Thursday, February 11, 2010

Butternut Squash and Salami: Sweet & Savory!

Here in the U.S., the common way to embellish butternut squash involves lots of sweetness like brown sugar and marshmallows.  Don't get me wrong, I like a good tooth-aching, carmelized, gooey butternut squash casserole as much as the next person but, when paired with a savory topping, butternut squash is wonderfully sweet on its own.  It's also a much healthier base for "Italianate fixin's" than a bowl of pasta.

  • 1 medium butternut squash, washed
  • 2-3 ounces sopressata or other good dry-cured salami,cut into fine dice
  • 8-10 mushrooms, sliced
  • several handfuls baby spinach, julienned
  • 1-2 ounces grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup fat-free evaporated milk, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons butter (optional)
Procedure for the squash:
  1. Place the butternut squash in a glass roasting/lasagna pan.
  2. Roast in a 400°F oven for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until the squash is quite soft and the skin looks a bit dimply like it has a cellulite problem.
  3. As soon as the squash is cool enough to handle, cut it in half lengthwise.  
  4. Discard the seeds and stringy goo.  
  5. Scoop the rest of the squash meat into a bowl and mash with 2 Tablespoons evaporated milk and two tablespoons butter.  Do not salt or pepper it.  The salami will take care of the flavor.
  6. When ready to serve, heat briefly in the microwave.
Procedure for the topping:
  1. In a medium sauté pan, briefly cook the salami until some of its fat has been released.
  2. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms are slightly colored but have not yet released their liquid.
  3. Add the spinach and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the spinach has lost its raw color.
  4. Add 2 Tablespoons evaporated milk and simmer to reduce.
To serve:
  1. Mound the butternut squash on the plates.
  2. Spoon the salami and veggie mixture over the squash.
  3. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.
  4. Serve.


1 comment:

  1. This sounds absolutely delicious and I have one butternut squash left in the fridge. I now know what I'm going to use it for. Thanks for sharing!


Imprecise & Inexpensive

Two themes predominate in my approach to cooking. 1. Daily cooking of flavorful food need not be a precise art. 2. You can be an adventurous cook on a budget. Cooking and eating should be fun for both cookers and eaters.