It’s October, which marks the end of my CSA deliveries. I must admit, I’m sort of happy about that. Mainly because I simply cannot handle anymore squash. I am squashed-out.
We were given the full gamut of squash varietals this season. Everything from the classic butternut, spaghetti and acorn squash to an interesting stripped squash called a “stripped eddy”. I made good use of the squash I was given, I won’t lie, it wasn’t easy. During the final weeks of my CSA I had made everything from squash soup to squash risotto to just eating plain squash with butter and brown sugar, which is really good by the way. I started putting mashed squash into one cup containers and I would add it to pasta dishes and sauces. But by the time I had reached my last squash, a 6lb butternut squash, I was ready to give up and throw it away or throw it at someone. Yes, I know freezing is an option but it just felt like too much work. Ultimately, I pressed onward and rallied and made one last squash dish for my family this week. I was really glad I did.
My mom saw this recipe on “Twin Cities Live” so I went to the website and watched the video and wrote down the recipe. I’ll put the link to the video up on my blog if anyone wants to watch how Elizabeth at Twin Cities Live makes this recipe.
When I finished the recipe I was relieved to finally use up the last squash in my refrigerator. I felt asense of accomplishment. That 6lb butternut squash had been staring me in the face every time I opened up my refrigerator for over a week. I was ready to part ways with it and say goodbye. And I was ready to say goodbye to my bi-weekly CSA deliveries as well. Overall, I think the CSA was a good experience but I’m not sure I’ll be back next season. I know the CSA that we chose had some issues to work out in the beginning, and they did work them out. The rest of the summer went smoothly without any problems. I guess my main complaint would be that we received so much of one thing and not much of other things. For example, during the months of July and August, we received a ton of zucchini and only 4 tomatoes. The nice thing is that zucchini and squash don’t spoil very fast so you can hang on to them for a few weeks without them going bad. Same thing with the squash. But I would have liked more tomatoes, salad and corn. All the vegetables were incredibly fresh and flavorful and I did my best to use up everything I was given. So I end my CSA experiment a little uncertain about whether we’ll do this again next year. As I mentioned, I am relieved for the CSA deliveries to be over for the season but who knows what will happen come spring time. Maybe in March when the ground begins to thaw and we start to see the first hint of green popping up in our gardens, I feel inspired to try this all over again.
I did some tweaking to the Twin Cities Live recipe mostly because I don’t own a food processor and you really don’t need one. Also, I used a 4lb squash instead of the recommended 2lb squash, which made it extra squashy and extra yummy. Once I cooked the squash I mashed it with a potato masher instead of pureeing it in a food processor, which I think worked out great. It was really smooth and creamy. It was a little hard to get my 3 year old to eat this dish but she did (while watching SpongeBob).
Butternut Squash Lasagna
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced (about 4 lb.)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3½ cups milk
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
2½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 box (8 oz.) oven-ready lasagna noodles
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add squash and toss to coat. Add 1 cup water. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until tender. Cool slightly. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, whisking for 1 minute. Increase heat to high and gradually whisk in milk. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Whisk in nutmeg and cinnamon. Let cool slightly. Pout half the white sauce into a blender, add the basil and blend until smooth. Return basil sauce to saucepan and combine with the rest of the white sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Reserve ½ cup mozzarella cheese. Lightly spray a 13“ X 9” X 2" baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Spread ¾ cup of basil sauce in bottom of dish. Place 3 noodles crosswise over sauce. Spread some of the squash puree over the noodles, followed by ½ cup mozzarella cheese. Repeat layering.
Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle with reserved ½ cup of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Return to oven and continue baking 15 minutes until the top is golden. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.