The usual Thanksgiving suspects can be so heavy – especially when all are combined – mashed potatoes, stuffing, and rolls, oh my!
Try this ethereal soufflé. It will dress up your Thanksgiving table without causing havoc in the kitchen. It really is easy. Cook the squash a few days ahead and you can mix it up quickly and bake it while the turkey (or tofurkey) rests.
When selecting your squash, do yourself a favor and visit a local farmers’ market to savor all the gorgeous local, organic varieties available right now in every part of the country. You’ll want something orange-fleshed and drier, rather than moist. I used kabocha (shown) when I developed this recipe.
Do the first step of the recipe up to three days ahead for Thanksgiving Day ease of preparation. Simply cut the squash into chunks of equal size and put it in a baking dish. Pour a little water in the bottom of the dish, cover it tightly with a lid or foil, and bake until tender at 400 degrees. When cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh from the skin and refrigerate until ready to use.
Now to the recipe:
3 1/3 cups of cooked orange squash flesh
1 teaspoon chopped fresh organic thyme
6 organic eggs, separated
2/3 cup organic buttermilk
Salt and pepper
1 cup grated organic cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Put the squash in a medium bowl and mash it with a potato masher until broken down and fluffy. Add the thyme, egg yolks, buttermilk and salt and pepper. (To taste for proper seasoning, microwave a small amount or cook a little in a non-stick pan.) Add the cheese and mix to combine. In another medium bowl, with a handheld electric mixer, beat the egg whites until medium peaks form. Fold the egg whites carefully into the squash mixture, being careful not to over mix and deflate the mixture.
Transfer to an 8 cup casserole dish and bake for 40-50 minutes until dry, firm, and beginning to brown. Serve immediately.
Recipe Copyright Vanessa Barrington 2008
Image: The Kitchn