One of my fall habits has been to pick up a butternut squash (or two) with every trip to the Farmer’s Market. A trip every week, or even every other week over the course of several months equals a whole lot of squash. I’m great at bringing it home, roasting it, pureeing it and freezing it for later in the winter. What I’m not particularly good at is finding new uses for that beautiful squash puree besides my go to mac and cheese. So when I found a recipe for a Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart with Gruyère in a recent issue of Cooking Light, I tour it out, set it aside with high hopes of actually making it.
Growing up as a kid, I was a Kraft Mac & Cheese girl all the way. I had a very discerning palate and if someone tried to feed me Velveta or worse–store brand–well, let’s just say I wasn’t a happy camper. I soon learned the error of my ways (though still rely on Annie’s Mac & Cheese for a quick dinner or lunch). There’s just something about all that artery clogging gooey cheese and cream that makes me happy. I seek out Mac & Cheese at places like S’MAC, Dumont Burger and Artisanal. But the stuff I make at home, that is truly my favorite spin on Mac & Cheese is actually healthy! That’s right–no cream or butter, yet still super creamy thanks to one special ingredient.
This is the time of year where every trip to the Greenmarket results in bringing home at least one butternut squash. I love butternut squash but hate the effort it requires. Peeling, cutting, roasting… A few months ago I made a Roasted Apple & Butternut Squash salad for a dinner party. Yeah, forgot how much of a pain peeling squash is. So for the most part I stick to butternut squash puree. My secret is NO PEELING and minimal effort.
It took me a long time to master risotto. Many a times did I end up with dry risotto, or even worse–burned risotto, with only 2-3 cups from the whole pot able to be salvaged. But once I finally got the hang of it, I went with it. Asparagus and citrus, mushroom and kale, and most recently curried butternut squash.