Roasted Koginut Squash (+ Purée)
- 2 Koginut squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400˚F.
Holding each squash securely on its side, remove the stem by firmly knocking it several times with the top (blunt) end of a chef’s knife—it should pop right off. Working top to bottom, slice each squash in half, then use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. (Compost the seeds, if possible, or clean, roast and eat them.)
Salt and oil the cut sides of the squash halves, then place them cut-side down on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes. Remove the sheet from the oven, use tongs to flip the squash halves over, and brush more olive oil over the tops. Return to the oven and continue roasting until soft and caramelized, about 15 to 20 minutes more. Finish with a drizzle of good olive oil and a sprinkling of crunchy salt.
To make the purée:
Let the roasted squash halves cool completely. To mash the squash, you can either use a tamis sieve (often used for sifting flour) or a wire baking rack. If using the tamis, scoop the flesh out of the skins with a spoon, then force it through the sieve with a flexible spatula or bowl scraper into a medium bowl below. If using the baking rack, rest it over a medium bowl and place one of the squash halves over the rack, flesh-side down; pushing gently but firmly, smear the squash back and forth to force the flesh through the rack. You should be left with the skin still in your hand, but a very fine mash in the bowl. Repeat with the rest of the squash halves.
Transfer the mashed squash into the bowl of a food processor, and blend until completely smooth, taking breaks to scrape down the sides of the bowl. If the squash does not move once the food processor is running, add a small amount of water to get it going; no added moisture is ideal, however.
If you’re planning to use this versatile unseasoned purée at a later date, pack it into labeled airtight containers and store it in the freezer. If, however, it tastes too delicious to wait, eat immediately seasoned with salt, lemon juice and generous amounts of good olive oil, butter or brown butter.