3 ways to love butternut squash

It was a good year for squash on our farm, and when we have something in abundance I tend to want to stock it away for winter, and hold onto it as long as possible. I have been hording hundreds of pounds of butternut squash, thinking about January snowstorms and how we’ll be needing massive quantities of squash soup to get us through the depths of winter. But really, it’s time to start eating this squash (and pumpkins too). To help you get as excited about squash as I am, I’m sharing a few of the butternut recipes I’ve been day-dreaming about.

Thanksgiving Squash with Sage Butter
1 large butternut squash
1/4 lb. butter
15 sage leaves
Salt and pepper

Peel the squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, and dice the squash into ½” chunks. Place squash in a small pot. Cover with water and salt. Bring it to a simmer, and then strain it. The squash should be just cooked but not mushy. Allow it to cool slightly.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the butter, and allow it to brown. The butter will have a nutty scent and a lovely brown color. Do not burn the butter. Quickly add the sage leaves. They will sputter briefly. Add the squash. Allow it to brown briefly tossing a few times. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Squash Pie (from Yankee Magazine’s Great New England Recipes)
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cup mashed cooked butternut squash
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 9″ pie shell

Heat milk and squash together in double boiler. In bowl, mix sugar, flour, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. Then add eggs. Beat well with rotary beater. Add mixture to milk and squash in double boiler. Stir together well. Do not boil. Pour warm filling into pie shell. Bake at 400’F for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350’F and bake until pie sets, about 15-20 minutes.

Butternut Squash Risotto (from Chez PanisseVegetables by Alice Waters)
1 medium butternut squash (about 1 lb)
5 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
about 24 sage leaves
2 cups Arborio rice
salt & pepper
½ cup dry white wine
7 to 8 cups chicken stock
1 medium onion
½ cup grated Reggiano Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish

Carefully peel and clean the squash and dice it into very small cubes. Put the diced squash in a
heavy-bottomed pot and cook with a few whole leaves of sage, salt, and 1 cup of the chicken
stock. Cook until tender, but not too soft, about 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop 6 sage leaves
fine and cut the onion into small dice.

Heat the rest of the chicken stock and hold at a low simmer. In another heavy-bottomed
saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of the butter, add the chopped sage, and cook for a minute or so;
add the onion and continue to cook over medium heat until it is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the rice and a pinch of salt and cook over low heat for about 3 minutes, stirring often, until
the rice has turned slightly translucent. Turn up the heat and pour in the white wine. When the
wine has been absorbed, add just enough hot stock to cover the rice, stir well, and reduce the

Keep the rice at a gentle simmer and continue to add more stock, a ladle or two at a
time, letting each addition be absorbed by the rice. While the rice is cooking, sauté the
remaining sage leaves in butter until crisp.

After 15 minutes, the rice will be nearly cooked. Stir in the cooked squash, the rest of
the butter, and the cheese. Continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes. Taste for texture and
consistency, adding a little more stock if needed. Adjust the seasoning. When done, serve in
warm bowls and garnish with extra cheese and the sautéed sage leaves. Serves 6 to 8.

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