Butternut Squash Latkes
Fall has arrived! Warm temperatures are sticking around it seems, which is good for tomato plants and zucchini. However, fall brings thoughts of heartier meals, crisp apples and warm cider, to me at least.
The amount of fall recipes out there is overwhelming, so for the next few weeks I will share some of my absolute favorites. This first one is a butternut squash latke recipe.
Butternut squash is very well known for its beautiful color made into creamy orange soups and delicate texture when roasted. I thought something different was in order and this recipe can be made in stages, so you may want to consider it for your Thanksgiving feast.
Some nutritional information on butternut squash: It’s loaded with potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. Vitamin A is what gives the squash its yellow-orange color. You may be thinking, Liz, beta-carotene is what gives foods their orange or yellow color, not vitamin A. You are right … to a degree. Vitamin A is what the body changes the beta-carotene rich vegetable into once digested! So very cool and yet another reason to treat your body well. It can do some pretty awesome things. Incidentally, carotene is Latin for carrot, ha!
Vitamin A will supply your body with great skin, sparkly eyes that work well and a strong immune system. About one cup of cooked butternut squash will supply your body with double your daily value intake of Vitamin A. Let’s start cooking!
Butternut Squash Latkes
2 2-lb. butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
4 tablespoons olive oil (not extra virgin), divided plus some additional for frying
8 large fresh sage leaves
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup chopped shallots (about 6)
3/4 cup fine dry unseasoned breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs, beaten to blend
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil. Brush foil with a bit of the olive oil.
2. Brush cut side of squash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place 2 sage leaves on cut side of each squash half. Place garlic clove in each squash cavity. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn squash, cut side down onto prepared sheet. Roast until tender and brown in spots, about an hour. Cool on sheet and discard sage but reserve garlic cloves.
3. Spoon enough roasted squash into measuring cup to total 4 cups of squash. (Any extra squash can be frozen and used for something else later.)
4. At this point, you can add your garlic to the four cups of squash, cover and refrigerate for one day if you are making ahead. If not making ahead, set the squash and garlic aside.
5. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Scrape shallot mixture into food processor and add the 4 cups of squash with garlic, breadcrumbs, cumin, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Blend until just smooth (you may need to occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl.)
6. Transfer squash mixture into large bowl and mix in the eggs.
7. Add enough oil to heavy large skillet (I use a large cast iron one) to coat the bottom generously and heat over medium high heat. Working in batches of 7 or 8 (you don’t want to crowd the pan) and adding more oil as needed, drop 1 heaping tablespoonful of batter for each latke into skillet. Flatten each latke with back of oiled spoon so it’s about 2 1/2 inches long. Fry for about 2 minutes on each side.
8. Transfer latkes to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Serve warm with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or warm browned butter drizzled over the top.