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Winter squash is delicious, and it is a staple of winter cuisine due to store-ability and hardiness. I often find myself with a buildup of squash in my winter CSA, and I seek new ways to prepare it. Baking a squash enables me to use it in a recipe, and store the mashed up squash for another day. Butternut squash is a winter meal staple, but it can be so much more! It is mildly sweet, moist, and versatile--good for soups, roasting, mashes, pies, etc. This recipe and preparation is a way to enjoy butternut any time of the year.

Butternut Spread
(a variation from Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi)

2 cups mashed butternut squash
1-2 cloves crushed garlic
1 1/2 tbs tahini
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp maple syrup or honey
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp roasted sesame seeds

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Bake butternut on a cookie sheet for 30-45 minutes depending on the size. You’ll know it’s done when the squash is soft when pressed firmly.
3. Remove from the oven and let cool.
4. Peel and de-seed the squash.
5. Mash the squash with a fork or potato masher.
6. Reserve 2 cups of the squash and place the rest into a storage vessel (ziplock bag, mason jar, plastic quart container, etc.) for freezing, and use another day.
7. In a bowl combine: mashed butternut, crushed garlic, tahini, olive oil, Greek yogurt, cinnamon, syrup, salt.
8. With a hand blender or in a food processor puree everything together until smooth and well combined.
9. Place sesame seeds in a pan and toast by regularly shaking the pan to heat seeds until golden brown. Pay attention, though, they can be easy to burn.
10. Place mixture in a serving bowl and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
11. Serve with cut vegetables, crackers, bread, or other spread friendly items.

About Andrea Todd
Home chef Andrea Todd has been learning by experimenting and trying new foods and combinations in the kitchen for years. She loves to share ideas and tips, and sticks to simple recipes that taste good, are seasonal and easy to make, and locally grown.

Sharing is an integral part of Andrea's food philosophy. Whether through a meal in her kitchen with one friend or a community cooking event with 30, she finds the shared experience of food inspiring. The recipes she creates are starting points, designed to be replicated, expanded, or revised as you like. Enjoy!

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Andrea writes blog articles for Seventh Generation.