You’ve probably been seeing a lot of recipes for butternut squash lately, and for good reason. It’s rich, creamy and sweet, making it hard to believe that it’s healthy — a good source of fiber, low in fat, high in antioxidant-rich vitamin C kind of healthy.
Roasting is my cooking method of choice when it comes to butternut squash. Slicing the squash beforehand cuts out a big chunk of the roasting time. In a hot oven with just a touch of oil, salt and fresh herbs, the flesh softens and the edges caramelize in just a half hour. You can add it to any variety of dishes: toss it with quinoa, turn it into pasta or pair it with some stinky cheese. I love eating it just as it is out of the oven. I’ve even been known to use mashed leftovers to make the ultimate grilled cheese. Trust me on this.
Roasted Butternut Squash
Continue Reading Meatless Monday: Roasted Butternut Squash
Butternut squash soup shows up on restaurant specials menus from now through Thanksgiving, and rightly so: it is special. Butternut squash is in season right now, and when roasted, the flesh softens and the flavor deepens, making it ready to be pureed into creamy fall soup.
But while butternut squash soup is special, it’s not especially difficult to make at home. It takes a little bit of patience (you’ll have to wait about a half-hour for the squash to roast) but once the squash is cooked, you just need to simmer with some liquid, season and puree. If you have a hand blender, the process is even easier — a hand blender allows you to blend soup right in the pot — but if you don’t, you can use a regular blender. Be sure to puree the soup in batches; if you over-fill the blender you could end up with a mess. (Think soup volcano.)
Continue Reading Meatless Monday: Butternut Squash Soup
With the Chicago marathon just past, New York City coming up and Philadelphia around the corner, you might have noticed weekend runners – on their own or roving in packs – heading out with singular determination. Friends or family who’ve spent the last few months training for these events may have dropped out of your life altogether only to reappear weeks later – sporting odd glove-shaped shoes that give them monkey feet and raving about pacing, hill repeats, cadence and hydration. Not surprisingly, nutrition is also a major pre-occupation for runners because the more you ask of your body the more you expect from your food.
Continue Reading Power Food: Quinoa With Roasted Butternut Squash
Top your pasta with a little bit of butternut squash sauce, or a real lot.
Squashes I love, in order of preference: butternut squash, spaghetti squash, summer squash and acorn squash. No offense to acorn squash or anything, it just comes in last because I have a bad memory of one eaten in my childhood, drenched in maple syrup and studded with burned raisins (great job, grandma). But I do love it now, as long as it’s cooked properly, say, roasted.
But enough about that, since it came in last. My number-one favorite squash, butternut, is the star of every soup du jour from now through Thanksgiving. And while butternut squash soup is divine (especially when topped with goat cheese and apple chips), butternut squash isn’t just for soup. It can star in pasta, too.
Mark Bittman’s fall pasta sauce is made with tomatoes, but it certainly isn’t your average marinara. It’s thick and full of savory-sweet fall squash that clings to the pasta (use ziti with ridges for the most sauce-on-pasta magic). And since the squash doesn’t need to be roasted, it’s quick enough for an after-work Meatless Monday dinner.
Continue Reading Meatless Monday: Pasta with Winter Squash and Tomatoes