Right now we're all about fall foods, like crisp apples and orange pumpkins with warm spices. And this butternut squash purée fits right in. Combined with sage and goat cheese, it has a sweet, earthy flavor and a silky-smooth texture.
Put the squash in to roast while you're making a salad and baking some chicken. It takes just a moment to scoop out and purée.
Come fall, I'm no stranger to butternut squash purée — it's a side dish I can eat again and again — but I've never had a version quite like Faith's before. Despite its simplicity, it has a velvety texture with layers of savory flavor that keep you coming back for more.
What really makes this purée sing is the fresh sage. A few torn leaves are added to each squash cavity before roasting. As it cooks, the herbal aroma from the sage infuses the squash. It permeates the whole vegetable and nicely complements the squash's sweetness.
And of course, there's the goat cheese. Blended into the warm purée, it adds the tiniest hint of tang, although it mostly brings a silky quality to the already-smooth squash.
1 medium butternut squash (approximately 2 pounds)
1/4 cup torn fresh sage leaves
Salt and pepper
1 ounce soft mild goat cheese
Heat the oven to 375°F. Cut the squash in half through the stem and scoop out the seeds. Brush the flesh with a light coating of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and then divide the sage leaves between each squash cavity.
Place each squash cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 50 to 60 minutes, or until very tender. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the squash cool for about 5 minutes, until cool enough to handle.
Scoop out the flesh and discard the skin. Then transfer to a regular blender, or transfer to a large bowl and use an immersion blender to purée the squash. Add the goat cheese and adjust the seasoning as needed, then blend again until the cheese is combined. Serve immediately.
This recipe has been updated — originally published August 2007.