April 18, 2011

Butternut Squash Purée with Nutmeg

Butternut squash is still one of my favorite squashes because it maintains its rich orange color after cooking and has a sweet creamy flavor. Nutmeg pairs well with squash, especially creamy squash such as butternut, due to the mild background squash provides for the strong flavor of nutmeg. Nutmeg comes from the Myristica fragrans, an evergreen nutmeg tree from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, which provides both nutmeg, the seed and mace, the seed's aril or covering. Though I think of fall and winter too, butternut squash purée reminds me of spring because it is bright in color and light in taste. I like to pair this purée with orange pecan kale, wheat berry salad or blue potatoes and use it as a pizza topping with goat cheese and caramelized onions.

Milk may be used in place of cream. A larger or smaller squash may be used with slight quantity adjustments to the other ingredients.

1 1.5-2 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½" cubes

2 tbsp butter

¼ c cream

¼ tsp nutmeg, grated

salt and pepper

1. Place cubed squash in a steamer basket over a pot with water up to the basket. Cover and steam until squash is very tender, about 15 minutes. Remove squash from heat and place steamed squash in food processor.

2. Add cream, butter and nutmeg to squash and purée until smooth, adding more cream as necessary to reach desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Serve squash purée warm or room temperature.

Serves 3-4


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