With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s time to start testing some recipes for dishes that will impress the whole family and, with a little luck, earn you a seat at the “adults’ table” (#goals).
Here are four recipes for butternut squash (a seasonal favorite) that will get everyone from your drunk uncle to the lady claiming to be your fourth cousin twice removed to compliment your culinary skills.
Butternut Squash Gnocchi
- 1 medium-large butternut squash, peeled and large diced
- 2 1/4-1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Steam the butternut squash for 30 minutes. You can use an actual steamer, or just a microwave or oven.
- Place the cooked squash in a large bowl and mash it until there are little to no lumps of any size.
- Combine the squash with the rest of the ingredients and use your hand to completely combine. The dough should come together into a ball, and be soft but shouldn’t stick to your hands. If the dough is too wet add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour. Knead just until the flour is absorbed, and no more! Over kneading will give you dense gnocchi. This dough can be very wet so you may need even more flour. Just keep going until your dough is workable.
- Place the dough on a large floured workstation. Cut the ball in half and then in half again for 4 equal pieces.
6. Roll out your first piece into a rope a little thicker than your thumb. Slice the rope into 1-inch slices. Slide each slice of dough over the tines of a fork to form a gnocchi. Place it on one of the prepared baking sheets in single layer. You may want to watch this video to completely understand the process.
- Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil.
- Drop your gnocchi into the boiling water being careful not to overcrowd. If you overcrowd, they’ll get stuck on each other and they won’t float. The result will be disintegrated gnocchi.You’ll likely have to cook these in batches depending on the size of your pot. When the gnocchi starts to float they are done.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and let sit for 5-10 minutes before using in your recipe.
Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
For the panko-sage crust:
- 1 Tbsp. Earth Balance or other vegan butter substitute
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 8-10 sage leaves
- ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the macaroni:
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash
- 1 lb. dried pasta
- ¼ cup cashews
- 1½ cups plain almond milk
- 2 Tbsp. Earth Balance or other vegan butter substitute
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- 2-3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- ⅛ tsp. cayenne
- ¼ tsp. ground mustard
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place squash in a steamer basket set over boiling water and cover. Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor and blend until completely smooth. Pass through a mesh strainer to remove any remaining lumps.
- Boil pasta in a pot of salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- To make the panko sage breadcrumbs, melt 1 tablespoon of Earth Balance in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add sage and smashed garlic, cooking until sage is crisp on both sides, about 1-2 minutes. Remove sage leaves and drain on paper towels. Add panko to skillet and stir to combine. Cook until breadcrumbs are golden and toasted, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and crumble sage leaves back into pan. Reserve mixture for later use.
- To make the cashew béchamel, blend cashews and ½ cup of almond milk in a food processor or high speed blender until smooth. Melt Earth Balance in a medium saucepan and add flour. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until flour is cooked through and mixture has turned golden brown, about 3 minutes. Gradually add the remaining cup of almond milk and all remaining ingredients, stirring to combine, and cook until mixture has thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
- Remove bechamel from heat and fold in butternut squash puree until completely incorporated. Add pasta to pot and combine with sauce. Spoon into greased individual ramekins or a 9×9 inch baking dish. Sprinkle generously with breadcrumb mixture and bake for about 20 minutes.
Stuffed Butternut Squash
- 1 butternut squash
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- Beet caviar
- Edemame and pea hummus
- Potato bacalao
- (Alternately, you can stuff the squash with three different types of store-bought hummus, tapenade, or baba ganoush)
- Preheat the oven to 375F
- Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the insides.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt
- Turn the squash flesh side down and pour water in the bottom of the pan.
- Bake in the oven, uncovered, for about 40-45 minutes, until the squash is very soft and can easily be pierced with a knife. Check from time to time to make sure the squash isn’t burning. Add more water if you feel things are getting a tad too dry.
- When the squash is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for about 10-15 minutes.
- Spoon dips into the squash and sprinkle with rosemary
Maple Roasted Butternut Squash
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled,/seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425F with rack on upper middle position. Line baking sheet with foil.
- In a large bowl, toss the squash with remaining ingredients until thoroughly coated. Transfer to foil-lined baking sheet, in a single layer, without overcrowding the pieces.
- Roast about 30-40 minutes, rotating pan midway during baking. When edges are browned and cubes are fork-tender, remove from oven immediately.