If you’re looking for a side dish for the vegans or vegetarians who may gather around your holiday table, look no further! Everyone will love this fragrant, herbaceous squash dish. Not just for holidays, it’s a perfect cold weather appetizer served warm with crusty bread or vegan crackers.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1  3 -4 pound  (1.5-2 kg)  preferred squash―butternut, pumpkin or kabocha work
  • 1/2 cup (65 grams) raisins or currents
  • 1/2 cup (65 grams) chopped toasted pecans or walnuts
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Zest of 1 large orange
  • 1 (450 gram) package silken or soft tofu drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • fresh grated ginger to taste (optional)
  • fresh figs or seasonal fruit (apple slices or oranges)
METHOD
Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Arrange whole squash on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet and roast for approximately 75 minutes or until a fork goes through the skin very easily in several spots.
Allow the squash to cool enough so that you can peel the skin and scoop out the seeds. Go lightly here so you don’t wind up tossing out your nice soft squash bits. .

While you’re waiting for the squash to cool enough to handle, pulse raisins, nuts, herbs and orange zest together in a food processor, or finely chop. Remove from food processor and set aside. You need to make room for the squash you are about to purée.

In the clean food processor, purée warm squash and tofu (and ginger, if you’re using) until very smooth and creamy. If you don’t have a food processor you can use an stick blender or even a regular blender (it’s just a bit messy).

Transfer the purée to a cast-iron pan and top with the raisin-herb-orange mixture and heat in the oven until warm again. Garnish with figs or other fresh fruit and serve immediately. Wonderful as a holiday side dish or served as a dip along crusty bread.

 

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