Butternut Squash Freezing Tips and Recipes

The butternut squash from this week’s distribution will not store well due to damage from the hail storms last month. The squash tastes fantastic!  If you want to save it, you can roast and freeze for later.  This way, it will last more than six months and will be easier to eat, because it is already partially prepared.

I have included two locally created recipes from Dena and myself.  Dena has a rich soup that is the picture of simplicity.  I created a different type of creamy lasagna with the squash and frozen basil pesto from the CSA.

Amy Hetager, CSA Blogger

Freezing Tips

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Prepare a baking sheet with foil on top for easy clean-up
  • Cut the squash in half and remove the top and bottom
  • Drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper on the squash and rub to cover
  • Place squash face down with a little water in the bottom of the pan
  • Roast for 45 to 60 minutes, checking the softness of the squash
  • Let cool
  • Scoop out the squash and store in a glass container or freezer bag
  • Freeze for up to six months

Butternut Squash Soup

From Dena

Cooked winter squash, pureed with coconut milk.
Add sauted chopped onion, celery and red bell pepper (in butter)
when onion is browned, add garam masala or curry powder.
Add to puree, add canned (drained) or fresh corn. Add vegetable or chicken broth to desired consistency.
Shrimp, chicken or cubed sauteed tofu can be added for protein also.  Add shrimp at end so it doesn’t become rubbery.

Butternut Squash Pesto Lasagna

From Amy

1 butternut squash (about 2 lbs)

1 container of ricotta cheese

2-1/2 cups pesto

1 egg

1 cup milk

2 tblsp all-purpose flour

2 tblsp butter

mozzarella cheese

a little cheddar cheese for the top

lasagna noodles

Prepping Butternut Squash

Place the roasted or thawed butternut squash in a bowl and smash with a potato masher.  This next part imparts flavor into the squash and works for this recipe.  I saute an onion and 4 cloves of garlic.  Add a few teaspoons of spices, such as cumin and coriander.  Once the spices are heated, add the squash and some chicken broth, enough to stir easily.  I cook this on low for 30 minutes.  The texture is more like a thick sauce than a soup.  Let that cool.  Blend with a hand blender or in a food processor until smooth.

I am picky about the texture of my squash, so I have started straining it.  My strainer is a metal strainer that I got at a discount store, so it is not fancy.  I just place the mixture  in the strainer and push into a bowl.  A thick spatula works well.  This does take time, but removes the strings for a smooth texture.  I do this before freezing because it makes it easier to use after it is thawed.  This could be a vegetable side dish, a soup or this lasagna.

Lasagna preparation

The butternut squash can become the sauce for the lasagna.  A bechamel sauce will help keep the squash together for a sauce and add a nice creamy texture.  I start with 2 tblsp of butter and then add 2 tblsp of flour.  Stir together and cook for a few minutes.  It should be a yellow lump in your pan.  Add milk slowly and wisk to remove all of the lumps.  This can be cooked on med-low to see tiny bubbles around the sides of the pan.  Watch this closely or it will create a crust on the top instead of thickening.  Once the sauce is thick enough to cling to the spoon, you can add the butternut squash.  I add 2 bunches of fresh, diced sage at the end of the cooking.

The ricotta cheese, egg and pesto can be stirred together.  This will form the other filling for the lasagna.

Cook the noodles and lay flat.  I add some cooking spray to the baking dish and start with a little sauce at the bottom.  Add the noodles, ricotta, sauce and a layer of mozzarella cheese.  Continue to layer until the top.  At the top, add the cheddar cheese.  Bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees.

Enjoy!  If you can not eat all of the lasagna this week, this will freeze well.  I cut the pieces and place them in packages of two.  Wrap these in foil and then place in plastic bags with a label.  I bake these in the in the foil for 40 minutes and they make a great lunch in the winter.

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