Butternut squash is one of those things I’ve always seen at the grocery store and been mildly intrigued by. Once it showed it’s utterly omnipresent face throughout the food blog world, I knew I was going to have to investigate.The biggest challenge is not actually cooking it. That’s not hard.
The biggest challenge is getting to the edible part of the squash. I will warn you now, this is physically strenuous on your hands. I would actually kind of recommend a rubber mallet. But once you get there, look at this, it’s so pretty:
Here are your tools: a really big cutting board (or a really clean counter I suppose), a vegetable peeler, a grapefruit spoon and your big knife of choice.
You need to cut off the rounded ends of the squash. So it can stand upright, like so
Now you need to get the skin off. I have no idea if it’s actually called a skin, but bear with me. Use the vegetable peeler, be ruthless.
Now cut rounds off both ends, until you come to the seed-filled cavity. You’re going to use the grapefruit spoon to get the seeds out, very much like carving a jack-o-lantern.
Dice into relatively uniform pieces and drop into a big pot along with vegetable broth. I’ve made this bisque with chicken broth and it just overpowered the taste of the squash. So go vegetarian here.
Cook, much like you would mashed potatoes, for 20-30 minutes or until pieces break apart when you try to stab them with a fork. At that point, the liquid will have reduced, so bust out the potato masher or immersion blender and blend until smooth. I recommend some garlic salt, plenty of black pepper and some paprika at this point. At the very end, add about a quarter cup of half and half, just enough to make it creamy. Stir and serve, recommended with a crusty bread.