How butternut squash ended up on grilled cheese: We grew hundreds of squash last year, and made it a point to eat every one. That meant getting creative with recipes! I think they lasted 10 months in our root cellar. That’s TEN months of cleaning* spaghetti after butternut after acorn after pumpkin after kabocha after delicata. You get the point. I’ve said it a million times when asked about zero-waste gardening; prepping the squash for cooking is my least favorite part of the whole shebang.
*Lol I use the term cleaning as in the hunting term for skinning/gutting animals because SAME SAME but vegan! I cut the squash as fit for whatever recipe I’m using during this phase. I also scoop and dry the seeds in this process. We grew our pumpkin patch/squash garden from 100% self-harvested seeds two years in a row!
Enter: *Bulk prepping*
To make this process a little easier on myself and set myself up for success in being most likely to eat the squash I grew over store-bought meals, I started peeling, slicing, dicing, baking, and frying them well in advance. Butternut has always been my favorite for eating. Now that I’m think about it, that could be due to the ease of prep. (I’m so sick of prepping squash that I base my favorites on how easily they go from garden to plate!)
The method: peel the skin, slice in half, scoop and dry the seeds, slice into 1/4″ ‘steaks’, fry in lightly buttered cast iron until fork tender.
I have infinite recipe repertoire for this method, but here’s a simple lunch idea… I LOVE this butternut grilled cheese with a kale salad. The butternut gives a creamy caramel flavor, the smoked gouda is perfection melted onto sourdough, and toasty slices of bread complete this ultimate comfort food.
Butternut Squash Grilled Cheese on Sourdough
- 2 slices sourdough bread
- 1 tbsp Earth Balance organic butter
- 1 slice pre-cooked butternut squash squash "steak"
- 2 slices Follow Your Heart smoked gouda cheese
- Heat butter in a cast iron skillet over medium low heat, making sure butter coats the bottom of the skillet
- Once all the butter is melted, lay one slice of bread in the skillet. Top with cheese slices and squash steak, then another slice of sourdough (if you really wanted to be fancy you could sandwich the squash between two slices of cheese so it sticks to both slices of bread. I was not fancy)
- Let sit for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted
- Flip and let sit for another 5 minutes or until bread is toasty golden brown