Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Good Eating Winter Squash

One of my contributions to the family Thanksgiving dinner was pumpkin pie. Being the foodie purist (elitist according to some) that I am, I could not use canned pumpkin. Since I did not grow any winter squash of my own (this year), I got myself off to the original Earthbound Farm farm stand to forage amongst their piles of winter squash. I found what looked like some lovely Sugar Pie pumpkins, but just to make sure I asked the cashier to confirm. Yes she said, but if I was going to make pie I might want to try the Queensland Blue. So, being one to like a food experiment, I let her lead me to the appropriate pile and pick out a good one! I can confirm that it did indeed make a delicious pie, in spite of my over baking it a bit. But this post is actually about what I cooked up last night with some of the leftovers.

I had roasted the entire squash and made puree with it all. Some of it went into the pie and the rest into containers and then the freezer. So, yesterday I pulled out a container, let it thaw in a bowl of warm water, and then made....

Squash Puree with Sage Brown Butter

1 pound roasted squash puree, about 2 cups
1/4 cup unsalted butter
whole fresh sage leaves, about 2 to 3 packed tablespoons
2 cloves garlic, smashed
salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a medium skillet over very low heat. Add the whole sage leaves and the garlic and cook slowly until the butter solids have browned. Fish out the garlic and use it for something else. Fish out the now fried sage leaves and set aside to cool, then chop them. Add the squash puree to the skillet (careful not to splash hot butter), and stir to combine with the butter and heat through. Stir in the chopped sage and season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 2 very generous or 3 reasonable servings.

To roast the squash, preheat the oven to 400 F. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds and strings. Place cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for an hour or until tender. Let the squash cool cut side down on the baking sheet, it should collapse a bit as it cools. Scoop out the flesh and puree it by either running it through the finest disk of a food mill or forcing it through a fine sieve with a wooden pestle. If I know that I'm making something savory with the squash puree I like to put whole unpeeled cloves of garlic under the cavity when I bake the squash and then use the garlic in whatever I'm making.
I may have to make room in the garden next year for some Queensland Blue, right alongside my favorite Marina di Chioggia squash.


  1. Oh man, that sounds heavenly! I've never seen Queensland Blue before, maybe I'll find some at the Farmers' Market next weekend. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Ooh, that really, really sounds good. I'll have to try this recipe, too. You know, I'll probably have to stop reading you

  3. Oops, that posted before I was ready. I was going to say that I'll probably have to stop reading your blog next week--I don't need to be tempted to spend my time in the kitchen when I should be grading finals!

  4. Oh my, this recipe sounds SO good! Thanks so much for being a "follower" of Blossom :)


  5. The puree sounds delicious. I often make squash puree, but haven't tried putting sage leaves in it, so I will. I usually leave the garlic in.

    And thanks for the link to the list of toxic plants in reply to my query about the snowberries - it's an essential reference and many of the plants mentioned grow in gardens all over the world.


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