You’re probably looking at the photo on the right here, and thinking “has she gone completely mad?” Or “That looks absolutely disgusting.” Well here’s the thing about food… it doesn’t always look appetizing. When I have a new food in front of me, I always smell it before I judge it by the way it looks. So this heaping pile of orange glub with white flecks on it… it smells amazing, so why should I be scared to eat it.
I sort of adapted this recipe from two different sources, the first being a Butternut Squash Purée
recipe from the food network website, and the second being a menu item I had on my recent trip to Seattle, another Butternut Squash Purée
Well a while back when my roommates and I were doing the CSA Farm Box program continually, we ended up with two Acorn Squash, which we had no idea what to do with. Two of my roommates were so confused, that they cut one open (or at least attempted to) to find out what it even was.
So we let the squash sit, and then it struck me… a recipe we may all like. So today I went for it… in stages, but all in all (not including cooking time) it takes only 30 minutes to make.
Acorn Squash Purée with Feta
2 Acorn Squash, cut in half or in quarters
4-6 Tablespoons Butter
Salt and Pepper
1 Orange Zested
3 Tablespoons Honey
Pinch of Cinnamon
4 ounces Feta Cheese
So let me start off by saying, Acorn squash is extremely difficult to work with, and if you wanted to use butternut squash instead, feel free… but it may not be much easier. Cutting and peeling it are the worst, but once it’s actually cooked, it’s easy to purée.
Cut the Acorn squash in half, or in quarters if you’d prefer and put all of the pieces on a pan or in a baking dish skin-side down. Scrape out the seeds and any stringy bits, and then rub down the insides of the squash with butter, reserving roughly one Tablespoon of butter for later. Leave any pieces of butter on the squash to melt while they’re cooking. Sprinkle just a bit of salt and pepper on each piece, and put into a 350º oven to bake/roast for 30-40 minutes (or until a fork easily pierces the pulp). It took mine 40 minutes.
Once the squash are done, let cool, and then with a knife peel off the skin and drop the pieces into a bowl (or a food processor if you have one). Once all of your pieces are peeled, zest the orange over your squash pieces, and add the honey, cinnamon, a little bit more salt and pepper, and remaining butter. At this time you can also add three of the four ounces of feta cheese.
With a knife, try your best to chop up the bigger pieces into little pieces (or if you have a potato masher or a dough knife, those would work as well). Then with a hand mixer (as I do not have a food processor) beat the squash and ingredients together until they form a beautiful purée.
When to your desired smoothness (and acorn squash is kind of stringy so don’t overwork it) transfer to a bowl or serving plate and sprinkle with the remaining feta cheese, serve with toasted pita triangles or crostini.
Love and Happy Spatulas,