Monday, September 19, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash

One of my fave healthy and good for you Fall veggies is butternut squash. It's incredibly versatile and lends an autumnal, pumpkin-ish flavor to everything from salad to soup to macaroni and cheese. It's great as a side dish to fish, chicken, and its also a great alternative to potatoes.

There are also plenty of ways to season these little earthy nuggets.  Fresh sage, thyme, or rosemary add an earthiness to the squash, while honey or maple syrup caramelizes the flesh. Doesn't experimenting with different flavorings and preparations sound like fun? You can truly be the chef.

1 butternut squash
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or sage, (optional)
honey or maple syrup, for drizzling (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Slice the stem off of the top of the squash and remove the bottom. With a strong vegetable peeler, remove and discard the squash's skin.
  3. Cut the squash in half down the middle. Remove and discard the seeds.
  4. Slice the flesh into 1/4-inch dice and place on a baking sheet lined with foil.
  5. Liberally drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. If desired, sprinkle with the herbs and drizzle with the honey or syrup. Toss to combine.
  6. If using the squash for a salad, roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes (tossing once to rotate) until the squash is tender. If you plan on pureeing the squash, roast for 40-50 minutes until its very soft and beginning to brown.
Depending on the size of your squash, you should have 2-3 cups.

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