The Butternut Squash comes from the gourd family, which is native to the Western Hemisphere. There is evidence to support that the natives of Mexico were eating squash as early as 5500 BC.
There are two kinds of squash: summer and winter. Butternut Squash is a winter squash. It has a hard, thick skin and it is filled with seeds. It can range in size from 8 to 12 inches long, and about 3 to 5 inches wide, weighing up to 3 pounds. The color of the Butternut Squash ranges from a yellow to a light tan. Inside, the flesh is orange and has a sweet flavor.
Available in early Fall through Winter, you will want to choose a squash that is heavy with few blemishes and moldy spots.
Storage Butternut squash can be stored longer than summer squashes because their skin is so hard and thick. Store in a cool dry place for at least a month. If the squash has been cut into pieces, then wrap in a plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 5 days.
Nutritional Qualities The following qualities are available in one cup of mashed squash: 80 calories, 2 grams protein, 1 gram fat, 18 grams carbohydrates, with riboflavin, iron, Vitamins A and C.
Wine Pairings Depending on what you are serving with your butternut squash and as to how you are preparing it, try a Pinot Grigio or Chenin Blanc to serve with it.
Spices Allspice, anise seed, brown sugar, butter, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, ginger, mace, nutmeg, paprika, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme and turmeric.
Equivalencies 1 pound fresh squash = 3 medium fruits = 3 c. sliced = 1 c. cooked / mashed
Preparation Rinse and cut the squash lengthwise. Remove and discard the seeds and excess fiber. May peel skin if desired.
Stir-Fry: tender when pierced.
Bake: 400 degrees 30 – 40 minutes, uncovered.
Microwave: 1/2 the squash and microwave for 10 -12 minutes.
Boil: Cut into chunks and boil 7 – 9 minutes.
Steam: Cube and steam for 6 – 8 minutes.
Roast: 400 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes.
Butternut Squash Soup
- 1/2 cup onions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound butternut squash, *
- 2 each pears, Pared and Sliced
- 1 teaspoon fresh-snipped thyme leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander, Ground
- 1 cup whipping cream
1 each pear, Unpared, Sliced
1/2 cup pecans, Toasted, Chopped
* Squash should be pared, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes. Cook and stir onion in margarine in 4-quart Dutch oven until tender. Stir in broth, squash, 2 sliced pears, thyme, salt, white pepper, and coriander. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until squash is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Pour about half of the soup into food processor work bowl fitted with steel blade or into blender container; cover and process until smooth. Repeat with remaining soup. Return to Dutch oven; stir in whipping cream. Heat, stirring frequently, until hot. Serve with sliced pear and pecans.
Butternut Squash Soufflé
2 pounds butternut squash
- 11 ounces canned mandarin oranges, drained
- 1 tablespoon margarine, melted
- 1 teaspoon maple flavoring
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 eggs, separate
- 2 tablespoons almonds, toasted, finely chopped
Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove seeds. Place cut sides down in casserole dish; add 1/2 inch of hot water. Cover and bake at 375 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes or until tender. Let cool for 30 minutes. When cooled, carefully scoop out pulp and mash with potato masher. (This should yield about 2 cups.) Stir squash together with oranges, margarine, flavoring and spice. Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored. Stir beaten yolks into squash mixture. Beat egg whites (at room temperature) until stiff but not dry. Gently fold in squash mixture. Spoon into 6 ungreased 6-ounce soufflé’ dishes. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes or until puffed and lightly browned. Sprinkle each with toasted almonds and serve immediately.