Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I'm back from ten days in Texas, and am therefore experiencing the life shock that comes at the end of any vacation. It turns out I have to wake up early to go to work and can't have my first margarita of the day at 11 a.m. When we left San Francisco it was Halloween and Indian summer hot, and now it's The Holidays and chilly and dark at 5:30.

On the plus side, we're now in the high holy days of butternut squash season. Hallelujah and amen. Sorry for not having pictures on the dishes below, but that's what happens when stuff is super tasty but not very pretty, or when I get drunk while cooking.

Last night for dinner I made some grains - quinoa and teff - then prepared a squash "sauce" to dress therm. First I peeled, de-seeded, diced and roasted a small butternut shipped to me from my parents' garden. It went into a 400 degree oven with some oil and salt, and alongside it I tucked in an entire head of garlic. Post-roasting, I squeezed the garlic out of its casings and threw it in the food processor with some of the boil water from the grains, basil, olive oil and salt. Handful by handful I added the squash and spoonfuls of the grain water until it was a scoopable consistency - not runny but still soft. I piled the sauce on the grains and topped it all with toasted pine nuts. If I had had any feta or parmesan I would have sprinkled on some of that, and a bit of parsley as well. If you have any herb oil (I'm on a kick) you could drizzle that on too.

My annual contribution to Friendsgiving is twice baked butternut squash, a dish that I feel very sure I made up on my own, which I simultaneously acknowledge is not super likely. I halve a large squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and roast the heck out of it. I carefully scoop the flesh into a bowl, making sure to keep the squash skin intact. Into the bowl goes sauteed kale, garlic and onions, as well as other vegetables I think would be tasty (leeks, shaved carrots, chard). I mix in a cup of Greek yogurt and a few handfuls of shaved cheddar as well - if this is going to be my token healthy item on the table, I use reduced fat cheese and nonfat yogurt. I scoop the mixture back into the empty squash halves, top with some more cheese, and throw it back in the oven, ether to reheat (if it was made ahead of time) or to broil the cheese to crispy goodness.

For dessert, I have, in a pinch (read: in Berlin where canned pumpkin apparently doesn't exist, only a nasty pickled variety that you should stop thinking about immediately) made Smitten Kitchen's pumpkin bread pudding with roasted butternut squash that we pureed, spiced and sweetened. It turned out beautifully.


Vanessa said...

I want to eat ALL of this.

Michelle said...

omg. this twice baked squash business sounds delish! what temp do you bake at?

GGB said...

Meesh, the first time around I roast it at 400; the second time I head it up at 375 or just broil it.

dethbakin said...