It has been an exciting week in the Mele Cotte household. My. oven. is. back. All I can say is Whooohooo! It may have not seemed like it, because I had “drafts” to post, but the oven was out of commission for almost a month . Let’s hope that never happens again.
I was nervous there for a bit. You see, what-had-happened was I bought a lot of food the weekend my oven died. Fearful of spoilage, I had to get creative with my ingredients because my Plan A burned up with the oven’s heating element. Much of that “creativity” will never be posted…I wouldn’t do that to you. Luckily, the three squash I purchased lasted. Good for me they happen to be some of the heartiest veggies to store. Uncut squash can be stored in a cool, dry place for at least three months! Thank goodness I didn’t have to test the three month mark.
Now that I have a full functioning kitchen, I am a baking fool. So, let’s get down to business. With what? Butternut Squash Casserole. One of my most favorite sides my mom used to make was butternut squash “puree”. During the week, we got the doctored up frozen kind. For holidays, we got the fresh squash. Oh, I just ate it up…all of it. Fresh or frozen, it didn’t matter. This casserole is an amped up version. I combined a little sweet with a little savory by adding streusel and the topping brought the casserole to a whole other ridiculous level. (No one said streusel is only for coffee cakes or muffins , right?)
While mom’s puree will always be in the front of the line, this new casserole will definitely bring smiles to any festive occasion.
Butternut Squash Casserole
2 lbs. fresh butternut squash
1 Tbsp. coconut oil (or olive oil)
½ tsp. ground black pepper, or to taste
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter (or canola spray)
¾ cup coconut milk
¼ cup hazelnuts, toasted, skin removed, ground
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. salt
½ cup hazelnuts, toasted, skin removed, coarsely chopped
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
2 Tbsp. flour, all-purpose
¼ tsp. ginger, ground
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler, then halve lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out and discard seeds. Carefully, cut into chunks.
Toss with oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to a large baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper and spread out in a single layer. Roast, tossing occasionally, until just tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Reduce oven to 350°F. Butter a one quart casserole dish; set aside. Whisk the coconut milk, egg, ground hazelnuts, ginger and salt in small mixing bowl; set aside.
When the squash is cool enough to handle, transfer to a large bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add to the squash and whisk to blend. Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish.
In a small bowl, blend together the chopped hazelnuts, brown sugar, flour, ginger and melted. Sprinkle evenly over squash mixture. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.
- If a sweeter casserole is preferred, add up to ¼ cup brown sugar to the squash mash before adding the coconut milk.
- If you don’t like or have coconut milk, any milk (cream, whole or low fat) will work. You can even use yogurt.
- Any nut will work: almonds, pecans, cashews, walnuts, etc.
- Butternut Squash can be substituted with sweet potatoes, parsnips, rutabaga, or turnips. Just beware of the moisture levels of the turnips.
- If you’re going for an individual presentation, rather than family style, fill 4-6 ramekins.