This is one of the tastiest things to come out of my oven in the past few weeks.
That sounds like a big statement to make, and I know it kind of is, but I kid you not when I say this squash was delectable. In fact, it was so enjoyable that when served alongside a grilled steak my meat-loving husband could only oooh and aaah...about the vegetable.
We're all familiar with the popular twice-baked potatoes, right? You know, the ones that are loaded with butter and cream, and tossed with some cheese and bacon and baked again with more...cheese? Well, these don't taste like those. But, after three weeks of celebration foods (Thanksgiving, Halloween and a Baby Shower) taking up premium space in my fridge, we needed to forget about the cheesy potatoes and move on to some healthier fare.
These golden bell-shaped goodies are prepared exactly the same way as their spud-ly cousins, minus the rich and fatty additives that we've all come to love. When served alongside a grilled steak, it is possible to miss the heavy richness of the usual accompanying potato. To be perfectly honest, if I didn't spend my dinners accompanied by a trio of testosterone, I would be happy to nosh on this paired with nothing more than a mixed green salad.
If I had a vegetarian friend, which I don't, I wouldn't hesitate to offer this as a main course meal option for her. And if I hadn't already celebrated Thanksgiving this year, I would be adding this to my menu for the squash loving people in attendance.
Oh yeah, and the little one with the picky palate? He liked it too.
Twice-Baked Butternut Squash
Adapted from Martha Stewart.
- 2 small butternut squash
- 1-2 teaspoons of salt
- 1-2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
- 1 teaspoon ground sage
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs or panko (optional)
- 4 sage leaves, sliced thinly
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Halve the squash lengthwise, and remove the seeds and fibres from the centre. Sprinkle the entire squash with salt and pepper .
Fill a baking dish 1/2 full of water and place the squash, skin side down, on top of the water. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes to one hour, or until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 425.
Using a soup spoon, scoop the squash into a large bowl, leaving at least 1/4 inch border around the halves so they will keep their shape. Add the sour cream, mayonnaise, tarragon and sage to the squash mixture and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Fill the squash halves with the mixture and top with breadcrumbs if using. Bake until golden brown and warm throughout, about 20 minutes. Garnish with sliced sage leaves and serve hot.