I recently went with a good friend to the Smallman Galley. It’s a launch pad for new resturant concepts in Pittsburgh. It was really interesting with four up and coming chefs set up in their own spaces within a warehouse-like atmosphere. Anyway, the food was great and my friend had a horseradish gnocchi that was delicious. They were big and puffy but crisp on the outside. That is what inspired these butternut tots. They aren’t quite gnocchi and they aren’t quite a tater tot but they were delicious and gluten free!
To make these gluten free I used a bit of tapioca flour. I’ve been seeing this more and more in Paleo and gluten free baking and wanted to try it. There is only 2 tablespoons in the whole recipe but I think it makes it a bit more dough-like. I cooked the butternut squash first in the microwave and then put everything in the blender to puree it. Then I spooned it in a baggie and piped little tots on a silicone matted cookie sheet. After baking them for 20 minutes or so, they came out crisp on the outside and creamy in the middle.
When you add brown butter to anything it tastes delicious. This is something I learned from my 100% Italian mother in law back in the day. Yum! Add a little spinach for color and texture and sprinkle some Asiago cheese on top of these butternut tots and you have a gourmet meal!
Butternut Tots With Brown Butter & Spinach
I hope you give this dish a try and let me know what you think of them. What would you call them? I wasn’t sure but it was pure comfort food for me and I liked that they were easy and gluten free. And if you are ever in downtown Pittsbutgh, check out the Smallman Galley. Enjoy!
Butternut puffs with browned butter and spinach
- 1 half butternut squash peeled and cubed about 2 cups
- 2 Tablespoons of tapioca flour
- ½ cup Asiago cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup baby spinach chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the butternut squash in a microwave bowl and cook for 8 minutes.
In a blender add the squash, Asiago cheese, tapioca flour, egg and egg yolk and blend on high until well combined.
Spoon mixture into a baggie, cut the corner and pipe the "tots" on a silicone mat or parchment covered cookie sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, add the butter to a small sauce pan over medium low heat. Continue to stir the melted butter until it turns brown and foamy. There should be little bits of brown in the mixture. Make sure not to burn the butter.
When tots are cooked, add them a bowl, along with the spinach.
Pour the browned butter over top and toss quickly to wilt the spinach.
Sprinkle a bit of Asiago cheese on top and serve.
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Can I use almond flour instead of tapioca?
I have never tried it but I used tapioca because it gives it a bit of elasticity and I was going for a more pasta texture. However as I’ve stated it was a cross between a pasta and tot so I think if you use almond flour it will be more like a tot. Regardless I think it will taste fine. Please let me know if you do and what your results were. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
I love that these are gluten free! They look so comforting for the chilly fall weather.
Thanks Laura! They have an odd texture in that it’s not quite a pasta but not really a tot. However they are really tasty and perfect for fall.
Sounds like they need their own name so that they don’t fall short of being neither a tot nor pasta. Maybe Butternut Squash Morsels? 😉
Thanks for the input! Maybe I’ll work on making them more of a gnocchi (which is what I was going for originally) so I can legit call them that. They were really good, but I didn’t want to do any false advertising by saying they were a gnocchi.
These look so interesting and delicious. I never tried cooking with any flour exact traditional wheat but have starting seeing different kinds popping up in the grocery store. This one will be on my list. Thanks.
I’m experimenting too Patti. I use almond and coconut a lot but now I’m try tapioca. Thanks for stopping by!