butternut squash mash in a red pepper cup

My family loved yesterday’s greens in an edible container, so today’s dish is a variation on that theme. The warm colors provide a stark contrast to the cold air.

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serves 2

INgredients

one half small to medium butternut squash (about 3 cups, diced)

one red pepper

pinch sea salt

1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon ground cloves

2 basil leaves for garnish

Process  Wash the red pepper and basil leaves separately; set aside. Slice the squash into 2-inch-thick slabs.  Use a strong paring knife to remove the skin. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.

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Chop the squash into  two-inch cubes.

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Place them in a medium to large-sized saucepan filled with water.

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Bring to a boil, add a pinch of sea salt, cover and simmer on a low flame for about 20 minutes, or until a fork slides easily into the squash.  Drain a bit of the water from the pot, but leave about one inch in the bottom of the pan.  Use an immersion blender to begin to purée the squash.

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When squash begins to soften, add the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.

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Continue to purée until squash is well mashed. It should not be soupy, but should have the consistency of mashed potatoes.

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If it is a bit too watery, you can simmer it for a few minutes on a very low flame. Cut the red pepper in half and remove all seeds and pith. Place each half in a bowl.

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Spoon the mashed squash into the red pepper cavity. Garnish with a basil leaf.

©Nancy Wolfson-Moche 2014