Butternut Squash Purée with Currants & Almonds

Simple squash is the star of this dish, but Chef Berglund’s mix-ins make it really special. Almonds, pumpkin seeds, and wine-soaked currants add texture, while caramelized onions, garlic, and a hint of balsamic round out the flavor. This is a great side for any roasted or grilled meat!
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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 1 hr 25 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

3 pounds butternut squash, or several smaller squashes

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste

1/4 cup dried currants, may substitute raisins or dried fruit of your choice

1/3 cup high-quality white wine

1 medium yellow onion

4 cloves garlic

1/3 cup raw whole almonds, toasted, toast in oven at 350 F for 8?10 minutes

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds, shelled and toasted, toast in oven at 350 F for 5?6 minutes

1 tablespoon high-quality balsamic vinegar, more or less, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Halve the squashes lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove all the seeds; discard the seeds. Place squashes cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Rub with 1 tablespoon olive oil and ½ tablespoon salt; then turn squashes over and rub the other side with another tablespoon olive oil and ½ tablespoon salt. With the squashes placed cut side down, roast until they are easily pierced with a sharp knife, 30–45 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients.
  2. While the squash is roasting, combine currants and wine in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, 1–2 minutes. Reduce to heat low and simmer, 1 more minute. Remove from heat and let currants soak, 30 minutes.
  3. Use a paring knife to peel the onion and garlic. (Alternatively, smash the garlic with a larger chef’s knife to remove the peel.) Remove the root end of the onion; then thinly slice the onion and garlic cloves, and place into a medium heavy-bottomed pot. Add remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon salt. Turn heat to high and begin sautéing the vegetables, stirring often, 1–2 minutes. Then turn heat to low and continue sautéing, low and slow, until the vegetables are very soft, 10–15 minutes.
  4. When squashes are tender and the skin is lightly brown, remove from oven. (Note: If you’re roasting different sized squashes, the smaller ones will cook faster and may need to be removed sooner.) Check for doneness by piercing the flesh with a knife in the meatiest part of each squash. If there’s no resistance, the squash is done. Set aside until they are cool enough to handle, 15–20 minutes.
  5. Roughly chop almonds and set aside in a bowl. When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh out of the shell and add to the bowl of a food processor. Add the onion, garlic, and oil from the pot to the food processor. Pulse a few times, then purée until smooth. Transfer the purée back into the pot that the onions and garlic were cooked in. (Tip: Clean the blade of the food processor by pouring out the purée, pulsing once, then removing the blade. Scrape any remaining purée into the pot.)
  6. Warm the squash purée over medium-high heat. Add almonds and pumpkin seeds. Thoroughly drain the currants (discard the wine), then add to the purée and stir to combine. When purée is hot, stir in the vinegar. Taste, and add more salt as necessary. Serve.
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