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.


serves 2


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.


Chop the squash into  two-inch cubes.


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


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.


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


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


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.


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

©Nancy Wolfson-Moche 2014