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Butternut Squash with Baked Apple and Celery - recipe

Posted Jan 12 2009 12:00am
My first experience preparing my own butternut squash was okay, but not great. I baked it and then pureed half, eating some plain with a spoonful of cranberry sauce, adding some to my oatmeal, and making my own version of Lyn's butternut macaroni and cheese . The second half sat covered in foil in my fridge for a couple weeks until I finally threw it away, uninspired.

Part of the problem is that it was so much squash! I get bored eating the same things really quickly, which is one of my biggest challenges cooking for one. So when I saw a butternut at the grocery store that was about half the size of the first one I bought, I snatched it up! It waited patiently in my produce bowl as I decided what to do with it.

Butternut Squash with Baked Apple and Celery

I don't know if this qualifies as a recipe, since I was pretty much just winging it in terms of measurements and cooking times, but I thought I'd share it with you anyway! Bear in mind my butternut squash was tiny compared to other ones I've seen (and even still, my stuffing was overflowing), so I'm sure you'd have to double or triple what I used. As far as spices, I just improvised on that too. Use what you like!

1 butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeds scooped out
1 stalk celery
1 apple
1 teaspoon olive oil
pinch coriander
pinch cumin
pinch nutmeg
salt + pepper to taste

- Preheat oven to 350 and prepare baking dish with water just to cover bottom.
- Halve celery stalk and cut into small-ish pieces, somewhere between a rough chop and a mince. Slice and chop apple to approximately same size pieces. Toss with olive oil and spices. - Place butternut squash halves flesh-side-up in baking dish and spoon apple-celery mixture into squash shells. Cover dish lightly with aluminum foil and cook for around 30 minutes, then remove foil and cook for 5-10 minutes more, until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork.

For some reason my squash wasn't cooking very well and I ended up microwaving my portion for 2 minutes after taking it out of the oven (and then it was fine). I used limited ingredients on purpose; if you're not being such a stickler, I imagine this would be really yummy with some sort of binding agent in the apple-celery mix, like bread crumbs or an egg. Chopped walnuts would be delicious too. AND I also would've added some oil and maybe extra spices to the outside of the squash flesh, too.

Go nuts! I'm sure I'm not the first one to think of this combination of ingredients, but I'm pleased with what I came up with.
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