Pureed Butternut Squash

Winter squash is a staple for us once the weather turns cold and the fresh local vegetables are no longer available. When I have time, and forethought, this is my preferred method of preparing it.

Pureed Butternut Squash
Servings: 6-8
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes (plus drain time, see below)

Ingredients:

  • 3.5 # pounds butternut squash, split in half lengthwise, seeded
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment.
  2. Rub the cut side of the butter squash, including the hollow created when removing the seeds, with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Place cut side down on the baking pan.
  3. Cover tightly with foil and bake until a paring knife slides easily into the thickest part of the squash, 30-40 minutes.
  4. Remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool until you are comfortable holding it.
  5. Once the squash is cool enough to touch remove the skin (or scoop the squash from the skin) and place the squash into the bowl of a food processor. Run the food processor until the squash is smooth.
  6. Transfer to a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl and allow whatever liquid that can escape to do so for as long as you can let it. Discard the liquid and reheat the squash double boiler style. Season as desired.

Notes:
Letting the excess liquid drain from the pureed squash leaves behind a more intensely flavored product.

If serving as a standalone side dish may I suggest melting 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Add 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh sage, stir until aromatic and then add to the squash. Mix to combine and serve.

Squash prepared in this manner can be kept up to 2 days in the refrigerator before using. If you want to save it for longer I recommend freezing it in a screw-top plastic container or zipper style plastic bag.

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