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My sister got me The New Brooklyn Cookbook for Christmas this year. It includes recipes from 31 influential restaurants around the borough. This cookbook has been listed on many “best of” lists. When I heard some of the great restaurants it features, I knew I needed to have it. I have eaten at several of them and there are even a few in my neighborhood (Prospect Heights). When I was flipping through the cookbook the other day, I saw this recipe and thought it would be great try with that delicata squash from my CSA. This recipe is from Brian Leth at Vinegar Hill House, a restaurant I’ve been to and really enjoyed. I’m dreaming of warmer days so I can have their buttermilk corn salad again! I want to call these twice baked squash because the process is very similar to twice baked potatoes. I almost left out the egg whites but I am so glad I didn’t. They gave the puree an amazing texture, it was smooth and airy like a souffle. And I love that it uses the seeds too.

Note: My squash was double the size the recipe calls for.

Delicata Squash with Toasted Seeds

Serves 6

Ingredients:

6 delicata squash, 3-4 inches long, halved lengthwise

8 tablespoons butter, divided (you can use less)

2 tablespoons maple syrup (I don’t like sweet veggies so I used less)

2 egg whites

Ground Aleppo pepper or paprika (I used paprika)

Salt, pepper, olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450F. Scrape the seeds out of squash and set aside. Peel 6 halves of the squash and cut them into 1 inch pieces. Place into a pot with 6 tablespoons of butter, season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat until tender about 25 minutes.

Puree the squash with maple syrup and remaining butter in a blender or using an immersion blender until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

While the squash is cooking, season the remaining halves with salt and pepper  and place cut side down on a lightly oiled parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender.

Reduce oven to 375F. Rinse seeds to remove pulp and drain. Toss seeds with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread on a parchment lined baking sheet. Toast until crispy about 15 minutes.

Whip egg whites to soft peaks and fold them into the squash puree. Fill squash halves with puree.

Bake for 15 minutes until the top is browned. It might have been the size of mine but it took much longer for the top to brown, I even turned on the broiler to speed it up. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling of seeds and a dash of Aleppo pepper and salt.

Served with roasted brussels sprouts.

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