I have a love/hate relationship with butternut squash. I love eating it. But every time I perch one on my cutting board to peel, I think to myself: today will finally be the day when I call Charlie from the emergency room having just accidentally amputated a finger.
Not having to peel any gourds is just one of the many reasons to love this cheesy, warm butternut squash dip. But it may be the biggest revelation.
After taking on the ambitious task of adding butternut squash to my Thanksgiving stuffing this year (for 40 people), I pretty much thought my hands would never return to their pre-leprosy state. All the peeling left my paws looking as orange and opaque as the outside of a carrot. I considered myself in butternut squash retirement for the season.
That was, until I realized I could just roast the whole damn thing.
Though I’m a longtime butternut squash soup lover, I somehow always took the scenic route (i.e. peeling, cubing, roasting) instead of just doing the cooking equivalent of Waze and taking the far more direct, painless, sensible path. This is very unlike me. In the kitchen, as on the road, I’m a much bigger fan of the easy way than what so and so’s grandmother has been doing for decades. So it’s crazy that I hadn’t adopted this butternut squash halve-and-then-roast short cut until now.
Once you bake the squash for 45 minutes or so, until fork tender, you simply scoop out the flesh and stir it together with some garlic and herbs. Since it’s the holidayz and this dip is meant to be shared with your slightly more hedonistic friends, I mixed in a little crème fraiche. You can use mayo instead if you’re looking to cut down on the dairy. Similarly, you can omit the cheese. But the nutty gruyere and pistachio topping is well worth the added calories and potential lactose bloat, in my humble opinion.
Wishing you all a merry merry whatever, and hope that this easy butternut squash dip makes an appearance on your coffee table! At least you won’t require Santa to buy you a new pair of mittens to hide your hands afterwards.
Check out these other great dishes from Food Network’s #FallFest
The Lemon Bowl: Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms
Homemade Delish: Fennel and Potato Gratin
The Mom 100: Broccoli Rabe with Preserved Lemon
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Rye & Roasted Butternut Squash Dressing
Red or Green: Green Beans with Chipotle Butter
The Mediterranean Dish: Shrimp Bruschetta
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Fail-Proof Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Lobster, Artichoke and Spinach Bake
Creative Culinary: Baked Mushrooms in a Parmesan Cream Sauce
Healthy Eats: 7 Holiday Sides That Won’t Spoil Dessert
FN Dish: 5 Indulgent Side Dishes to Deck Your Holiday Table