Thanksgiving Side Dishes – Roasted Squash Puree in Orange cups

As a kid, I never could understand the appeal of squash. I didn’t get it. Either that or it was thebutternut.jpg way it was prepared. I mean, turkey, potatoes, stuffing—bring it on. I could down that meal with the best of them (and still can). But now, being a grown-up (am I, really??), I feel differently about the squash family. In fact, I have eaten some manner of squash everyday for at least a week now. My current favorite way is a roasted squash and root vegetable soup that I have whipped up with our abundant share of veggies from the CSA farm. Gimme a bowl’a that and some good crusty bread and I’m all set!

Today, however, I bring you a *fabulous* recipe for your Thanksgiving meal. It’s tasty and it’s pretty. Though you can boil your squash for this recipe, roasting brings out the sweetness. I almost always roast mine, no matter what I’m going to do with it next. Roasted Squash Puree in Orange cups
You can substitute acorn squash or pumpkin if you prefer.

1 butternut squash, 2 1/2 to 3 lb.
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1 Tsp. cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 large oranges
Whole pecans

1. Preheat an oven to 400F. Oil a baking sheet lightly. Slice oranges in half, remove all pulp and seeds. Set aside.

2. Cut the squash in half and place, cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until easily pierced with a knife, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool enough to handle. Lower oven temperature. to 350 degrees. Scoop out the seeds and fiber and discard. Spoon the flesh into a bowl and keep warm.

3. Over medium heat, combine the butter and milk in a medium saucepan and until the butter melts and the milk is hot—about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

4. Using food processor, pulse several times until smooth, about 1 minute. Stir in the milk mixture and cinnamon and season with salt and pepper.

5. Spoon squash into reserved orange cups, place on baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven, top with pecans and serve.