Savory Winter Squash Purée

I like to serve this purée as a base to roasted fish or meat — simply spread on your dinner plate and place the fish or meat on top and drizzle with a pan sauce if you like. You an use any type OR combination of winter squash like butternut, delicata, kabocha buttercup, acorn squash or even pumpkin. From the Oxbow Archive

  • 1-2 winter squash (approximately 2 lbs)
  • kosher or sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 6 fresh sage leaves or thyme sprigs
  • 1/4 lb unsalted butter
  • 3/4 C milk

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Cut the squashes in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds (reserve them for roasting) and discard odd bits.

In a mortar & pestle, or on a cutting board w/ the back of a broad knife, coarsely mash together the garlic, fresh herbs & a pinch of coarse salt. Season the squash flesh with salt and pepper, and fill the cavities with the garlic herb mixture.

Place the squashes skin side down, in a shallow ovenproof dish, and add just enough water to barely cover the bottom. Bake for about 20-45 minutes (depends on size of the squash) until completely tender. Allow to cool. Remove and discard the garlic and sage.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter in the milk over a low flame. Scoop the squash flesh out of the skin and put through a food mill or a ricer. Whisk in the milk and butter to give a soft texture to the puree. Taste and adjust seasoning.