Finnish Butternut Squash Casserole
No Finnish holiday table would be complete without several casseroles (laatikoita), made from carrots, rutabagas, potatoes, liver, squash, and other gifts of the harsh Finnish soil and dogged agricultural labor.
|1 ½ cups||Water|
|1 cup||Light cream (10%)|
|2 tsp||Fennel seeds|
|1 ½ tsp||Salt|
|½ tsp||Black pepper (ground)|
|2/3 cup||French baguette (crumbled into tiny croutons)|
|1-2 tsp||Rosemary (fresh, finely chopped)|
1. Cut the squashes in half, removing the seeds and the innards. Remove the outer rind and chop the squashes into smallish cubes. Put the squash cubes and water into a pot. Heat the pot and simmer with lid on for around 30 minutes or until the squash cubes are soft. Stir occasionally. When the squash cubes are soft, remove them from the water with a ladle and put them into a mixing bowl. Puree them with a mixer or potato masher.
2. After the squash puree has a cooled slightly, mix in the cream and egg.
3. After washing the orange thoroughly, grate ½ teaspoon of zest from the rind and squeeze 3 tablespoons of juice. Crush the fennel seeds using a mortar and pestle. Mix the zest, juice, crushed fennel, salt, and pepper into the puree.
4. Pour the puree into a buttered ovenproof casserole or baking dish. Sprinkle the bread crumbs and finely chopped fresh rosemary over the top. Add a few pats of butter.
5. Bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for one to one and a half hours. In the final few minutes of baking, you can raise the temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit if you want the croutons to get more color.
Estimated overall preparation and cooking time: 60 minutes.
Source of text and photo: k-ruoka.fi. Translated and tested by Living in FIN