When readers of my blog write me, I’ve discovered that as the weather becomes colder, they want warm, savory recipes that make use of seasonal produce. One of the articles I forward them is called “5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Butternut Squash.” The recipe for Butternut Squash Lasagna with Blue Cheese and Mozzarella begins the list.

When roasted until tender, butternut squash is a versatile winter vegetable that brings out unique flavors in any dish. It makes a healthful cheese substitute in a béchamel sauce.

Substitute a cup of shredded Cheddar cheese with a cup of puréed butternut squash to cut calories. (In fact, two cups of butternut squash equals 145 calories, depending on its method of preparation.)

Butternut squash also can be an unexpected meat substitute. Topped on pizzas or bedded between lasagna noodles, butternut squash makes for an unexpected and nutritional take on these traditional family-style dishes. And, just like kale or taro, butternut squash makes an easy vegetable chip when thinly sliced and baked until crispy in the oven.

Like other squashes, such as pumpkin, butternut squash can be used as the base of many pies, custards and puddings. But, unlike the sometimes passive flavors of pumpkin that sometimes require cinnamon and sugar, butternut squash can be more flavorful with its natural sweetness and earthier tones.

Finally, puréed butternut squash is easy to sneak into homemade pasta.

Give butternut squash a chance and see what it has to offer. This lasagna makes for an excellent place to start.

Helana Brigman is a food writer, photographer and cookbook author. She can be reached with daily recipes at http://clearlydeliciousfood blog.com or via email at hbrigm1@tigers.lsu.edu.