Cook the Book Fridays – Butternut Squash Crumble

Holiday dinner season starts this weekend in Canada, just in time for the markets to start filling with this year’s autumn harvest. Growing up, we always had yams or squash on our holiday table, but they were never the storied candied yams with marshmallows that I heard about from other families. My mother preferred to roast them and mash them with just enough butter, brown sugar, and nutmeg to enhance their natural flavour. It’s my favourite way to eat them still.

So, I looked at this week’s recipe carefully, worried that it skewed to the dessert on the dinner table side of things. But, this recipe makes the most of butternut squash’s savoury affinities, while using its sweetness to balance the dish. The crisp is a mixture of bread crumbs, Parmesan, and polenta, seasoned with sage and held together by butter and egg. Underneath, the squash is infused with homemade chicken stock and flavoured with thyme and shallots.

As much as I like sweet crumbles, with almost any sort of fruit, I’m excited to have met its savoury cousin. Now that I’ve given it a test-run, it can graduate to prettier baking dishs and shine on holiday tables this year, and I suspect, for years to come.

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16 thoughts on “Cook the Book Fridays – Butternut Squash Crumble

  1. Ooooh, happy thanksgiving tomorrow! I agree–I love fruit crisps and this was a fun alternative that is really quite lovely. I’ll admit I never did like candied yams and am so glad they were not part of our traditions, well, ever. Your mom’s version sounds perfect!

  2. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. This is the perfect holiday addition to the table
    and the crumble would be excellent on other winter veggies as well.

  3. I loved discovering this new way to make squash (and I’ll try it with other root vegetables). It’s surprising. Perfect for the season. I hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving!

  4. You write so well, Teresa. I looked forward to reading your post because I knew you would be enjoying this for the holidays. Happy Thanksgiving, my Canadian friend. All of us seem to have done the fruit/crumbly top – thing but the savory dish, you’re right, it’s a novel thought. I plan to make this for our family Thanksgiving in November and am looking forward to tasting it for the first time.

  5. I love the idea of a savory crumble! This would be terrific on our Thanksgiving menu (expect I’m probably the only one who would eat it!). I need to invite company 🙂 Hope you had a wonderful holiday.

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