It's nice when a food with butter in its name turns out to be good for you, as in the case of butternut squash.
Along with other winter squashes, butternut squash is loaded with vitamins A and C, plus potassium and fiber. It also is filling, has just 65 calories per cup, has almost no fat, and can have a rich flavor that justifies its name.
Butternut squash also is versatile in the kitchen. The high and dry heat of roasting is particularly good at enhancing its flavor by caramelizing the natural sugars it contains.
Butternut squash also sometimes can take the place of potatoes, as in these Butternut Squash and Sage Latkes for Hanukkah.
The squash and onions can be shredded using a box grater or a food processor. Be sure to squeeze as much liquid out of the shredded onion as possible. Otherwise your latkes will be too wet and fall apart in the pan.
Latkes are a traditional part of the Hanukkah celebration because the oil they are fried in symbolizes the story of the small amount of oil that burned for eight days when the temple was under siege.
This recipe uses a few teaspoons of olive oil to brown the latkes in the pan before they are crisped to perfection in a hot oven. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, applesauce or both.
Start to finish: 45 minutes
1 medium onion, shredded (¾ cup)
3 cups shredded butternut squash (1 small squash)
1/4 cup matzo meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 large egg, lightly beaten
6 teaspoons olive oil, divided
Heat the oven to 450 F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Spread the shredded onions between two sheets of paper towels and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Transfer the onions to a large bowl. Add the squash, matzo meal, salt, pepper and sage, then toss to coat. Add the egg and two teaspoons of the oil. Toss to coat.
In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat two teaspoons of the oil. Working in batches, use a 1/4 cup measure to scoop the squash mixture into the skillet, leaving several inches between each mound. Use a spatula to flatten them into roughly 3-inch pancakes.
Cook until lightly browned, two to three minutes per side. Transfer the latkes to the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the latkes are crispy and hot, about 10 minutes.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 109 calories; 67 calories from fat; 7 grams fat (1 gram saturated; 0 grams trans fats); 15 milligrams cholesterol; 10 grams carbohydrate; 1 gram protein; 1 gram fiber; 249 milligrams sodium.