I love butternut squash and have been obsessed with it lately. This recipe seems long, but it couldn’t be simpler really, it is all about assembling these little ladies…I recommend the individual torts if you are planning a small dinner party, but if you have a dinner for 12 you can easily make a cake size version of this by doubling the ingredients and then using a 8 inch spring fold cake pan to make a Butternut, Spinash and Chorizo cake. They are meant to be a side dish so I like serving those with a beef roast of a leg of lamb.
Serves 4 to 6
Ingredients for the butternut squash puree:
1 butternut squash peeled and chopped on half inch cubes
1 onion chopped
2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs canola oil
1 tsp Spanish paprika (pimenton)
1/2 tsp white paper
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp orange zest (optional)
Ingredients for the spinach puree:
1 pack or bunch of spinach, very finely chopped
1 small onion finely chopped
2 Tbs canola oil
1 tsp tomato paste
a pinch of salt and pepper
4 slices of Chorizo for the roses
small bunch of fresh basil
small bunch of fresh thymes
Make the butternut squash puree: In a medium cooking pot sauté the onion in 1 Tbs of butter and 1 Tbs of canola oil until translucent. Add the pimento and the white pepper and give it a stir, add the cubed squash and the salt. Lower the heat, covet the pot and let the squash cook in its own juices for about 20 minutes or until cooked through. keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t brown. Then add the remaining 1 Tbs of butter and the orange zest and puree it with a potato masher. If you feel that the squash you are using is too dry you can add a tablespoon or two of orange juice. Let it cool down while you are working on the spinach.
Make the spinach: Sauté the onion in the canola oil until translucent. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the spinach, salt and pepper. Cook it for about 5 min or until cooked trough. Don’t cover the pot at any time in order to preserve the green color of the spinach. Before assembling the tortes you need to get rid of the liquid so put the spinach in a colander or a strainer.
Make the chorizo roses: Cut the chorizo slices through the middle and start forming the petals by rolling the half slices one over the other. Secure the roses with toothpicks and set aside.
Assemble the tortes: Here you will need a food shaping ring, but if you don’t have it you can easily make one. Take a round plastic jar or a plastic bottle and cut off the ends so that you get a 2 to 3 inch high cylinder. Brush it with oil on the inside and place it in the middle of the serving plate. Put two tablespoon of the strained spinach on the bottom and press it down evenly. Spoon about 4 tablespoons of the butternut squash puree on top, press and smooth the top. If any juice has leaked from the spinach, gently wipe it off before slowly unmolding the tortes. Place the chorizo roses on top of the tortes and decorate each with three basil leaves. Spread a few thyme springs around the tortes.
Make it ahead: You can cook and refrigerate the puree and the spinach a day before and just assemble the tortes on the day of your party. Heat them up gently in a microwave or over a double boiler, before putting the tortes together. The roses can also be assembled in advance, and refrigerated in a tupperware until needed.