[Photograph: Kristen Swensson]
You know the bible story about the loaves and fishes? I have a situation like that in my house right now, except it's the never-ending butternut squash. I estimated it to be around two or three pounds when purchased, but it's actually more like five or six. So much for skipping the produce scale.
Still, I'm not complaining. To date, the Infinity Squash (as we've come to call it) has fueled a wonderful Moroccan side dish, a risotto from Chez Panisse, and Butternut Squash Apple Cranberry Bake Adapted from Simply Recipes, the bake is a sweet seasonal twist on regular ol' starchy sides. Adults will love it, but if you have finicky kids, I bet a six-pound squash this dish will convert them into lifetime vegetable lovers.
To make the original recipe slightly healthier, I halved the sugar and dairy and maintained the original quantities of squash and apples. It created just enough butter sauce to coat the produce, and a quick stir before serving ensured every piece was sufficiently doused. With these changes, each sizeable portion came in around 215 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 4 grams of fiber.
Alas, the Bake finally finished off the Infinity Squash (making it the Finite Squash, I guess). It's okay, though. There's another one sitting on the counter.
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 large tart cooking apples, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mace (can substitute ground nutmeg)
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, flour, salt, and mace.
Place squash in an 8x8-inch baking dish. Top with apples and cranberries. Sprinkle sugar mixture on top. Dot with butter cubes. Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour. Stir before serving, so squash and apples are sufficiently sauced.