In this fall garden season, there are many things that are favorites, but at the top of my list would have to be squash. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have such a great selection to chose from and this becomes especially apparent when shopping at a farmers market or farm produce stand. However, even most grocery stores carry a good assortment of squash. While I am not even close to being the primary chef in our household, I do like to try new recipes that use local produce. Since squash is a favorite food of mine, trying new ways to use it is a fun challenge.
We have many home vegetable gardens in our neighborhood and if space permits, many gardeners grow squash. When I look at the choices gardeners make, it appears that of all the squash, except for zucchini, butternut squash would certainly be one of the most popular. We recently had a neighborhood get together and neighbor Amy Chase Herman brought a squash dip appetizer made primarily from butternut squash. When she arrived, it was still warm from the oven and I tried some of a piece of a baguette and it delicious. It quickly became a very popular appetizer. I asked Amy about it and she said that it was very easy and takes about an hour. That is the kind of recipe and commitment that I like! She shared the recipe with me and so I made it and yes, it is easy and took me a little over an hour.
• One butternut squash, the one that I had was about 2 lb.
• Olive Oil
• Sea salt
• 1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
• 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
• 1 clove of garlic, minced
• 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
• one-quarter teaspoon cayenne
• one-third cup chopped pistachios
Getting it all Together
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the squash in half, lengthwise and scoop out seeds and inner pulp.
Rub with olive oil and sea salt.
Put cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
Cook in the oven for about 45 minutes or until a fork easily slides in and out.
When the squash is cool enough to touch, scoop out the flesh and put in a bowl that can go in the oven.
Stir in the garlic, mayonnaise, Gruyere cheese, cayenne, pistachios, and parsley.
Put this bowl in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted. This was about 10 minutes.
Let it cool and then serve with crackers or slices of a baguette. This is one of those dishes that is best served when warm and just out of the oven. We had some the following day and even with warming it, while it was good, it was not nearly as good as just out of the oven.
I think this would be an especially good appetizer on a cold night this winter. Give it a try, it is very easy.