November 7th, 2011

Meatless Monday: Mashed Squash with Cinnamon and Honey

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There’s nothing worse than having a stare-down in your kitchen with a winter squash. In one corner: a hearty cucurbita, weighing in at 3 lbs, with thick skin and flesh that needs roasting and flavor. In the other corner: your intrepid blogger, Cutco knife in hand, working up the will power to slice and dice this pumpkin brethren, and the creativity to make it more than just another squash dish. Who will arise victorious?

Squash is everywhere this time of year, and if you’re not careful, it can quickly go from a seasonal treat to a total bore. I’m walking that line this month, as I explore fun ways to prepare winter squash that won’t have my boyfriend running for the pumpkin-free hills. This recipe was created with the carnival squash, a real beauty with mottled skin and hearty flesh, but it will work with any small variety.

Mashed Squash with Cinnamon and Honey

1 small winter squash (carnival, delicata, acorn, etc)

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon honey

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half width-wise, and remove the seeds and guts. Place cut-side down in a baking dish with 1-2 inches of water in the bottom. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes, or until the flesh is fork-tender. Remove from the oven. Scoop the flesh out of the squash and place in a mixing bowl. Gently mash with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add more or less cinnamon to taste. The mashed squash can be stuffed into the empty shell, or served in a serving bowl. Finish by drizzling the honey over top. Enjoy!

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