Simple Squash Purée

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This recipe is infinitely scalable. A butternut squash will lose about 3–4 ounces in weight after it’s been seeded and peeled, so a 2-pound squash will yield about 3½ cups (28 ounces) of cooked squash.

Butternut squash

Balsamic vinegar

Extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

Garnishes: toasted nuts, herbs, crispy onions, grated cheese

Preheat oven to 425°.

Cut the squash in half the long way. Scoop the seeds out of the cavity.

Line a baking sheet with lightly oiled parchment. Lay the squash halves cut side down on the sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, or until tender. Let squash cool a few minutes, then peel off the skin.

Purée squash in processor until smooth (alternatively, mash with a potato masher). Season with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with the garnishes of your choice.