May 16, 2012

Velvety Butternut Squash

(When I first entered the title I accidently typed "buttnut squash".  Hahahaha! I am a twelve year old boy.)

About a month ago I purchased a new cookbook called "Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat" by Melissa Joulwan. Now I read it every day. And I refer to it when I'm making my grocery list. It's like my bible. I love this book so much. It's more than just a cookbook though, there are also little background stories about how she came up with the recipes, why certain ingredients go together, and ways that you can alter the recipe and still end up with a tasty dish.

One of the recipes I tried recently is Velvety Butternut Squash. If you like pumpkin pie you will love this recipe. I myself was not a fan of squash, but this one has won me over.

Here are the ingredients as listed by Melissa:

2 1/2 pounds butternut squash
2 tablespoons water
1 head fresh garlic, or 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Ras el Hanout seasoning (see below)
1 large egg
1/4 cup pecan halves, chopped (reserve a few whole for garnish)

Ras El Hanout

2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons powdered ginger
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

One of the great things about these recipes is that you can substitute for whatever you have in the cupboard. I didn't have any Ras el Hanout made up so I just added whatever was close.

Here is what you do:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and place the two halves face down on a cookie sheet. I also added some garlic seasoning just for fun.

Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until the flesh is soft. If you are using fresh garlic, remove the outside papery layer of the garlic, wrap the head in aluminum foil and place it in the oven along with the squash.

Once the squash is tender, remove it and the garlic from the oven and let them cool. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees.

When the squash is cool, scoop the flesh into your food processor or blender (we have a Ninja - I must tell you about it later). Squeeze the roasted garlic pulp (or your minced garlic) into the blender with the squash. Blend the two until you have a smooth puree.

Add the coconut oil, coconut milk, salt, and Ras el Hanout. Blend again and then taste. Adjust the seasonings to suit.

Beat an egg in a small bowl. Transfer the squash puree into a mixing bowl and add the egg, stirring until they are smooth.

Grease the inside of a casserole dish with a little coconut oil and pour in the puree. Garnish the top with some chopped pecans (I used macadamia nuts) and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the edges are bubbly and the top is lightly golden brown.

Next time I think I'm going to leave out the nutmeg and cinnamon and add more garlic and pepper to make it a little more spicy and a little less like pumpkin pie.

Do you have a squash recipe that you love?  
Let me know what it is - I'm always looking for something new.


I'm linking up to these parties this week!


Jamie said...

I discovered butternut squash while making baby food and I love it! Thanks for the recipe!

Alyssa A said...

This looks good, what a great way to use squash! Thanks for sharing at Showcase Your Talent Thursday. I hope to see you at the next party!

BarbSteadman said...

Thank you!

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