Here's the truth about the best kind of secret weapon: The easier it is, the better it is. It's something you can whip up quickly and transform with ease, because it's inherently versatile. And Jenn Louis's effortless butternut squash purée hits the mark. Despite its sweet and distinct flavor, it takes on aromatics and spices really well, and can be used on pretty much anything.
Stock up on this purée and be prepared to use it all week long: in savory applications, like the base of a soup; stuffing for a handmade pasta; or just a simple mashed potato alternative with a big dollop of melty butter. But in our opinion, its strongest asset is that it makes for one hell of a pie.
To learn more, read “Mash Up.”
Roast Butternut Squash Purée
Recipe from Jenn Louis, Lincoln, Portland, OR
Yield: 5½ cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
2 medium (2 to 3 pounds each) butternut squash
4 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Break down the squash by peeling the skin, scooping out the seeds and cutting the flesh into 1-inch cubes. On a foil-lined sheet pan, toss the squash cubes with the olive oil and season with salt. Cover the squash with foil and roast until it's tender, 50 to 60 minutes.
2. Purée the squash through a food mill or in a high-speed blender. Push through a fine-mesh strainer and allow to completely cool. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.