The Thanksgiving holiday is later this week and millions of Americans will be serving some variety of squash as a side dish. This fruit comes in many varieties but my favorite is butternut squash. To enhance the flavor, I like to cook this with real maple syrup and smoked paprika.
12-16 oz of Butternut Squash
2-3 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup real maple syrup (amount will vary based on preference)
2-3 pinches of smoked paprika
2-3 pinches of salt and pepper
Start by placing a tablespoon of butter in your pan over medium heat. Add a minced shallot and a pinch of salt and stir. Let the shallot cook for a minute or two before adding the squash. Because it is easier (faster and less clean up) I buy the butternut squash pre-cut but if you purchase it whole, peel it and cut into small, even sized pieces (smaller pieces cook faster).
After adding the squash to the pan, stir to coat it with butter, add another tablespoon of butter and drizzle 1/4 cup of maple syrup. The butter and syrup will really enhance the flavor. Include two pinches of smoked paprika, stir everything together, cover and turn down the heat slightly. Let this cook for 7-10 minutes so the squash will soften enough to mash. If it isn’t soft enough, let it cook for a few minutes longer. The amount of time will vary based on the size of the pieces of squash.
After mashing the squash and add more salt and pepper to taste and add some chopped walnuts for added taste and texture (optional). Squash can be bland but the syrup, butter, smoked paprika, salt and pepper will enhance the flavor. This is easy to clean up and can be made ahead of time. I make this in the fall as a healthy snack because it is filling and has lots of potasium, Vitamin C and E and even a bit of calcium, iron and niacin.
If you purchase the pre-cut squash the total time to prep and make this is less than 20 minutes and only requires one pan for clean up.