a little doubtful at first, but this recipe has quickly made butternut squash one of my favorite fall foods. Both butternut squash and acorn squash have a rich savory flavor, and either squash will work well with this recipe.

This recipe takes a little time to cook, but doesn’t take much prep work since you get to skip peeling the skin. Easy and yummy, this one is a keeper. You can serve this as a main dish, cut into 4-6 large servings, or smaller servings on the side of your roast chicken.

Ingredients

  • 1 Butternut Squash (or 2 acorn squash)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 leeks (or 1 leek and 1 onion)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or almonds
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

 Directions

Cut Squash

Cut the squash in half, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut a long shallow trough in the squash to hold the filling. (You won’t need to cut a trough if you’re using acorn squash. They make nice little bowls.) Save the pieces of squash that you cut out. Put the squash face down in pan at 350 degrees for 45 minutes with 1/4-1/2 cup water

in the pan

Meanwhile, chop the squash into small pieces. Cut the tops and bottom off the leeks, and chop. (Save the leek tops for soups!) Then, mix the squash and leeks with walnuts or almonds, maple syrup, melted butter, and cinnamon and salt.

 

Mix

After 45 minutes, take the squash out of the oven and turn it over. Salt the inside and fill the trough with the filling. Bake for another 20 minutes, and it’s all done! The flesh of the squash should be tender all the way through, and the skins will look a little wrinkly.

Done!

Serve it hot! If you have leftovers, scoop the squash out of the skins with the topping and store in a glass dish to reheat later.

 

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