This hasn’t been the usual blockbuster year for squash – so each butternut is particularly precious. I liked the idea of combing the butternut with citrus in this recipe from Woman’s Day magazine.
1 butternut squash—peeled, seeded, cut in large chunks Sections from 2 mandarins 1 teaspoon mandarin zest 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 2 tablespoons honey 1 stick cinnamon 2 cardamom pods Salt and pepper 1/2 cup water 2 tablespoons fresh mandarin juice 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons sage Hot paprika, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large baking dish, toss the squash with the mandarin sections and zest, butter, honey, cinnamon stick and cardamom and season with salt and pepper. Pour the water into the dish and bake for about 1 hour, until the squash is very tender and browned in spots, adding more water if needed; discard the spices.
Transfer the squash, mandarin sections and any pan juices to a food processor and let cool completely. Add the mandarin juice and 3 tablespoons of olive oil and pulse until nearly smooth. Stir in the sage and season with salt and pepper. Scrape the dip into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with hot paprika.