It's well known amongst my family and friends that at the Thanksgiving table, I am the champion of constructing the Perfect Bite. You know what...Read More
Velvety Butternut Squash
The word “casserole” is so unassuming, so indicative of “stuff from cans,” it hardly seems appropriate for this dish.
This is an almost-confection made of pillows and clouds and whispers.
It starts as a purée that, while not bad on its own, is still just squash. But lovingly stir in a touch of coconut milk, Ras el Hanout, and an egg, and what you remove from the oven a short time later is smooth, spicy-sweet, and so far beyond a casserole, it deserves a new name.
NOTE: If you prefer, you can use canned pumpkin purée instead of roasting your own butternut squash. Substitute 3 1/2 to 4 cups of pumpkin purée, but don’t skip the roasted garlic!
Velvety Butternut Squash
Serves 4 | Prep 5 minutes | Roast 50 minutes | Bake 30 minutes | Whole30 compliant
2 1/2 pounds butternut squash
2 tablespoons water
1 head garlic
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons canned coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Ras el Hanout
1 large egg
1/4 cup pecan halves, chopped (reserve a few unchopped for garnish)
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Place cut-side down on the baking sheet and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water onto the paper around the squash.
Peel the loose, papery skin off the garlic, and wrap it in a piece of aluminum foil. Put the baking sheet of squash and the foil packet of garlic in the oven. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, until the squash is tender. Set both aside until they’re cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes.
Increase the oven temperature to 400F.
When the squash is cool, use a spoon to scoop the flesh into the bowl of a food processor. Separate the garlic cloves and squeeze the roasted pulp into the bowl with the squash. Process the mixture to a smooth puree, then add the coconut oil, coconut milk, salt, and Ras el Hanout. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Beat the egg in a small bowl. Scrape the purée into a large mixing bowl and stir in the beaten egg with a wooden spoon until combined.
Grease the inside of a 3-cup casserole dish or individual ramekins with a little coconut oil, then add the squash purée. Top with chopped pecans and bake in the 400 F oven for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are a little bubbly and the top is golden brown.