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Feb 19, 2009 02:48 PM

disguising butternut squash

I have a CSA in the summer, as well as my own garden. I try to freeze as many vegetables as I can over the course of the summer to make them last through the winter. In the fall, I inevitably end up with lots and lots of butternut squash, which I roast and freeze. The problem is, I don't much care for butternut squash. I think it may be a texture thing. I am looking for ways to use it without feeling like I am eating it. Does this make sense? Kind of like hiding vegetables in kids meals, except that it would be my meals. I'd rather steer away from soups and sweets. I don't eat much of either. I just don't want any of it to go to waste.

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  1. Tall order if you rule out soups and sweets. The curried squash and apple soup from Marcia Adams old Amish Cooking from Quilt Country show on PBS is a favorite of mine. It is pureed and if I didn't know better I'd think it was made with yellow split peas.

    So what you've got is roasted and frozen, presumably in chunks. Maybe if you thaw it and dry it you could pan-fry it with onions as you would for home-fried potatoes.

    1. how about roasting with other root vegetables and then mashing or pureeing together with herbs & roasted garlic - like mashed potatoes, but better :)

      1. Deep fry a la potato chips, tempura, or fritters. Or make 'fries'. If fat is an issue, you could probably do oven baked fries. Butternut squash has that nice solid neck of meat. I cut off the bulb, then cut the neck in two shorter segments. I peel these pieces then scoop the seeds from the rounded part. Then there's nice clean squash meat to slice or shred as needed.

        If you need to hide it from yourself, how about mixing small amounts of it into strong tasting sauces/stews? For example tomato sauce for pasta, or red chili, or if you make burritos or enchiladas, mix it into the sauce or filling.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Louise

          I was thinking along those lines, (mixing into sauces/stews), but am curious what kind of effects it might have. Will it thicken them, requiring me to add water/stock? Will it make them sweeter? That kind of thing.

          1. re: hilltowner

            On the question of thickening, I think it would depend on the amount of cooking time. If you left it a while it would probably break down and thicken. If a shorter amount of time, it would retain its shape and stay chunkier. It would probably add a slight sweet undertone, depending on how much you added and what the other ingredients were. Mash 1/2 c into a big batch of lasagna sauce? Probably not noticeable. Divide 1 c among 4 chicken pot pies? Noticeable.

            Have you looked into the flavors that go well with squash? It might make it more palatable. I like it with sage and brown butter myself.

            You could also probably slip it into pancake or waffle batter. The pancakes would be very moist.

        2. We make savory "pumpkin" pie with it. Do you like pumpkin pie? Recipe includes onions, tamari, tofu, etc.

          8 Replies
          1. re: lgss

            I was also thinking along these lines. Can you elaborate on this savory pumpkin pie idea? We could call it pumpkin quiche. What meats might go well in there?

            1. re: hilltowner

              We're vegan, no meat...there are nuts in the crust recipe we use. I'll have to search for the recipe. We usually make it at Thanksgiving and omnivores have asked for the recipe after tasting it.

              1. re: hilltowner

                SAVORY PUMPKIN PIE
                3 C cooked butternut squash (or other)
                1C nut milk (we use almond mylk)
                1/4 C tamari
                1/2 C chopped onion
                3 cloves garlic, minced
                1 blk silken tofu
                4 T corn oil (or other)
                4 T chopped parsley
                Pour into pre-baked pie shell. Bake for 55 minutes at 350 or until tester comes out clean. Makes 2 pies.

                1. re: lgss

                  This looks delicious!

                  Do you blend the ingredients in a blender? Or mash up the tofu with a fork?

                  Would this work with regular tofu?

                  1. re: cheesecake17

                    We mix the filling ingredients in the VitaMix. Haven't tried it with regular tofu, I think it needs the smoother texture of the silken. We make a gluten-free nut crust for ours.

                    1. re: lgss

                      Thanks! I'll put silken tofu on my list for this week's shopping. Do you buy the kind in the tub or in the box? Have you ever tried it with a brown rice crust ?

                      1. re: cheesecake17

                        We've used both kinds of silken tofu, whatever we could get. This pie recipe is our standard Thanksgiving main dish and we often make it when visiting family in other states. Brown rice crust sounds like it would go well.

                        1. re: lgss

                          Thanks for the recipe! I'm going to try it this week or next. I try to avoid piecrust when cooking for just us since it's got no real value.

                          I'm happy its got garlic in it since I spent a good chunk of time today peeling garlic for the week!!

            2. use as a filling for ravioli. roasted buttnernut and sage is a pg family fave. Make up a big batch and freeze.

              I do a mean curried butternut, with fenugreek and cardamon.

              butternut and pine nut rissotto is also a feature.

              I grow our own, too, so I know of what you speak. Fortunately I have 2 dogs who go NUTS for baked butternut pumpkin and will eat MOUNDS of it!!

              3 Replies
              1. re: purple goddess

                purple goddess, I have a nice butternut sitting on my kitchen table right now, would love to try your curried butternut: would you be willing to share the recipe?

                1. re: susancinsf

                  1 cinnamon stick
                  1 teaspoon coriander
                  1 teaspoon turmeric
                  1 teaspoon chilli powder
                  3 black cardamon pods.
                  1 teaspoon cumin
                  1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
                  1 diced onion.
                  Ghee for frying

                  Fry off onion till glassy. Add spices and cook for a min or two. Add diced pumkin (or potato or kumara or a mix of all three) and a cup of water and cook until veggies are soft. Add a tablespoon or two of plain yoghurt.


                2. re: purple goddess

                  I was just going to suggest curry! I do several variations -- either a dry version with curry powder, onions, chopped tomatoes and squash, or a soupier kind with yellow curry paste, light coconut milk, squash and peas.