Butternut squash enjoys considerable popularity and has many applications. This method works for pretty much any winter squash, but Butternut’s uniform shape and surface makes it the easiest. For me, the hardest part is peeling it without losing a lot of flesh. When it’s raw, the going can be pretty slow, and, once it’s steamed, roasted, or boiled, it always seems to want to fall apart. This is great for soup, but no so great for other purposes. Processing via Sous Vide is one way to solve this problem.
After putting each piece in a Ziplock Freezer Bag, we close the bag almost all the way, and, then, submerge it in water This forces the air out, at which point we can complete the bag sealing process.
Process @183F until the surface starts to give a little when you pinch it. The fleshy end we processed for two hours, the seeded end only took about one hour. Pictured is the Nomiku WiFi model, and a Lipavi Vessel.
After processing, shock in cold water until the squash is about 70F–this prevents it from affecting the overall temperature in your refrigerator. The closer it gets to 40F, the easier it is to handle.
After removing from the bag . Stand on its end, and it becomes easy to slice off, more like peeling a melon.
- The seeded end is a different texture than the fleshy end, so….
- Cut it in half
- And then into quarters.
- The seeds are very easy to remove with a spoon, much easier than raw.
- The flesh from this end has that more typical, slightly stringy texture, almost like spaghetti squash. This is perfect for Gnocchi
- Zucco is the Italian word for Butternut Squash, but, I’ve noticed that Italians call pretty much every winter squash by that name, “Zucco.”
I spread this out on a non stick surface, and oven dry @190F until it’s very, very dry–at least 6 hours.
Here’s an example of the grilled wedge, assorted dry herbs.
Pan seared with the same dried herb dusting
Dried herbs and a light dusting of flour…
Butternut Squash “Carpaccio,” sliced thin, sprinkled with sugar, salt, pepper, chili flakes, and nutmeg. Chopped onion, broccoli buds, Balsamic syrup, Sesame Radish
Butternut/Garlic Cavatelli, coming off the board
A little teaser for next time–Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Walnuts and Brown Butter. Gnocchi is a world unto itself.