Butter Up That Butternut


You all know I’m an omnivore, meaning I’ll eat just about anything that’s put in front of me, so I rarely consider a meal based on what it doesn’t have. But I do have to look out for bacon-less dishes I can make with the veggie gf. Usually these involve some kinda vegetable and a whole lot of cheese. Honestly, I don’t think I could date a vegan, I don’t know how they do it.

Anyway, on a recent visit to ES’ mid-atlantic branch, I was inspired by a menu item at the infamous Tonic, a roasted winter squash stuffed with veggies and topped with crumbled blue cheese. Our resident veggie lactard Maidelitalia tried to order it without the blue cheese but found out it was roasted with butter (see! you can’t take them anywhere!). I wanted to get it but wasn’t really hungry enough for a full meal so I just had a cup of French onion soup, and that way I got my cheese and my bacon all in one (I hope no veggies thought that one was safe, sorry to ruin it if so).

Anyway, next time we went shopping for dinner, this is what I suggested…

Blue Cheese Butternut

– Cut one butternut squash in half.  Cover a baking sheet with foil and lay the squash, open side up, on the sheet.

– Top each half with a pat of butter and salt and pepper.

– Cook on 375 for a freaking hour. Maybe should have turned it up? It took forever to get even a little bit soft.

– When your squash is almost done, sautee up a few sliced baby bella mushrooms and two cups of spinach.

– Take the squash out of the oven. Use a knife to cut a circle around the edge of the flesh and then scoop it out. Mix your scooped-out squash with the spinach and mushrooms and spice to taste. I think we went with a warm winter-y thing–cinnamon, chili powder, damn I can’t remember what else.

– Scoop the mixture back into the squash halves and crumble blue cheese on top. Return to the oven for 10 mins. You could also wait ’til the very end to add the cheese, but I liked it a little melty.

One more glamour shot for ya…wouldn’t that be good with some crumbled bacon on top?


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  • gansie December 17, 2008  

    love this idea, but just can’t get into bleu cheese. would prob sub in feta.

  • Alex December 17, 2008  

    Actually I thought the bleu cheese was what made the dish – the contrast between the cheese and the sweetness of the squash was amazing.

    Also there was a TON of squash left over, because it was really rich and butternut squashes are big (and I guess we didn’t do a great job scooping out the squash to begin.) So we mostly ate the filling, and then we scraped the rest of the squash off the skin and saved it for later. Days of squashiness!

  • Alex December 17, 2008  

    PS Don’t you like the word “squash”?

  • JoeHoya December 17, 2008  

    Looks like butternut squash brains to me, but I’ll bet it tasted delicious.

    We just made a tasty and satisfying butternut and white bean soup from The Art of Simple Food for dinner last night – I’ll be posting about it soon.

  • Yvo December 18, 2008  

    You can crumble bacon on top of yours alone 🙂 I’m selfish…
    Now, I have a question, since Britt’s post about dating a non-foodie kind of stirred the pot. No offense to Alex – whom I adore dearly because of her “Disgruntled GF” comments alone – but how hard is it to date a vegetarian when you’re not one, BS? I’m genuinely curious. I don’t think I could do it. (Even assuming the person isn’t one of those annoying preach-y types who tells you that meat is murder everytime you bite into a juicy burger in front of them, I think it would be difficult.)

  • BS December 18, 2008  

    we do pretty well considering we are both pretty adventurous even if we don’t perfectly match…If I only ate steak and potatoes and she only ate tofu we would have a problem, but we can find a lot of meals to cook together that we both like, and then I just obsess about bacon when she’s not around…although I have to say I do get mad when I find out she doesn’t like a certain vegetable such as eggplant…I think if you’re going to cut out an entire food group such as meat, you should be required to like every veggie.

  • Maidelitala December 18, 2008  

    Wow, i am tempted to think this post was meant in part to taunt me …

  • Gretchen Primack December 18, 2008  

    just a comment about the “don’t know how vegans do it”–i didn’t know how, either, but now i sure do! i went vegan for the same reasons i’d gone veg many years before, and had all sorts of fears that were never borne out. in fact, my cooking and eating became more sophisticated and pleasureful because i couldn’t just throw cheese on everything. (though these days there’s actually a few good non-dairy cheeses to throw on everything, too.) a gander at one of the plethora of vegan cookbooks or websites/blogs can give you idea. it’s really a wonderful surprise.

  • gretchen August 28, 2012  

    i think you’d enjoy the new book i co-wrote with Jenny Brown of the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary! more info here: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781583334416

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