Roasted squash with lemon and garlic.
Step 1: Chop and Roast Squash
Find one of those big scary lumpy winter squash. They're usually found in big piles, looming at you in the grocery store or at the local Halloween pumpkin seller. Get one- the lumpier the tastier, since that means it's probably been grown for flavor instead of appearance. This recipe works well with most any variety.
Now, get out a big cutting board and your biggest knife or cleaver. Wash the squash, and hack away; be careful, since they can roll on you. The sooner you can get a flat surface on the cutting board the safer and happier your fingers will be.
You'll want pieces small enough to fit into a baking dish. They can be taller than these, but you need to be able to cover them in foil. Most things work, so don't stress about it.
Spray the baking dish with canola oil, add the squash chunks, spray them too, and cover the whole thing with aluminum foil.
Bake at 350 until you can easily stab the flesh through with a fork. They will be a bit caramelized at the edges.
Step 2: Scoop, Mash, and Season
Scoop the squash into a bowl, and mash it with a fork, potato masher, or a KitchenAid stand mixer. Depending on the type of squash and consistency this will require a different level of effort.
2 lemons, juiced
5-10 cloves garlic, grated
salt & pepper to taste
The raw garlic will be slightly cooked by the steaming-hot squash. If you prefer, you can use roasted garlic; I like the bite of semi-raw garlic, but am probably an extreme case.
Optional additions: brown sugar, allspice, nutmeg, fresh parsley.
I prefer this type of squash extremely plain, and don't bother with any of the sweeteners or spices. The lemon juice removes any need for butter, so it's a nice holiday dinner varient if your relatives are on low cholesterol diets.
Step 3: Serve
Serve warm or cold.
I make this for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.