Spring has arrived and my mouth waters when I think about a fresh salad of shaved carrots and quick pickled ramps atop a bed of baby spinach leaves. The crisp, colorful produce of spring is new and exciting but if you really want to support our local farmers, now is the time to buy up the last of their winter squash. Pavel is selling his butternut squash at the Douglas Loop Farmers’ Market every Saturday, while supplies last, for $1.50/lb.
Here at Foxhollow, we gathered in partner grower Pavel’s field and harvested wagon loads of butternut squash in late September. Butternut squash is a wonderful storage vegetable, and will keep its flavor and nutrition for many months. In Fall and Winter, my menu at home has been dusted with roasted squash salads, squash soups, and even squash puree pizza sauce. After four months of eating classic takes on winter squash, I felt it was time to experiment with the most approachable gourd, the butternut. Breakfast is not only my favorite meal of the day but also an absolutely necessity on a day filled with farm chores. This recipe combines two fall staples, corn and squash, along with a drizzle of local maple syrup.
Butternut Squash Cornmeal Cakes
- 3/4 cup butternut squash, halved, de-seeded, roasted, and mashed to resemble mashed potatoes
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup flour (I use a homemade gluten free blend with tapioca, potato starch and rice flour)
- 1 farm fresh egg, room temperature, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cup milk, cream, or almond milk from The Almond Creamery
- 1 tablespoon pastured butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus butter for the pan
- 2 teaspoons Bourbon Barrel foods vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Local maple syrup (for drizzling)
In a medium bowl, mix together the squash, cornmeal, flour, egg, butter, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon.
Heat a large cast iron skillet (or a nonstick skillet) over medium heat. Melt half a tablespoon of butter in the pan. Scoop a 1/4 cup of batter onto the skillet, filling the pan with pancakes, but being sure not to overcrowd them. Cook each pancake until golden brown – about 3 minutes on each side. Serve drizzled with local maple syrup. Foxhollow’s Pastured Pork Chorizo is always a delicious side option.
Variation: This recipe can be used to make savory corn cakes as well. Instead of adding the vanilla and cinnamon, add a dash of bourbon and a teaspoon of dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or oregano. Top with Foxhollow’s Habanero Jam, a Foxhollow Grassfed Beef Burger, and spinach for an open faced take on a classic hamburger.