When I was a little kid, my mom had this “thing” about making sure I was constantly trying foods to see if I finally liked them. She kept telling me your taste buds change over time and that eventually, I would learn to like things that, at the time, made my face twist up and my nose scrunch. I spent most of my youth thinking that was one of those mom-lies that were told to get me to eat what was on my plate, but like most other things my mom told me, I eventually realized she kind of knew what she was talking about. (Love you, mom!)
Since my early thirties, I’ve been surprised to find out just how many foods I’ve finally started to not only be willing to eat but actually enjoy eating. Each year I end up discovering half a dozen or more foods that, while once on my “there is NO way I’m eating that!” list have now migrated to my “yes, please! I’ll take seconds!” list. There are times where I find myself wondering how I made it through thirty-six (yes, THIRTY-SIX) Thanksgivings turning up my nose at sweet potatoes when they are now one of my favorite veggies. I can’t imagine Mexican food without guacamole, but until about three years ago, I thought it was a pasty mess of gross goo.
One of the items that earned its way into my approved food list in the last few years is butternut squash. I’m still not a big fan of it in overly heavy doses…I don’t like to tuck into half of a roasted squash the way my mom does or pass away a snowy winter afternoon with a bowl of butternut squash soup…but I do like the flavor it imparts when it’s worked into chicken and butternut squash crespelle crepes, or chunked up and pan fried with other veggies for a hash.
I’ve also discovered that it’s a wonderful addition to deviled eggs. It adds a great punch of flavor without messing up the texture and consistency of the yolk too much. It also does a wonderful job of turning deviled eggs from a summer picnic food into a fabulous appetizer for your Thanksgiving dinner or your fall harvest picnic. In a world where Trader Joe’s sells cubed and ready to roast butternut squash, things get even easier.
We served up these butternut squash deviled eggs with a tiny dollop of pureed squash and a single sliced green onion on top for garnish. Johnna tried to insist we put orange food coloring in when Ariel and I lamented that the filling wasn’t “quite” orange enough, but she was overruled when we pointed out that neon orange might not be a selling point for people considering their first taste. Keep in mind, deviled eggs recipes are hard to pin down precise amounts too. Egg yolks vary in size dramatically, and since we’re using free range eggs from my farm, our yolks also carry a pretty heavy flavor impact. This recipe offers up guidelines. Start on the lower end of all quantities and add more to taste as you process the filling.
If you’re looking for a bonus recipe, don’t forget how easy it is to turn deviled eggs into egg salad. Ariel and I are huge fans of egg salad and we had plenty of deviled eggs leftover after our party. By chopping up the egg white and adding a bit of extra Greek yogurt into the mix, we were able to blend it all up into the perfect topping for crackers. (We also discovered that leftover deviled egg filling squirted out onto celery stocks makes for a deliciously crunchy treat as well!)
- 12 large or extra large hard boiled eggs, peeled, split and deyolked.*
- 1 cup roasted and pureed butternut squash**
- 1-3 T greek yogurt
- 2 stalks of finely chopped green onion
- 1-2T Dijon mustard
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Place all of the egg yolks into the basin of your food processor and add roughly half of the squash, 1 T of greek yogurt, half the green onions, 1 T Dijon mustard and a few cranks of salt and pepper.
- Run the processor until everything is looking pretty well blended. If things look too dry, add another T of greek yogurt.
- If it STILL looks too dry, add a bit more squash and Greek yogurt. Your first goal is really to get it to a nice, smooth consistency. From there, you can decide by taste if you’d like to add more mustard or green onions, or more salt and pepper. We ended up going pretty heavy on the Greek yogurt and using about ¾ cups of the squash, but our egg yolks were huge.
- Scrape all of the finished filling into a ziplock bag and use a pair of scissors to snip the corner off. This makes filling your eggs a breeze. We made our filling and eggs two days before our event, and they stored just fine in the fridge.
**If you’ve never roasted butternut squash before, it’s pretty simple. Spray a baking tray with canola or olive oil spray, spread out the squash and roast for 20-30 minutes in a 400-degree oven. You want it to be fork tender so it will process smoothly.