I have never, ever* made anything with butternut squash. In fact, I’ve never really been a “squash person” so to speak. Well, except for zucchini. I heart zucchini!
Our experience with the CSA has yielded lots and lots and lots of squash. Over the summer it was various summer squashes and now that we’re entering fall, it’s fall squashes like acorn and sweet dumpling and butternut. I roasted a sweet dumpling squash a few weeks ago that smelled and looked (once cut open) exactly like pumpkin. It had a very sweet, pleasant, squash-y taste but I was not enamored with the texture.
Last week, I picked up a butternut squash. My first inclination was to make soup. But then through a discussion on Facebook, my sister mentioned something about lasagna. That was rather intriguing. So, to the Internet I went! I perused several recipes until I found this one on RecipeZaar. (btw, great site for recipes!) Two things caught my eye about this recipe. First, the use of swiss chard (which I also had on hand from the CSA) and second, the white sauce which sounded much yummier than a tomato sauce.
Butternut Squash Lasagna
- 12 lasagna noodles
- 1 large butternut squash, about 3 lbs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 cups chopped yellow onions (1 extra large onion)
- 1 1/2 lbs swiss chard, chopped,tough stems discarded
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon ground dried sage
- 4 cups milk (2% is fine)
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese (I used 2 cups because IMHO, lasagna should be really cheesy!)
- 4 tablespoons chopped green onions (I omitted because I did not have any on hand.)
Take the butternut squash and peel, seed, and cut it into 1/2-inch chunks.
Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash chunks with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then place the chunks in a single layer on a large cookie sheet.
Roast the squash chunks for 30 minutes or until they’re easily pierced with a fork, stirring after 15 minutes.
Remove chunks from the oven and mash squash with a food processor (or fork or potato masher) until almost smooth; set aside. (I think the squash needs a tad more seasoning, maybe some more salt or a spice or herb to add a bit more flavor. We found it to be a bit bland done this way.)
Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
In a large Dutch oven or saucepan, over medium heat melt together the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the chopped onion and cook for about 10 minutes or until golden, stirring often; add the Swiss chard and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until the chard is wilted and the liquid evaporates, which will take about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt the remaining butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, pepper, garlic salt, nutmeg, thyme, and sage and cook for 1 minute while stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth and cook the sauce over medium-high heat until it boils and thickens slightly, stirring frequently. Boil for an additional 2 minutes while stirring, then whisk in all but 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Remove the saucepan from heat.
In a 13″ x 9″ glass lasagna pan, spoon about 1/2 cup of the white sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. Arrange 4 cooked lasagna noodles over the sauce, overlapping to fit; evenly spread all of the Swiss chard mixture over the noodles, top with about 1 cup white sauce, and sprinkle with about a 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese. Arrange 4 lasagna noodles on top, then about 1 cup white sauce and all butternut squash chunks, then a 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese. Top with remaining lasagna noodles, remaining white sauce, sprinkle with the chopped green onions and the remaining mozzarella cheese; sprinkle with the reserved 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.
Cover the lasagna pan with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until hot and bubbly; let lasagna cool for 10 minutes before cutting, for easier serving.
I won’t lie, this dish took a really long time to make but you know what? It was SO worth it!
*OK, that’s partially untrue. I did assist my sister with the making of a butternut squash soup once. But it wasn’t a recipe initiated by me or consumed by me or my family.