Butternut Squash have been flourishing this year! Our garden has produced a bunch, and luckily for us, our friend Grace's garden has been exploding yummy Butternuts. She gave us a few of hers (I think she had eaten about all the squash she could, plus frozen a bunch), along with some ideas of ways to eat them. Butternut Squash is one of my favorite things in the fall, but like zucchini, I only have a few recipes and am always looking to find new creative ways to eat this great squash.
Grace had blogged about a shepherd's pie made with a butternut squash topping and that inspired me to try something similar. Although I liked the idea of it, I had a bunch of things in my fridge that I wanted to incorporate, so they wouldn't go bad. I searched and searched the inter-web, but couldn't find a recipe that I liked. Ultimately, I just decided to wing it. We had ground lamb, leeks, butternut squash, chard, eggplant and a bunch of spices. These things seemed like they could mesh well together.
I still don't have tons of confidence when it comes to spices, so I didn't have tons of confidence that this would come out well. AKA I didn't take any before pictures. However, it was delicious! Between myself, Andrew and Randi we scarfed down the entire pan in one sitting. I barely got a few pics before it was gone.
Update: I made this with sweet potatoes instead of the squash and it was a fail. Not bad tasting, but the texture was all wrong.
Moroccan Inspired Shepherds Pie
Give this a try if you are looking for something a little different. It was really tasty and a fun meal. I can see this as something that would be good for a pot luck.
For the Filling:
1 pound ground lamb
1 pound eggplant, diced into 1/2" cubes
1 leek, sliced into half moons
1/2 bunch chard, sliced (including stems)
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
salt and pepper to taste
For the Topping:
1 large butternut squash, diced into 1-2" cubes
1 tbsp half and half
1-2 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Season butternut squash with salt, pepper, and olive oil and bake at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until the squash is soft and browned. After it is done cooking, add all the topping ingredients into your Kitchen Aid or mixing bowl and mix until you have a nice "mashed potato" consistency. Set aside.
Sauté the leeks and garlic in olive oil. When caramelized, add the eggplant and lamb. When the lamb is cooked through, add filling spices. Cook down for about 10 minutes. At the very end, add the chard and mix together.
Empty filling into the bottom of a baking dish (8" or so) and top with squash mixture. Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes, until the topping has browned a little.