Delicata Squash Puree With Miso Butter
Every time I get a cold, I want mashed potatoes. It never fails. I think there was one time that I was sick when I was younger and my mom made me her famous mashed potatoes and ever since then, it’s what I crave the second I start sneezing. The problem with this is that I don’t actually want to make mashed potatoes when I am sick and unfortunately a bowl of perfectly mashed russets never magically appears when I will it to. This past week I got hit with a monster of a cold/flu combination that made every inch of my body hurt and I surprisingly didn’t crave potatoes – I craved sleep. As soon as my stomach settled and my head stopped pounding, I rummaged through my kitchen to see what I could find. No potatoes in sight, but I did have a delicata squash. Suddenly, a delicata squash puree with miso butter was on the menu. It wasn’t the same as my mom’s mashed potatoes, but it was certainly less labor intensive and just as delicious.
For the puree:
2 or 3 delicata squash
2 tablespoons light-colored olive oil
Salt and white pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Halve squash lengthwise and place on a cookie sheet, cut sides up. Rub with oil, and season with salt and white pepper to taste. Roast until flesh yields easily to the touch, 30 to 60 minutes, depending on size of squash.
2. Remove from oven and scoop out and discard seeds from central cavity. Scoop out flesh and place in a food processor. Process until very smooth. Transfer to a nonstick saucepan, place over low heat, and stir constantly until any liquid has evaporated and squash is dry, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Transfer to a food mill and press squash through into nonstick saucepan. Stir in butter and miso butter (recipe below). Season with salt and white pepper as needed. Return to low heat just until reheated. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Reheat gently before serving.
Yield: 2 to 4 servings.
½ cup shiro (white) miso
5 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
Combine the miso with 5 tablespoons of the butter in a small bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until well mixed; the butter should be one color, not a streaky mess. Reserve until needed; you can refrigerate it, well wrapped, for up to a few weeks. Heat 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. After half a minute, add the miso butter, turn the heat to low, and stir to warm it through. When the butter has loosened slightly — it should have a certain viscosity to it and should not be melted — remove the pan from the burner and put it in a warm spot.