• Yield: Makes about 2 1/2 cups; serves 4

  • Time: 10 min prep, About 45 min cooking, 55 min total

[This recipe is part of Sally Schneider's fall menu, which includes Bruschetta of Wild MushroomsHerb-Scented Tuscan Pork RoastRoasted Winter Squash Puree and Rustic Rosemary-Apple Tart.]

Roasted winter squashes also make wonderful purees, an unexpected alternative to mashed potatoes; they have such a fine texture and rich flavor that no additional fat is necessary. You can flavor the puree simply with salt and pepper, or any other sweet spices, like nutmeg, cinnamon, or cloves.


  • 2 1/2 pound winter squash

  • Olive Oil

  • 1 tablespoon of water

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut a 2 1/2 pound winter squash in half and scoop out the seeds.

2. Using a slightly dampened brush, brush lightly with olive oil, and place cut-side down on a heavy baking sheet.

3. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon water onto the pan. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the squash over and bake for 15 minutes longer, or until the flesh is tender.

4. With a spoon, scoop the flesh into the bowl of a food processor. Process to a smooth puree, about 1 minute. Stir in desired seasoning then taste, adding more if desired and 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice.

Adapted from A New Way to Cook by Sally Schneider (Artisan, 2001).

Sally Schneider
A former chef, Sally Schneider has won numerous awards—including four James Beard awards—for her books and magazine writing. She is creator of the lifestyle blog Improvised Life, a featured blogger on The Atlantic Monthly's Food Blog, and author of The Improvisational Cook and A New Way to Cook. She has served as a contributing editor to both Saveur and Food & Wine, and her work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Saveur, Food & Wine, SELF and Connoisseur.