This was SO GOOD. And extremely easy to make. 1 large butternut squash produces two squash bakes. Or, you can be like us, and use 1/2 the squash for the dish and cook the other half in the oven plain, skin-on, to be used for squash soup later!
Makes 2 squash bakes in deep-dish pyrex pie pans.
- 1 large butternut squash
- 1-2 cups shredded parmesan cheese (or to taste) You can supplement with other Italian cheeses
- 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp. Butter
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- 1 Pre-made Pesto-in-a-Jar (we were gifted some from Trader Joe’s!) Or mix up a batch on your own. For my simple recipe, I combine olive oil, fresh basil, pine nuts, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese and a little water in the blender until smooth and there ya go! Pesto Presto! For each layer, you will use about 1 tbsp of pesto, so approx. 3 tbsp. per squash bake.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Use a sharp knife to cut a large butternut squash into manageable pieces. You may want to remove the squash skin. We didn’t, and we loved it, but some of y’all are picky about your textures, and I understand. Do what ya gotta do. I bet you cut the crusts off of your bread, too, huh?
Break out the mandolin and thinly slice each chunk of squash. If you don’t have a mandolin, just use a sharp knife to create thin slices.
Place the slices in a steamer basket and steam over boiling water until hot. If you don’t have a steamer pot, you can use a metal strainer over a pot of boiling water or use your rice cooker! If all else fails, you can boil the pieces, but you will loose some flavor and nutrients.
Grease a pyrex baking pan lightly with olive oil or butter. Layer the steamed squash slices into the pan, shape of your choice. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Smear on some pesto with a butter knife. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and/or other smelly Italian hard cheeses.
Continue to alternate layers of steamed squash with a layer of pesto/cheese/salt/pepper until your pan is full. On top of the final layer of squash, sprinkle a little more cheese, salt, and pepper. Then, thinly slice 1 tbsp of butter and distribute it over the top layer along with a drizzle of olive oil, as seen below.
Bake in a 375 degree F oven until heated through. This takes about 25 minutes, depending on your oven.
Pythons guard my extra virgin olive oil! Tile by Georgia artist and educator, Sherrie Jamison.