Diced Butternut Squash
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Butternut & Apple Crisp
I don't recall where I first came across this recipe, but I scribbled it down in one of my partially filled recipe books several years ago. I think you could add a sprinkle of thyme leaves if you like an herb-y note in your fall desserts. Use an 8-in square baking dish, or a dish of similar size.
1/2 C all-purpose flour, or sub 1-1 gluten-free flour
3/4 C brown sugar, divided
1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes and kept cold
1/2 C rolled oats
1 lb diced butternut squash
2 apples, cores and seeds removed, diced to 3/4" or so (I don't bother peeling. You can if you want!)
1/4 C dried cranberries or cherries
1/2 C sugar - granulated or brown sugar both work
1-2 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
3 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice - sub ~1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, and a pinch each allspice, nutmeg, cloves
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, butter, oil, etc
Using a food processor: With the standard blade attachment, pulse the flour, brown sugar, and a good pinch of salt a few times to combine. Add the cold butter cubes and pulse until the largest pieces are pea-sized. Add the oats and pulse a few more time to just combine. Not using a food processor: Mix the flour, brown sugar and good pinch of salt in a bowl. With a pastry blender or two butter knives or forks, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the largest pieces are pea-sized. Stir in the oats to just combine. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine the squash, apples, and cranberries and toss with the remaining 1/2 C sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, spices, and another good pinch of salt. Transfer to the greased baking dish. Top with the flour-oat mixture. Bake until the top is golden brown and crispy and the filling is soft, 50-60 min.
Caramelized Onion & Squash Toasts with Chèvre
Adapted from Deb Perelman, Smitten Kitchen. Serves 2-3 as a main, 4-6 as an appetizer.
1 lb diced butternut squash
up to 1/2 C olive oil, divided
1/4 tsp dried chile flakes, more or less to taste
Coarse sea or kosher salt
1 med-large red onion (or 2 small onions), peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
2-3 Tbs maple syrup
4+ slices of good country bread, sourdough, etc, sliced 1-inch thick
Up to 4 oz plain chèvre - or sub ricotta, feta, mascarpone, etc.
2-3 Tbs fresh mint leaves, chopped (optional)
Heat oven to 450 F.
Toss squash with 2-3 Tbs olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and chile flakes until evenly coated. Transfer mixture to a baking sheet and roast until tender throughout and slightly browned, ~15-20 min. Check half-way through to flip the squash and/or rotate the pan. If browning quickly, decrease roasting time as needed.
Meanwhile, heat 3 Tbs olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and 1 tsp salt and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are softened and beginning to brown, 10-15 min. Add the cider vinegar and syrup and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring, until onions are jammy and broken down, another 10-15 min.
Add the onions to the baking sheet, on top of roasted squash (or add squash to onion pan). Use a fork to gently mash and mix the two together; it's best when the mixture is a little chunky not uniformly combined. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ~1 Tbs olive oil and cook as many slices of bread as will fit in the pan until just golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil. Repeat if necessary until all slices are toasted.
Spread chèvre on the toasts, heap with the squash-onion mixture, sprinkle with a bit of coarse salt and garnish with chopped mint.
Additional Recipe Suggestions
2 good recipes here: Roasted Butternut with Cilantro, Lime & Chile, and also Butternut, Oat & Honey Muffins