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Here’s the ultimate pro tip: Sometimes, all that it takes to next-level a meal is a great side or accompaniment. In the fall, we can think of little better than fresh, tender butternut squash with its nutty, earthy and touch-of-sweet flavor. Ok, one thing better: adding a hint of slightly sweet, barely oniony leeks and hitting “puree.”

Our dream fall dish is roasted butternut squash and leek puree with a lightly-breaded boneless, skin-on chicken breast that’s been gently pan fried, sun-dried tomato risotto and either roasted asparagus, grilled leeks or both. But our power puree is also mouthwatering beside seafood, white fish, turkey or a vegetarian meal of tofu and roasted root veggies.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Leek Puree

Serves 4 as a side dish, more as an accompanimentPrep time: 10 minutesCook time: 50 minutesTotal time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 leek, including stalk 
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
Method:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 2. Cut butternut squash in half from top to bottom. Remove seeds, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper on the flesh side. Place flesh-side-down on a baking sheet and cook for 35-40 minutes, until tender. Let stand until cool to touch, then remove skin and rough chop. 3. Remove root and all of the green from leeks. Split white portion in half, julienne into short, thin strips, and rinse to remove any soil. 4. Place butter and leeks in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Sweat leeks until they become translucent. Add butternut squash, chicken stock and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and place in a food processor set to medium.5. Mix while slowly adding heavy cream, until it begins to look smooth and creamy. Stop mixing, and check consistency and texture with the back of a spoon. It should be velvety and cling to the back of the spoon. 6. Once you have the desired texture and consistency, season with salt and pepper, to taste. Enjoy!!

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Robert Ryan Catering & Design plans and executes over 400 events each year, boasts a 5-star rating on WeddingWire and has received WeddingWire’s Couples’ Choice/Bride’s Choice Award seven years in a row. Learn more about Robert Ryan Catering & Design and tour our venues. Subscribe to our e-newsletter for exclusive offers, up-to-date news, and recipes from our executive chef.

Nina Malone

All photos courtesy of Robert Ryan Catering & Design