Ah butternut squash. You little devil. A versatile vegetable, yet at annoying one.
Last night I roasted yet another one of these bad boys, only to nearly break my hand in the process. What is it about butternut squash and being totally and utterly impossible to chop!? I’ve tried different angles, different knifes but instead it takes a lot of time and a lot of patience.
Anyway this post wasn’t supposed to be to moan about this vegetable, but praise it. Gone are the days when I wouldn’t know how to use up a squash for one person. I cook for myself mostly, so a giant squash is a little much for one sitting. Instead I’ve used it in different ways for different meals – all of course gluten free. Lunches and dinners, I’ll often roast a whole squash to use throughout the week.
Baking the squash
Once you’ve got passed the initial chopping issue and have managed to safely remove your knife, which will no doubt will get stuck half way in the squash at one point (avoid keeping them in the fridge, it only makes them tougher), it’s time to get roasty roastin.
Roast in a dish with garlic, black pepper and a little olive oil for at least 50 minutes on 180C. If you’ve got time, leave them for longer. I just managed to leave a batch in the oven for an hour and a half! (Not ideal, but they were perfectly fine, just extra crispy).
Now your squash has roasted, it’s time to decide what you’re going to do with it. Here’s three ways I’ve been eating squash this past month.
All hail Cate in the Kitchen. This girl knows her stuff. I saw her share her recipe on Twitter for Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce and was intrigued. Forget creamy carbonara, you can get super creamy pasta sauce with this wonderful vegetable.
I didn’t have the right cheese that Cate suggested, but I did have feta. Tossing in a few pine nuts and parsely, this is a go to staple meal I’ve been returning to again. *Pats Cate on the back*
You can read all about how on Cate’s blog here.
- Butternut Squash Salad
with feta, pine nuts and spinach
Hmmm where have I heard these ingredients before? Well, you’ve bought some feta and pine nuts and roasted some squash, so your 90% there. Preparing butternut squash, as we’ve established, takes a fair amount of effort, so you’ll want to make the most of it, and bulking out a salad is perfect.
I’m not a fan of dry salads but this one doesn’t even need any dressing. Still soft and slightly oily garlic roasted squash, the addition of feta and pine nuts makes for a much interesting salad, with added oomph.
- Butternut Squash Mash
with mozzarella stuffed chicken breast, wilted spinach and roasted vine tomatoes
Once your squash has roasted (and be sure it’s soft enough – I’d say at least an hour when you’re making mash), whizz up in a food processor with a sprinkle of black pepper. Whizz for a good few minutes, and keep going until completely smooth.
This tastes similar to sweet potato mash, but a cheaper alternative. Plus it’s a vegetable. You can’t go wrong with a vegetable. Goodbye bloating!
I’m not really a meat, potato, veg kind of person, and rarely make meals that follow that pattern, but this one worked perfectly. Granted the squash isn’t potato, but it pretends to be.
Slice the chicken breast in half along the side, and stuff with mozzarella. Bake with a splash of oil and water for 30 minutes. Add the tomatoes 10 minutes before the end and wilt the spinach for 50 seconds in the microwave
Don’t you just love butternut squash?! I feel like I’ve typed butternut squash 93482 million times, but it’s such a versatile vegetable it deserves a bit of credit. You just need to get past almost breaking your hand in the process.