October 19th, 2009
At one of my favorite local Italian restaurants, I recently ordered a winter squash contorno that was totally delicious. So much so that I had the ChowPapa help me dissect the flavors so that I could recreate something similar at home. There was a wonderful sweetness that we attributed to honey, balanced by an acid that we identified as freshly squeezed lemon juice. These two strong flavors were enough to run with, which is exactly what I did.
I decide to make this recipe a puree and ended up throwing in grated parmesan for depth of flavor. Delicious! Next time I make this, I may try roasting cubed squash with olive oil, topping it with a quick lemon-honey-butter pan sauce, and garnishing it with grated parmesan and toasted sliced almonds. (If you beat me to this version, let me know how it goes!) In the meantime, this puree—or mash, if you prefer—is heavenly, quick to make, and perfect for everyone from your littlest eaters to biggest ChowPapas. It’s also a great holiday recipe. I think this just might make it onto my Thanksgiving table!
Since you should wait until 12 months to introduce both honey and lemon, this recipe should only be served to children 12+ mos as written. But, life is easy even if you have younger children. You can either puree a little of the steamed squash (plain or with cinnamon for 6+ mos, with a little bit of butter and parmesan for 8+ mos) before you add all the other ingredients. Or, for kids 8+ mos, you can substitute agave for honey and cider vinegar for lemon. The only caveat is that I’m not sure how well these substitutions will work since honey and lemon are so integral to this dish. If you try it, please report back!
Butternut Squash with Honey, Lemon & Parmesan
(can be adapted for kids 6+ mos*)
20 oz peeled & cut (into large cubes) organic butternut squash
1/4 c organic honey
juice of 1/2 an organic lemon
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp organic butter
1/4 c organic grated parmesan
1. Steam butternut squash until cooked through.
2. Place cooked squash and all other ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth. (Alternatively, you can mash this by hand, as you would mashed potatoes.) Serve hot, warm or at room temp—this works well any which way!
*Note: See last paragraph of post for ways to wok this recipe into a family dinner including kids under 12 mos.