Butternut Squash Recipes
Once I'm through peeling and sawing my way through butternut squash, I want to make something magnificent with it. Something so fabulous that all the hand cramping feels justified and celebrated. Recipes like butternut squash pie, butternut squash-mascarpone ravioli and butternut squash and saffron soup do just that, making the payoff well worth the prep time.
Butternut Squash and Saffron Soup
Courtesy of Einat Admony, chef/owner of Balaboosta in New York City
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 large leek, white part only, finely chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 5 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks
- 5 large carrots, peeled and cut into ¼ inch chunks
- 5 celery ribs, cut into ¼ pieces
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper
- 10 cups water
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- Pinch of saffron threads
- Greek yogurt
- Za'atar seasoning
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Don't be afraid to let the edges turn a deep brown color, because this will give the soup an even better flavor. Add the leek and garlic and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the butternut squash, carrots and celery. Place a lid on the pot and allow the vegetables to cook for 20 minutes.
Add the sugar, salt, pepper, water, thyme, rosemary and saffron. Stir to combine all the seasonings and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are so soft you can press down on them with a spoon, about 30 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and allow the soup to cool for 10 minutes. Puree the soup directly in the pot using an immersion blender. If you don't have one of these, allow your soup to cool completely, then puree in small batches in a blender.
Taste and adjust the seasoning, then transfer the soup to another pot and reheat slowly before serving. Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls and add a dollop of Greek yogurt on top, plus a generous sprinkling of za'atar.
Butternut Squash Pie
Courtesy of Graham Elliot, chef/restaurateur of Graham Elliot, Chicago, Illinois
Yields 1 pie
- 2 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
- 1 cup packed golden brown sugar
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 large egg white, beaten to blend
Put cubed squash into a steamer basket and place steamer basket into a large pot of simmering water that is no closer than 2 inches from the bottom of the basket. Allow to steam for 35 minutes or until the squash is fork tender. Mash with potato masher and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place butternut squash in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment. Add cream, brown sugar, vanilla, spices, eggs and salt to taste and beat until well combined.
Brush crust with beaten egg white. Transfer filling to pan. Sprinkle pecans on top and drizzle with maple syrup. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the custard reaches 165-180 degrees. Remove from oven and cool. Keep refrigerated after cooling.
Cinnamon Spiced Pecans
- 3 cups pecans, raw
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch cayenne
- Salt to taste
Whisk egg whites then gently toss pecans and strain off any excess whites. Toss the pecans with sugar, a pinch of cayenne and salt. Place mixture on a parchment-lined sheet tray. Bake at 300 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool.
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 teaspoons chilled solid vegetables shortening, cut into small pieces
- 3 tablespoons ice water
- ½ cup crushed cinnamon spiced pecans
Mix flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Using the pulse button, slowly add butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of ice water over mixture. Process until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dry.
Form dough into a ball then flatten into a disk and coat with chopped spiced pecans. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
Roll out dough on floured surface to 14-inch round. Transfer to a 9-inch diameter glass pie dish. Fold overhand under edge of pie dish and crimp edges decoratively. (Crust can be made 2 days ahead). Cover and chill.
Butternut Squash-Mascarpone Ravioli
From The Founding Farmers Cookbook: 100 Recipes for True Food & Drink from the Restaurant Owned by American Family Farmers
Makes 1 pound
- 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 12 large egg yolks
- 1 whole large egg
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 butternut squash, 2 pounds
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese
- ½ cup grated Fontina cheese
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground or grated nutmeg
- About ¼ cup all-purpose four
- ¼ cup cornmeal
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup julienned fresh sage
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
To make the dough, place the flour in the bowl of the stand mixer. With the dough hook attachment, slowly lower the hook into the flour while on the lowest speed. While mixing, slowly add the wet ingredients a little at a time until incorporated, about 7 minutes. Remove the dough from the mixer, dust it lightly with flour and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
To make the filling, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, discard the seeds and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast, cut side down, on a baking sheet for 30 to 35 minutes, until tender when pierced with a paring knife, but not overly soft. Remove from the oven and let cool. When cool, peel and discard the outer skin, cut the squash into large chunks and transfer it to the bowl of a food processor. Add the mascarpone, Fontina, the ½ cup Parmesan, egg yolks, salt, pepper and nutmeg and blend until smooth.
To assemble the ravioli, cut the pasta dough into 8 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of pasta with a rolling pin into a rectangle about ½-inch thick. Starting on the thickest setting, and working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll the dough through a pasta machine. Decrease the setting on the machine after each pass until the dough is thin, but not see-through. Keep the pasta sheets well dusted with flour as you work, and place the parchment paper in between each finished layer.
Lay 4 sheets of pasta out on a floured surface. Place tablespoon-sized mounds of the filling on each sheet of the dough, center top to bottom, about 3 inches from left to right. You should have room to place 10 mounds on each sheet. Lay the remaining 4 pasta sheets on top to enclose the mounds of filling, and gentle press with your fingers around each mound to create 40 individually sealed ravioli. Place the ravioli on a baking sheet dusted generously with cornmeal as you work.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop the ravioli into the boiling water and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until they float to the top. While they are cooking, heat a large nonstick sauté pan over high heat. Add the butter and stir until it begins to brown and smells nutty. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in sage, parsley, lemon juice and salt.
Remove the cooked ravioli from the water with a slotted spoon, letting the excess water drain off, and divide them evenly among your serving plates. Spoon the herb butter evenly over the ravioli and garnish with the ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.