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Spiced Winter Squash Puree With Roasted Garlic Recipe
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Spiced Winter Squash Puree With Roasted Garlic

2 pounds winter squash, such as kabocha or butternut

teaspoon olive oil

1 head garlic

1 tablespoon unsalted butter or 2 tablespoons heavy cream

teaspoon salt

1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

For Tunisian Spice Mix (optional):

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

teaspoon ground cumin seed

teaspoon ground caraway seed

Pinch cayenne

For puree:

Combine the spices in a small bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half, and scoop out the seeds. Brush lightly with olive oil, and place cut-side-down on a heavy baking sheet. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water onto the pan. Pull the loose, papery skin off the garlic, keeping the head intact, and wrap it in a sheet of foil. Place the baking sheet and the foil packet in the oven and bake 40 to 50 minutes, until the squash is puree tender and the garlic gives when the package is pressed. Set aside until cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes.

With a spoon, scoop the flesh out of the squash into the bowl of a food processor. Separate the garlic cloves and squeeze the soft pulp into the work bowl. Process the mixture to a fine puree, then add the butter or cream and salt to taste.

Make the Tunisian Spice Mix, if desired, by mixing ingredients in a small bowl. Add half the spice mix to the puree, then taste, adding more spice if desired and fresh lemon juice to lift the flavors. Adjust the seasoning.

Makes 4 servings, about 2 cups.

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