The pear-shaped butternut squash with its lengthy neck houses nutritious seeds, but you might just scrape these out and toss them away. Stony Brook WholeHeartedFoods in New York’s Finger Lakes region produces culinary oil from the seeds, which will give you an appreciation for these little sources of flavor and vitamins. The company buys butternut squash seeds from local family farms after the fall harvest, roasts them and presses them into an oil that develops a rich, nutty fragrance and unrestrained warm and buttery, cashew-like, and slightly sweet tastes. As a finishing oil, it adds a rich, nuanced flavor to many dishes. It’s heavenly over sweet potatoes. Instead of olive oil or sesame oil, you can use it for roasted vegetables, to drizzle over greens and noodles, or in vinaigrette. Its smoke point is surprisingly high, 425 degrees, so it can become a cooking oil for stir-fries. The company started in Boston years ago but relocated to upstate New York to be near the farms that grow their ingredients, says Stony Brook’s co-owner Gregory Woodworth. Highly regarded pumpkin seed oil is another product Woodworth and his business partner Kelly Coughlin offer, as well as a line of butternut and pumpkin pepitas (brined and roasted seeds) to snack on. Stony Brook’s Butternut Squash Seed Oil (about $13 for 6.3 ounces) is available at Formaggio Kitchen, 358 Huron Ave., Cambridge; 617-354-4750; Port Plums, 50 Water St., Newburyport, 978-462-7700, or go to wholeheartedfoods.com.
ANN TRIEGER KURLAND
Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.