Cooking with Butternut Squash Puree by Kale Cult

Winter Share distribution. 2010
Butternut Squash Puree!!

One of our fab member’s Naomi wrote this up last season. We had been slacking over at Southside CSA headquarters in getting this posted last season and decided to wait until it was Winter season again. As we are knee deep into the season and have received the puree in both Dec & Jan distributions, we decided it would be a great time to share her tips!

Just because winter share is over doesn’t mean you don’t have three blocks of squash puree in your freezer.  This year, I decided I would lower my intake of squash soup and do some more caloric things with my squash blocks.  Here a few squash recipes I tried that will help you get through the tedious warm spring days and remember that the cold dark days of winter are right around the corner.  Enjoy.

Squash Puree Risotto

PLEASE NOTE:  The squash puree we get is a little more watery than puree you’d make yourself so unless you really love baby food, add the squash puree when the rice is still al dente.  You’ll need a little less stock.  Also, if you don’t have leeks, use onions.  They are easier to clean anyway – not that I’ve ever rinsed leeks three times.  And vegetable stock can be substituted for chicken stock.

Link to original recipe on the fab blog, The Bitchin’ Kitchen

  • 2 cups roasted butternut squash puree
  • 6-8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 3 medium leeks
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup Castellano cheese, grated (can substitute Parmesan or Manchego cheese)
  • splash lemon juice
  • salt & pepper, to taste

1.     In a medium pot, heat the chicken stock to a simmer.

2.     Dice the leeks and soak them in cold water to remove as much dirt as possible.

3.     In a large saucepan, melt the butter and olive oil together.  Add the leeks and saute for a few minutes, until tender and translucent.

4.     Add the rice and stir to incorporate.  Once the rice has cooked for a few minutes, add a splash of lemon juice and stir until absorbed.

5.     Add 1 – 2 cups of simmering stock.  Once the first addition of stock is absorbed, add another 1 – 2 cups of stock until that is absorbed.  Continue adding stock until the rice is creamy and tender, but slightly firm. (I ended up using about 6 cups of stock, but probably could have used up to 7 cups.  You may prefer to use more or less.)

6.     Turn off the stove.  Stir in the butternut squash puree, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.

Butternut Squash Bread Pudding with Dried Cranberries

Okay, fine, I get it that this is totally a fall recipe.  But it’s really good, and I know you want to make room in your freezer for berries.  This recipe works as is, but there are a bunch of changes you can make.

First, you totally don’t need to use brioche; you can use any kind of bread.  If you are like me and keep cubes of stale bread in your freezer, you will want to soak the bread a little longer.  Skim work works fine, sugar can be adjusted, and rum can be eliminated.  Keep in mind that the longer you soak the bread, the more like pudding your autumnal dessert will be.

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 16-ounce loaf Brioche, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup roasted butternut squash purée
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup rum
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the bread on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes until dry and light brown.
  2. Butter a 2-quart baking dish with 1 tablespoons butter. Add bread and cranberries.
  3. In a large measuring cup or bowl, beat together milk, eggs, squash purée, and sugar. Stir in rum and vanilla. Pour over bread and toss to incorporate. Let soak in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
  4. Dust top with cinnamon. Dot the top with remaining butter. Tent with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for another 20 minutes. Bread should be puffed and custard set. Let cool slightly before serving. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Link to original recipe on Gastonomer’s Guide

Butternut Squash Lasagna

This recipe pretty much worked as is.  But obviously, you don’t need to make your own pasta; they sell lasagna noodles at the Associated and even at Western Beef.  If you haven’t made pasta before and don’t have a pasta maker, it’s totally doable.  You just need a rolling pin, and I like to have a helper to roll out the dough so my weak and dainty forearms don’t hurt too much the next day.  Recipe for the noodles is below the lasagna recipe.

This lasagna recipe fills a 9 inch by 13 inch baking dish. I cut the leftovers up into lunch-sized blocks and put them in the freezer.  The lasagna warmed up well in the microwave at work and helped me achieve my goal of never ever buying lunch in midtown.

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • Freshly ground nutmeg (to taste)
  • 12 lasagna noodles (cooked according to package directions, or using recipe above)
  • 3 cups butternut squash puree
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Spray a 9 inch by 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the sage leaves, and cook in the butter for a few minutes until the sage is crisp.  Add the flour, and whisk into the butter, cooking for a few minutes until golden.  Gradually whisk in the milk and half and half until the sauce is smooth.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat, and stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.  Adjust the seasoning, adding salt, pepper, and nutmeg, to taste (note – a little bit of freshly ground nutmeg goes a long way).
  3. Spread a small amount of butternut squash puree in the bottom of the lasagna dish.  Spread a layer of three noodles across the bottom of the dish.  Spread with one third of the remaining butternut squash, one fourth of the sauce, and one fourth of the mozzarella.  Repeat with two more layers of noodles, squash, sauce, and mozzarella. Top the final layer with three more noodles, the remaining sauce, and the remaining mozzarella cheese.
  4. Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden.  Allow to rest for about 15 minutes before serving.

Lasagna Noodles

  • 6 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • Boiling water (3/4 to 1 cup)
  1. On a clean surface (I make my pasta by hand on my granite counter tops, but you could use a bowl/mixer, too), combine the flour and salt.  Make a well in the center of the flour and add the three eggs.  Break the egg yolks with your fingers and work the eggs into the flour mixture using your fingertips.  Once the eggs are incorporated, the mixture will resemble crumbs or cornmeal.
  2. Gradually add the boiling water, tossing it with the crumb mixture (being careful not to burn your hands).  Add just enough water to bring the dough together. You should be able to shape the dough into a ball, but it shouldn’t be too sticky.  You can add additional water or flour to adjust the consistency as necessary.
  3. Once the dough comes together, knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth.  Form the dough into a disk, pat with some water, and cover it with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.
  4. Use a pasta maker to roll the dough until it is paper thin (the thinnest setting).  Follow the machine directions for the amount of dough/method.  Note – You can also roll the dough by hand, but make sure you have some muscles!
  5. Use a pastry cutter to cut the noodles to the desired size. Let the noodles dry on a drying rack while you roll the rest of the pasta dough.
  6. To prepare the noodles, boil in salted water for about 10 – 12 minutes.  Drain, rinse in cold water, and set aside.

Link to original recipe is on My Kitchen Addiction

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