Eatwell Recipe 7: Candied Butternut Squash ~ The Garden of Eating - a sinfully good blog about food

Friday, February 27, 2009

Eatwell Recipe 7: Candied Butternut Squash

Our most recent produce box contained two butternut squashes. I hate to admit it, but my initial reaction was far from joyful. Although I love butternut squash, I've been feeling a little overwhelmed by all the squash we've been receiving and I had already used up all the recipe ideas I was really excited about.

But then, inspiration struck! Why not candy them? You know, like the candied yams or sweet potatoes at a Thanksgiving dinner? This was appealing to me both because the flavor would be different from the way I'd been preparing them (in ravioli, in soup, etc.) and also because it did not sound like a lot of work to make (because I can be rather lazy.)

So I cut them up (actually, I asked my husband to cut them up for me since it can be kind of challenging), brushed them with olive oil, and roasted them until soft. Here they are waiting to be brushed with oil and put into the oven.

Eatwell Farm Butternut Squahes Awaiting Roasting

Just a note that handling raw butternut squash can cause a harmless kind of contact dermatitis - you may notice that your skin feels tight and dry afterwards (and your knife may have a whitish film on it that is a little hard to clean.) But it will go away in not too long.

Once they'd roasted, I scooped out the flesh (now a soft, brilliant orange) and mixed it with all sorts of yummy things--butter, maple syrup, a little brown sugar, cinnamon and some cloves.

Although it looked a little yucky, it tasted delicious! I served it as part of a simple-sounding yet delicious meal of braised kale and herbed short grain brown rice that cooked in some chicken stock for extra flavor.

Candied Butternut Squash

Here's the basic recipe -- I have not included amounts below since they'll depend on how sweet or buttery you want the squash to be and also how much squash you end up using. Just taste and adjust as needed.

This would go nicely topped with some
candied pecans.

Candied Butternut Squash


* Butternut squash
* Butter (could substitute coconut oil if you're trying to avoid dairy, I suspect it would work well)
* Brown sugar and/or maple syrup
* Ground cinammon, cloves, nutmeg, mace (I'd go heaviest on the cinammon)
* Dash of heavy cream (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half length-wise, scoop out the seeds and strings and brush the flesh lightly with olive oil. Lay the halves flesh-side down on a well-insulated cookie sheet and bake until softened, about 40-50 minutes, depending on the size of the squashes.

2. Remove from oven. When cool enough to touch, use a spoon to sscoop the flesh from the skin. Place in a bowl and mash well.

3. Mix in the butter (or coconut oil), brown sugar and/or maple syrup, and spices. If you have heavy cream on hand and are not opposed to dairy, throw a dash of that in, as well - it will make it richer and tastier. Combine well and taste. Adjust spices, sweetening, etc., to taste.

4. Dust with ground cinammon and serve plain or topped with
candied pecans. You can easily make this ahead of time and reheat it.

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The Eatwell Project: a year of seasonal recipes -- logo by Eve Fox


Maninas said...

that first photo is so beautiful. i love the warm subtle light and the colour and curvy shapes of the squash.

Jaymee said...

Yum! I love butternut squash. Do you have the recipe for the braised Kale posted on your site?

Eve Fox said...

Thx Maninas! And Jaymee, I have not yet posted about the braised kale but the basic principle is really simple and flexible - wash the kale and cut the leaves from the stems (you may want to cut them into strips depending on how large the leaves are). Then mince a few cloves of garlic (you can also do some onion or shallot if you like, it can't hurt)and sautee them briefly in some olive oil (you can add a few red pepper flakes if you'd like the final greens to have a little kick). Then you add the kale and sautee it until it wilts a bit and turns a brighter green and then just add some stock or water (stock will make for more flavor) and lower the heat and simmer it, covered for 15-20 minutes until the greens are really soft. And then season it with salt and pepper and any other herbs that sound good to you.

Andrea said...

I love butternut squash.
Thank you!!!!!

Sweet and Savory said...

I am always lookiin for new ways to make butternut squash. Thanks for providing this one.