I have written about winter squash numerous times, and I hope that the possibilities are limitless. I do adore the squash for its flavor and adaptability. Plus, it’s still full of flavor in the middle of winter, unlike many other pieces of produce.
On its own butternut squash doesn’t always feel hearty enough to be the main dish in a meal. With this recipe, I do believe I have found a way not only to use butternut squash in the main dish, but also as the star of it. Butternut is the main ingredient and flavor, and it makes a fairly hearty meal. No, it’s not as filling as prime rib and roasted potatoes, but it is similar to a soup for dinner night.
This twice baked butternut has a smooth and creamy consistency. Its squash flavor is enhanced with herbs and goat cheese, which add a more savory element. To add contrast to texture and flavor, I ended up topping my squash with diced, maple-coated pecans. This dish hit on all notes- crunch, creaminess, savory cheese, and sweet maple. I would be glad to eat this dish on a regular basis.
As a side note, my husband is less of a winter squash fan and doesn’t eat it nearly as often as I do. Shockingly he was over the moon excited about this meal. He raved about its flavors, and I believe was seeking out another pan of it. While there wasn’t one available that night, I’m glad to make this again in the near future.
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 Tb. Greek yogurt
- 2-1/2 tsp. sage
- 3 oz. goat cheese
- Salt & pepper
- 3 Tb. diced pecans, optional
- 1 Tb. maple syrup, optional
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Cut butternut in half; place face down in 13×9 pan, add 1/2 cup water, and cover with foil.
- Bake for 1 hour or until fork tender.
- Remove from oven, and allow to cool.
- Remove and discard seeds.
- Carefully scrape out flesh, leaving one half of the butternut shell whole.
- Transfer butternut flesh to food processor.
- Add yogurt, sage, and goat cheese; process until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 400.
- Place pecans in a small microwave safe bowl and add maple syrup.
- Microwave in 30 second increments until the syrup clings to the pecans and is less liquidy.
- Sprinkle pecans on squash.