Roasted Butternut Squash
Roasted winter squash like the butternut is so easy to prepare, you almost don’t need a recipe!
Wash the squash and cut trim off the stem end. With a heavy sharp knife, cut down through the squash to cut it in half lengthwise. With a soup spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard. Now comes the fun part - decide how you’re going to roast it. Will it be just the two halves, or do you slice again and cut each half into two quarters? Each quarter into two eighths?
This is as much an exercise in math as it is in cooking. And once the size is decided, think if you’re roasting on a sheet pan or in an iron skillet. If the former, then brush the wedges with oil, season as you like, pop in the oven and wait until browned. If the skillet, then heat a smidgeon of oil until hot, sear the squash cut-side down, then turn over for roasting to doneness in the oven.
One last thought - you can drizzle on something wonderful before the squash heads into the oven and out of your hands. Will it be honey, sorghum, or maple syrup? Will you drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar for depth and sweetness? Or will you get cozy and channel your grandmother and spoon on brown sugar, a bit of butter, and a sprinkle of cinnamon? So many delicious choices.
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH RECIPE:
Makes: 4 to 6 servings | Prep: 5 minutes | Cook: 35 to 40 minutes
1 large butternut squash (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
Olive oil as needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Honey, sorghum, or maple syrup
Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Trim off the stem end of the squash. With a big, heavy chef’s knife, slice the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Place the halves on a sheet pan and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Or, cut into quarters, brush with oil, and season. If using an iron skillet, heat the skillet until hot, drizzle in a teaspoon of oil, and sear the cut edges until browned. Season with salt and pepper.
Turn the squash right side up, and drizzle honey, sorghum, or maple syrup into the well of the squash. Place the pan in the oven. Bake until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 35 to 40 minutes, depending on the size.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Or, let the squash cool and scoop the roasted squash into any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin.