This squash puree is a simple side with not a lot of active work but it takes some time to bake the squash. Make this the day before you plan to serve it. It will taste better the next day as a leftover.
Yield: 2 cups of squash puree
Whole butternut squash weighing the equivalent of 3 1/2 lbs
2 large cloves of peeled garlic
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Sugar, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh ground white pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Wash your squash, cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
Use a baking sheet that has a lip on the edge to avoid any spills in the oven. Line the bottom with parchment paper or foil so nothing burns onto your pan. This will make for an easier clean up later. Set a baking rack on the lined baking sheet and place the squash on the rack, cut side up.
Drop a clove of garlic in each seed cavity. Season lightly with salt and drizzle one tsp. of olive oil over each squash.
Cover the whole thing tightly with several sheets of foil. Make sure to crimp the foil at the edges of the pan to capture the steam.
Bake at 375 degrees for 2 hours. The squash should be completely soft all the way through.
Remove the foil and let it rest at room temperature until it’s cool enough to handle.
Scoop out the orange flesh with a spoon and put it in a pan that’s wide and shallow. Throw the garlic in too.
Turn the heat onto low and dry out the squash until you have a thick puree.
Add the butter and season it to taste with Kosher salt, sugar and white pepper.
You should be thinking “Whoa, that’s good!” when you taste it. If you’re not thinking that then it probably needs a little more butter or seasoning.
This puree is sweet and savory so it has a lot of uses. Eat it as a side dish or spread it on French toast or grilled bread.
You can substitute brown sugar for white sugar or try adding maple syrup for a different taste.