Butternut Squash and Cheddar Dip

Recipe Author: Conne Ward Cameron

We’ve got dozens of butternut squash recipes at http://grassfedcow.com/ingredient/butternut-squash/ but I’m throwing out one more in case you are tired of butternut squash soup and roasted butternut squash cubes. This one’s from seriouseats.com. Interesting tip about using the microwave. I’m going to try that this week.

Ingredients:

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling and greasing About 3 pounds of butternut squash Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more if needed 20 sage leaves 1 large onion, thinly sliced 4 medium cloves garlic, minced 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature 1/2 cup sour cream 8 ounces cheddar cheese (about 2 cups), shredded Crackers or pita chips, to dip

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Grease a small baking dish with olive oil and set aside. 

Peel, seed, and dice the squash into 1-inch cubes. Alternatively, use the microwave: Poke holes all over the squash with a fork or make shallow slits in the skin with a knife. Microwave squash for 3 minutes or until the skin and flesh have softened slightly. Peel squash and cut into cubes. Discard seeds.

Place squash cubes on the prepared sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat. Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast squash until fork-tender and lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add sage leaves and fry in butter until lightly crisped and beginning to darken slightly. Remove pan from heat and remove sage leaves using a slotted spoon. Set aside.

Return pan to heat, add onion, and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion has caramelized, about 30 minutes. Add more butter if onion begins to stick to pan. Stir in garlic at the very end and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Place roasted squash, caramelized onion mixture, and about 2/3 of the crispy sage leaves into the bowl of a food processor. Process until well combined. Add cream cheese and sour cream and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary.

Transfer squash mixture to prepared baking dish and mix in half of the cheddar cheese throughout. Top with remaining half of cheese. At this point, the dip can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days before baking and serving.

When ready to serve, bake dip until cheese is entirely melted and browned in spots, about 20 minutes. Top with remaining crispy sage leaves and serve warm with pita chips or crackers for dipping.