Monday, September 29, 2014

10 fresh ways to use butternut squash

Everyone  loves butternut  squash  ... well most everyone . Here's an article that was  recently published  in my local  newspaper (Shreveport Times)  I  want to share with you .  I  will try  them all  with my own twist  and share  with you . I do so  hope  you find   some that you will like  .

Like zucchini , pumpkin , cucumber  and melon , butternut is a member of the  gourd family . You may not think of  butternut as a fruit , but if it  has seeds  ... guess what ?  It's  a fruit !
By  Alison Ladman
Now that summer's abundance of zucchini is over, autumn's overabundance of butternut squash is here. Time for some fresh ideas.

But before you  get cooking, let's talk prep. Butternut's thick skin and rock-hard flesh can make the peeling, seeding and chopping part of the meal a challenge. No wonder those bags of prepped squash chunks at the grocer are so popular. But they also are pricy, so let's talk tips for making the work a little easier.

Start by setting your squash on its side on the cutting board. Use a heavy chef's knife to slice off the top (stem end) and bottom (wider end). Slicing off the bottom reveals the seedy-stringy interior. It also gives you a flat base so you can stand your squash upright without it wobbling. Now use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin.

Once the squash is peeled, grab your melon baller. You don't have one? Get one. It doesn't need to be fancy, just sturdy. A melon baller with its sharp edges designed for scooping and scraping is the best tool for quickly and cleanly removing the seeds and strings.

Once the interior is scraped clean, return the squash to the cutting board on its side. Cut the squash in two crosswise, cutting just above the bulbous bottom. At this point, you have manageable chunks of squash with flat edges. And that means those chunks can be easily cut or chopped without wobbling.

10 fresh ways with butternut squash:
For simplicity, every recipe idea assumes you've peeled and seeded the squash.

1 .  Patties: Cut a squash into 2-inch pieces. Microwave until just tender. Allow to cool slightly, then arrange small mounds of cubes on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Use the bottom of a bowl or mug to gently smash each mound into a patty about ½ inch thick. Brush the top of each patty with olive oil, then season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Bake at 450 degrees until browned and crispy, flipping the patties after about 10 minutes.

2 .  Hummus: Boil 2 cups squash cubes in water until tender. Drain well, then combine in a food processor with ¼cup tahini, 2 cloves garlic, the zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, and salt and pepper, to taste. Process until smooth, then spoon into a bowl. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and chopped Peppadew peppers. Serve with pita chips.

3 .  Salad: Boil 2 cups squash cubes in water until just tender. Drain thoroughly and set aside to cool. Toss the cooled squash with ½ cup chopped cilantro, 1 cup cooked shelled edamame, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar and 1 cup chopped roasted red peppers. Season with salt and pepper, then top with shredded manchego cheese and toasted pine nuts.

4 .  Hash: Cut the squash into 2-inch chunks, then add to the food processor. Pulse until well chopped, but not pureed. Heat a splash of canola oil in a large skillet, then add the squash and an equal amount of chopped corned beef. Saute until the squash is browned and tender. Serve topped with poached or fried eggs.

5 .  Grilled: Slice the squash into ½-inch-thick slabs. Drizzle each slab with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill over medium heat until tender when pierced with a fork. If the squash browns too quickly, turn one side of the grill off and leave the other side on medium-high. Move the squash slices to the cooler side and continue cooking, with the grill covered, until tender.

6 .  Soup: Bring to a simmer 2 cups chicken broth, a 13½-ounce can of coconut milk, 3 cloves garlic and 3 cups cubed squash. Cook until very tender. Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt, a squeeze of lemon juice and a splash of hot sauce. Stir in cooked shredded chicken or cooked shrimp, if desired. Top with shredded fresh basil.

7.  Ganache: Boil 1 cup squash cubes in water until tender. Drain, then add to the food processor and puree until very smooth. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup heavy cream with 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg and ½ teaspoon ground dry ginger. When just hot, remove from the heat and stir in 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate bits. Stir in the squash puree until completely smooth. Serve warm over ice cream or toasted pound cake or gingerbread.

8.  Biscuits: Boil 1 cup squash cubes in water until tender. Drain and mash with a fork; you should have ½ cup of mashed squash. Cool and stir together with 2/3 cup buttermilk . Freeze 6 tablespoons butter until it's  very  cold  but not  rock  solid . Grate the  butter  with a cheese  grater into a bowl  with 2 cups self-rising  flour . Stir together with  folk . Add the squash  and stir  just until it  comes together . Scoop 1/4  cup at a time  onto an oiled  baking sheet  and bake at 425 degrees  for 19 to 12 minutes . 

9.  Roasted: Toss squash cubes in a bowl with melted butter, salt, pepper, and Italian or Cajun seasoning. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and roast at 425 degrees until tender and browned, stirring occasionally.

 10 .  Crab cakes: Drain a 16-ounce can lump crabmeat. Stir in 1 cup finely grated butternut squash, ¼ cup chopped fresh chives, 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning, 1 egg and ½ cup panko breadcrumbs. Form into 8 patties and cook in a skillet with vegetable oil until browned and cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes per side at medium-high.


  1. hi nee, we have the local pumpkin variety here. I love them and wld love to see what are you going to do with the butternut squash. Pumpkin ganache is new to me, so is pumpkin hummus!

    1. Hi Lena , Some are new to me , I do so love butternut squash and as I make the different kinds of dishes I will post them Thanks for stopping by :)

  2. Dear Nee, I do like butternut squash. My mom sometimes used to make them with the sweet potatoes, mashed. I like many of the versions you showed here. Have a beautiful day Nee. Blessings dear. Catherine

    1. Dear Catherine , I have had some of the dishes mention but not all , I will , they all sound so tasty . You also dear Catherine have a beautiful day and thanks for stopping by ;- D Nee

  3. Interesting read! I did not know squash is a fruit, so thank you--I just learned something new today. About all of the recipes sound good, esp. the biscuits. Thanks for the info!

    1. Hi Pam , this was a must share article . I also didn't know squash was a fruit ;-D . I definitely will be trying the recipes . Thanks for stopping by :)

  4. Good evening Nee,
    This is a great post. I have to save this one. The tips and ways to enjoy the butternut squash are a wonderful addition to my personal folder. I love the flavor and texture of this squash. Some of these ways to cook the squash sound delicious and a few of them I had never had the pleasure of making. You always have such informative info. Sometimes you can find fantastic articles in our local papers. Thank you for sharing this info...I think I will have to get a couple of these delicious veggies next time I shop. Have a blessed week..
    Dottie :)

    1. Good evening Dottie ,
      I found it very interesting and had to share it with everyone , squash is not only taste delicious it's also good for you (health wise) . Like you I have had a couple but not many . I am like Pam , I find the biscuits interesting .
      Alison Ladman always have good articles and I will be on the look out for more .
      Thanks for stopping by and have a blessed week ;- D ~~Nee~

  5. Thanks for this post Nee! I like the idea of hummus.. :)

    1. Hi Medeja , you are more than welcome , so many of them I had not heard of , but do so love butternut squash . Thanks for stopping by ;-D

  6. Hi Nee,

    We are cooking and baking pumpkin for LTU this month. Remember to link with us if you are baking or cooking recipes with pumpkin :D


  7. Hi Zoe ,

    Thanks for the invite , I will be more than happy to link with you . Thanks ; D


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